Benny & the Jets?

medium_Laurel.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

The indefatigable Benny Landa is on the road to promote his Nanograpic printing technology, an amazing implementation of piezo inkjet. This technology is set (according to Benny) to revolutionise the printing industry, creating a new category of print that has all the benefits of conventional offset, but with a substantially reduced environmental impact. The arguments for short run colour print produced on demand are well established in terms of sustainability. But what is interesting about the Landa technology is the fact that it started life as an energy source.

Benny explained last May that: “We wanted to help the planet reduce its energy use, and we spent the past 10 years working on that … on the way, we found nanotechnology. It is a true breakthrough that enables our presses to achieve amazing results.” But the huge success Benny had at drupa when he introduced his line of six new presses seems to have tsunamied the energy work: “Once we created our own Nanotechnology, I immediately thought about its potential and we started working on Nano-pigments.”

This technology is still having a positive environmental impact because of the nature of the inks which are free from Hazardous Air Pollutancts (HAPs) and are water based. The pigments in Nanoinks are much smaller than conventional inks and yet are able to absorb light extremely efficiently and so can lay down very thin ink thicknesses, around half that of conventional inks. They work on recycled stocks and dry rapidly and because Nanographic Printing doesn’t need to heat the stock prior to printing, energy consumption is drastically reduced. Even the ink containers are environmentally friendly. They hold 15 litres of ink concentrate which gets added to water as it is consumed on the press, the containers collapsing as they are emptied. Lower transport cost too because less water is being transported! It all adds up to more efficient production processes and a lower environmental impact.

The question is, will Nanographic Printing work? And more importantly what will the technology mean to print if it does? Obviously this technology will put a substantial wobble in the wheels of conventional press manufacturers, which is why Heidelberg, Komori and others have announced partnerships with Landa. And even if it doesn’t work immediately, Nanographic Printing will mark the beginning of progress towards a major disconnect with traditional print methodologies.

Benny is going to be visiting a range of venues in the coming months, presenting Nanographic Printing and schmoozing his way around the industry. One of his stops will be at EFI’s annual Connect users conference in Las Vegas, the perfect venue to cajole big customers into giving Nanographic Printing a go. And with EFI providing front end technology, something that was notably absent at the drupa launch, Landa Labs will be able to improve its odds for Benny’s technology’s success.

– Laurel Brunner

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