Will Nanoprinting mark a new era for the printing industry? Israeli entrepreneur Benny Landa revealed his new printing technique called Nanography in the latest Drupa conference for media and print, held in Germany at the beginning of May.
After years of research and development with some of the world’s best scientist and a few hundred people involved in the process, Landa says he is now ready to ignite a new digital revolution in print.
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The new printing method is based on Nanographic Printing process and Nanoink – both of which are registered patents for Landa labs. The process uses tiny pigment water-based particles that are only tens of nanometers in size and can print on almost any material. For comparison, a human hair is about 100,000 nanometers wide.
“It’s good to be back,” said Benny Landa in the Drupa conference. “The Landa Nanographic Printing process is the result of ten years of nanotechnology research.”
When making things smaller – in this case, ink – the object’s characteristics change. What really characterizes Nanography is the ability to print at very high speeds. In regular printing, a huge amount of time and energy goes to drying the ink, but in Nanography the ink dries before it is even placed onto the substrate. Each Nanography press can print in up to eight colors and operate at 600 dpi or 1200 dpi resolution, at speeds up to 11,000 sheets per hour.
Landa tells NoCamels about the invention of Nanography: “Once we created our own Nanotechnology, I immediately thought about its potential and we started working on Nano-pigments.”
Because of its unique properties, the Landa Nanographic Printing process creates images with abrasion and scratch resistance. Most notably, it can print on any paper plastic or film without penetrating the substrate, as it instantaneously bonds with the paper leaving nothing.
From coated and uncoated paper stocks to recycled carton; from newsprint to plastic packaging films — all these don’t require any kind of pre-treatment or special coating and no post-drying.
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Landa explains that despite the digital printing revolution, digital printing still only accounts for two percent of all pages that are printed. Offset printing, used mainly for newspapers, magazines, brochures, stationery and books, still accounts for the majority of printing products.
“This is why we produced Nanography, in order to go after the mainstream,” Landa tells NoCamels. “For the first time, commercial printers don’t have to choose between the versatility and short-run economics of digital printing, and the low cost-per-page and high productivity of offset printing. Now they can have both.”
Landa claims that Nanography is not only the lowest cost-per-page printing method, the lowest in energy consumption and the most ecofriendly, it is also in the highest quality. “Usually the ink absorbs unevenly with offset and inkjet printing, but with Nanographic ink, with no penetration, the edges are super sharp,” Landa says.
In the future, Landa hopes, the Nanography printers will be a household name. “It is a new and separate category in the printing world. We are starting from the top of the printing industry and it will gradually go down the ladder, eventually reaching the private consumer.”
The product will not be commercially available until the end of 2013 at the earliest, but at the time of the Drupa conference several clients had already paid deposits for the of the presses, Landa says.
The man with the 700 patents
The Israeli Landa Corporation, located in Rehovot, was founded by Benny Landa in 2002 following the acquisition by Hewlett-Packard Company of Indigo, which Landa had founded 25 years earlier.
Landa Corporation has four operating units. The first is Landa Digital Printing, which develops nanographic printing systems for the commercial, packaging and publishing markets. The second is Landa Labs, the third is Landa Ventures, which invests in promising technology companies in fields related to nanotechnology, imaging, printing and energy. Last is the Landa Fund, a philanthropic entity dedicated to the narrowing of socioeconomic gaps in society by enabling youth of “privileged minds and underprivileged means” to achieve higher education.
Benny Landa is the Chairman and CEO of Landa Corporation and continues to add to the portfolio of over 700 patents granted to him worldwide.
Photos courtesy of Landa Nanography