Is Nanotechnology set to go big at Drupa 2016?

One thing is certain about the upcoming Drupa show in Dusseldorf: you can expect a high level of excitement around Landa. The firm is the brainchild of Benny Landa – the ‘father of digital printing’ and a man described as the print industry’s Steve Jobs by Print Week. If Landa is printing’s Jobs, then Drupa could be the equivalent of his iPhone launch.

2012 caught the imagination

The level of interest around Landa stems from what happened at the last Drupa event in 2012. In the words of Pro Print: “Benny Landa electrified an otherwise workaday Drupa with a dazzling presentation on something he called Nano technology, which he said would deliver offset quality at offset speed – but with the digital benefits of no plates, no make-ready, no waste, and the ability to print variable data.”

Having dropped that bombshell, his company has set about getting the technology ready for the market ever since. As Pro Print says, now is the ‘moment of truth’.

Benny Landa has form for wowing the crowds

You wouldn’t bet against Benny Landa either since he has form for wowing the crowds. In particular, his revolutionary intervention at the IPEX show in Birmingham in 1993 is the stuff of legend.

At that event he turned heads by unveiling the Indigo E-Print 1000 – the world’s first digital offset color printing press. In Dusseldorf, he wants to repeat the trick with nanotechnology.

How Landa’s big invention works

One of the beauties of Nanotechnology, is that it could well settle a long-running dilemma. Instead of having to choose between the versatility of digital printing and the speed and quality of offset – this method promises to provide both qualities in one.

As Landa himself told Print Week: “The crucial difference is that all processes where wet ink contacts paper suffer from the same problems. Water wicks along the paper fibres and it’s very, very difficult to dry it with so much water in the paper. Therefore, inkjet is limited. It’s either high-speed or high area coverage, but not both. 

“The fact that there is no ink-paper interaction is the fundamental difference with Nanography. No matter what you transfer to you get an identical image.”

It’s this difference that makes Landa’s offering so exciting – and likely to attract attention from commercial and packaging printers when Drupa 2016 begins on May 31.

What Landa has planned for Drupa

Landa has prepared for this moment, ordering double the floor space for Drupa 2016 compared to four years ago. It has also whetted the appetite with a teaser video on its website.

It will put on five 30-minute theatre presentations a day and arcade to showcase its inventions, with demonstrations to run on the S10, S10P and W10 Nanographic Printing Presses. On top of that, the Landa L50 Nano-Metallography Module will be used to print metallized labels on a conventional narrow web press.

The level of excitement – fuelled by the announcement of 2012 and Benny Landa’s track record – means that all eyes will be on Landa from May 31 to June 10 at Messe Düsseldorf. There’s every suggestion that Landa could well live up to the hype and that Drupa could be the moment that Nanotechnology goes big.