Nov 2, 2016
Look around the industry. What do you see? Offset presses. Digital printers. Wide format inkjet printers. Offset litho was discovered in 1900, but did not gain traction until the 1950s. Digital color printing was introduced in 1993. Wide format inkjet came in 1995. Walk into any plant; they may have all three.
It took a while for all three printing technologies to find their place in print production. All three were challenged by a status quo. Offset was once described as “only for quick and dirty printing.” Ironically, they said the same for digital color. The president of Xerox was quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying almost the same about inkjet printing (2004). Now Xerox is becoming a force in inkjet.
Yet, all three processes make money for printers. What will be the next big thing? The technology is already here. We just have to find markets for it.
Flatbed UV inkjet can print on any substrate—plastics, wood, glass, board, metal, ceramics, textiles, carpeting, and more. Commercial printers print on paper. Where is the market for printing on all those other substrates? Read more »
Jan 22, 2015
EFI Connect, EFI’s annual user conference is currently underway in Las Vegas. Over the years it has grown in size and importance, but has never been as big as this year. An estimated 1,500 attendees have taken three days out of their work schedule to meet and discuss trends in the industry and be educated on EFI and partner offerings. The conference has also attracted a record number of media and analysts; over 70 representatives from 17 countries came to Las Vegas; about 20 of them from Europe. This blog provides an update on some of the interesting happenings and identifies what InfoTrends sees as the biggest news at EFI Connect: the announcement of EFI’s Productivity Suite.
EFI CEO Guy Gecht talking to RR Donnelley CEO Thomas Quinlan III
EFI CEO Guy Gecht’s keynote is always an anticipated event Read more »
Dec 12, 2014
The Landa marketing machine had gone a little quiet recently. No word from them at Graph Expo or All in Print China. It wasn’t like them to be so reserved but that all changed this week with a media push that included a video showing their progress with their B1-format cut-sheet digital color printer; a blog by Benny Landa; a couple of quotes from printers who were shown samples (see more on this below); and a few other things such as the announcement of two new hires, a partnership with AVT, and an award to Benny Landa (the Ernst & Young Israeli Entrepreneur of the Year).
Landa said that it will be starting beta tests sometime in 2015 after potential beta customers visit the Landa headquarters in Israel in March. It seems likely that Landa should have a market-ready product Read more »
Jul 11, 2014
Digital print technology start-up Landa made a splash recently with its news of a $130 million investment in it by Altana Chemical (Germany), in the process becoming a minority owner of the Israeli company. In an interview Â with InfoTrends recently, Benny Landa, founder and head of his namesake company, explained that the Altana investment is about more than money and ownership–Altana is a strategic partner, contributing to Landa’s mission in terms of materials science, marketing, and global supply chain. Some points:
Read more »
Mar 27, 2014
My first IPEX was in 1971. I was the marcom manager and in charge of the Compugraphic exhibit. The show was at Olympia and Earl’s Court. I will always remember (until senility sets in) entering the Victorian glass-domed Olympia and seeing the vast array of new printing technology. Phototypesetting was just coming into widespread use. I was in awe. Read more »
Jan 22, 2014
Big news from the EFI Connect show in Las Vegas: EFI and Landa have formed a strategic relationship to use Fiery technology as Digital Front-End/RIP for Landa’s digital presses; both for the continuous feed and cut-sheet devices. From the moment Landa showed its new presses for the first time at drupa 2012, there has always been much speculation about who Landa would choose as a DFE partner and what RIP technology would be suitable enough to drive digital presses that can run 12,000 B1 sheets per hour at 1200 DPI.
Guy Gecht and Benny Landa - who paid an unexpected visit - announcing a strategic partnership at EFI Connect 2014
Read more »
Nov 1, 2013
In a further sign that Landa is moving closer to beta testing and production, today Landa and Komori announced that the companies have extended their alliance through a formal licensing agreement. In addition, Landa has ordered production units of the Komori sheet-fed platform for use in the Landa S10, which is going into beta testing early next year and is expected to be delivered to customers in the fourth quarter of 2014. Landa added that it would be using Komori’s sheet-fed platforms for all of its sheet-fed Nanographic printers.
Yoshiharu Komori and Benny Landa
Landa said that since drupa its engineers have been evaluating proposals from European and Asian sheet-fed press vendors. Landa signed partnership agreements with three companies at drupa: Heidelberg, Komori, and manroland’s sheet-fed division. While other sheet-fed platform providers may have been considered in addition to these three, today’s announcement confirms that Komori has come out on top. Komori surely had an edge going into the evaluation process since it provided the sheet-fed platforms for the Landa devices shown at drupa.
Read more »
Sep 23, 2013
Today Landa Digital Printing announced design adjustments to the Landa S10FC and S10C while also noting that the S10FC would enter beta testing in the fourth quarter of 2014 while the S10C beta would begin beta in the first half of 2015). The most visible design adjustment is a shifting of the large touch-screen user interface to the backend of the device.
Landa S10C with the operator cockpit at the left by the delivery; to the far right, the print engine and feed unit
Note: The Landa S10FC is the folding carton version and the Landa S10C is for commercial and publishing printing. Both devices are capable of producing 6,500 four-color B1-format sheets per hour with a maximum paper size of 29.5 by 41 inches (750 by 1050 centimeters). The S10C is also duplex capable and has a rated speed of 3,250 sheets per hour when printing on both sides.
Read more »
Jan 16, 2013
Benny Landa was at EFI’s Connect event in Las Vegas this week and as part of a fireside chat with Guy Gecht and a separate meeting with the trade press and industry analysts he provided a status update.
- Market progress — Landa reported that his company had signed 430 letters of intent (LOI), a significant portion of them coming with deposits. These LOIs were from all over the world, including quite a number from Asia Pacific. He noted that the company was on track with product development and expected to have its first product in beta testing at the end of 2013. This will be the Landa S10 cut-sheet, B1-format device, which Landa said was the most popular configuration. Landa also said that the platform’s print resolution has been increased from 600 to 1,200 dots per inch. Read more »
Jul 9, 2012
A couple of months before drupa 2012, an article appeared in the Israeli press about Benny Landa and Landa Corporation. Given that it was in Hebrew, and only later appeared in English translation, I published a blog with some of the key points from the article.Â Now another Israeli publication, The Marker, has written about Landa. This time I don’t believe it exists in an English version but I have received a translation from Lior Meron, InfoTrends’ Asia Pacific director, who is in touch with the Landa team. The article (here’s the link if you can read Hebrew) is entitled “Benny Landa’s Printing Revolution” andÂ includes a number of interesting details, whichÂ I list below:
- Benny Landa reports that his company signed hundreds ofÂ letters of intentÂ at 10,000 Euros per machine. He says that if they had had more sales people they would have signed even more.
- The prices for the various configurations range fromÂ $1 to $3 million.
- The configuration that garnered the most interest was the S10 (the B1-format cut-sheet model) but he notes that the letters of intent were evenly split between the cut-sheet and the roll-fed offerings.
- Landa: “The first press will be ready to go out to the market at the end of 2013.”
- Landa: “The ink is the fuel of the presses. Every press, within its firstÂ five years, produces ink sales that represent fifteen times its value.”
- It has been five years since Landa started working on developing the nano-pigment technology and adapting it to digital print heads.
- There are more than 200 employeesÂ at Landa Labs; 150 of them are in development and 50 are in the alternative energy field (some of them do both).
- Marker magazine estimates that Landa’s investedÂ between $150 and $250 millionÂ of his personal fortune to fund the development. (Note: It is fairly safe to assume that Landa will use the positive response from the many letters of intent to drive interest in external funding from investors.)
- Landa: “It’s obvious that one day there will be no print other than packaging…If your business is packaging then your future is bright, but in 200 years, people won’t be communicating through ground-up trees.
- Landa will soon establish an ink production facility in Israel and then later will add more sites elsewhere. Landa also expects to have an overseas product assembly site where the work will mostly be done through subcontractors.
- Landa acknowledges that what he wants to achieve cannot be done in a timely fashion with 200 engineers and that is why he isÂ working with a number of industry partners. (Note: Heidelberg, Komori, and manroland have all signed partnerships with Landa.)
- Landa: “When people ask me what they should do until they receive our presses, I suggest that they buy an Indigo.”
This last point is an important one since with all of the digital announcements from drupa, particularly those related to cut-sheet B2-format digital printers, I’m sure that many print service providers will consider delaying purchases until some of theseÂ technology demonstrations become available as releasedÂ products. I think this would be a mistake. A3- and B2-format digital printers are available today to meet market demand for short run, quick turnaround, targeted, and/or personalized jobs. It would be tempting to wait, and it’s certainly true that some long-hoped for capabilities are on the horizon, but it would be unfortunate if print service providers ignored today’s products and opportunities.
Landa Corporation is in a growth phase and is building an infrastructure to support administrative, business development,Â sales, and other infrastructure. When asked in the article whether he is hiring HP Indigo employees, Landa responded, “We have never turned to an Indigo employee and asked him to come work for us, and we won’t do so in the future. In the few cases that Indigo employees have come to me, I didn’t take them quickly. First we sent them back to HP to see if they could solve their issues. If they could, they stayed there.”
The next opportunity for the public to see the Landa offerings will be China Print in 2013 (May 14-18, 2013). This will be an excellent opportunity for the company to bring their message of high speed, low running cost, and strong print quality to the world. It will also give Landa an opportunity to update the market on the progress it has made. A key factor will be showing an improvement in print quality over what was displayed at drupa.