Nanography – the new buzz word in print technology

June 13, 2012

in Technology

Landa S10 PressAnyone that knows Xcaliba will already be aware of our belief that the HP Indigo press is the best digital press on the market, or at least was up until now.  Since selling Indigo to Hewlett Packard in 2000, it’s founder and inventor Benny Landa has been working on a new print technology that could change the face of print technology forever.  This technology is called Nanography and we’d like to give you a brief overview of what it means and how it works…

 

 At this year’s DRUPA (the print equivalent of the Olympics and the largest print machinery expo in the world), Landa launched their range of Nanography presses.    As the term ‘nano’ suggests, the basis of the technology comes down to the pigment particles within the ink being extremely small – measured in nanometers infact (1 nanometer = 1 millionth of a millimetre).   According to Benny Landa, at this particle size the pigments develop special properties producing a very pure colour and therefore less pigment is used.   The pigment particles are suspensed in water and the droplets are then ejected onto a heated blanket to create the image.  This image is dried on the blanket belt forming a thin polymeric layer, similar to a decal, and then transferred onto the substrate via pressure on an impression cylinder.

The environmental benefits against conventional and digital presses are that Nanography uses less energy (the blanket belt is only heated to 120C) and the water carrying the pigment particles is just normal tap water and can be re-processed back into the supply via mains sewage.  On the Indigo as with litho presses, the ink is made from pigment particles suspended in oil and even if the oil is vegetable-based (such as soya) then energy is still used in the oil processing.

Where the major breakthrough comes with Nanography is that is can be used on sheet-fed presses up-to B1 format (720 x 1020mm) AND the presses can run at up to 13000 sheets per hour, making it competitive against, and potentially a replacement for, offset litho presses.  There are reel-fed web press options and either format can print across a range of substrates, including paper and plastics.

The image quality is not quite there when compared to litho and HP Indigo quality but most industry experts believe that it is only a matter of 12 – 24 months before the ink-jet ejectors are able to put down an image quality that is considered suitable for commercial use.   Landa has already taken deposits for advance orders from several printing companies, which speaks for itself – printing companies are not known for throwing money around un-neccessarily.

Landa describes the benefits of Nanography as

  • Ultra-high speed digital printing
  • The industry’s broadest CMYK color gamut
  • Ultra sharp dots of extremely high uniformity
  • The ability to print on any ordinary untreated paper stock, coated or uncoated.
  • The ability to print on practically any plastic packaging film or label stock
  • Remarkable abrasion- and scratch-resistant images
  • The lowest cost digital printing in the industry
  • Low energy consumption and zero emissions

Even with taking the marketing spiele into consideration, it is a very exciting and another example of how print technology is developing to compete in the ever-changing commercial environment.  Please do take the time to look at the video clip below and we look forward to printing our first Xcaliba job on a Nanography press very soon.

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