Digital packaging presses at drupa 2020

Shinwa Factory is first Komori Impremia NS40 beta customer

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Komori Impremia NS40 digital press. Photo: Komori

29-inch and 40-inch sheetfed digital presses are now market tested

Just before Diwali, we received the news of the Komori Impremia NS40 nanographic digital printing press being placed at Shinwa Factory in Saitama which is just north of Tokyo. Nanography as Landa has branded it, has taken a greater time to come to market than originally put forward by its inventor. And although both Landa and Komori have brought similar 40-inch 7-color extended gamut capable digital packaging presses to market first, Komori’s program is two years behind its’ collaborators. While one has not seen recent samples of either press, based on what we saw at drupa 2016, we can attribute Komori’s delay to its aiming at a higher level of reproduction quality.

As most of our readers are aware, Benny Landa launched ‘nanography’ with great fanfare at drupa 2012. There were two sells right from the start – that the development would lead to faster, better, and cheaper digital print – in other words, to compete with offset in all but long runs. The second sell was that ‘nano ink’ or smaller particles would lead to brighter colors and better or sharper details. The first press was to roll out in about two years.

The project has taken much longer. At drupa 2016, both Landa and Komori showed ‘working prototypes’ ostensibly running machines. By then, Benny Landa made it clear that the first presses to market would be for carton packaging and took deposits with a unique sales schema. Komori was more subdued, although the print samples it showed at drupa 2016 were to my view of much higher quality than on the Landa press at the show. Nevertheless, many well-known print ‘experts’ said that the Landa quality was ‘good enough,’ and a well-known German carton printer signed up for one of the first presses.

In the ensuing 43 months, the Landa S10 press has reached more than half a dozen beta sites and customers. It has sold a perfecting version of the S10 also. Although one has not yet seen the actual output, one is looking forward to examining its print quality at drupa 2020. Similarly, we hope to evaluate the color quality of the similar spec Komori Impremia NS40. 

Komori also manufactures and sells a B2+ sheetfed digital inkjet press, the Impremia IS29, built, in collaboration with Konica Minolta and similar to the KM1 sold by that company. Taking into account the Heidelberg Primefire 106 and other inkjet developments, packaging printers will have a choice of market-tested 29 and 40-sheetfed digital presses at drupa that they can purchase. However, the productivity of the Landa and Komori 40-inch extended color gamut digital presses running at 6,500 sheets an hour is bound to make an impact on the growing digital packaging segment. 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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