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.