Has digital printing FINALLY caught up with lithographic printing?

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Solopress.com take a look at Landa’s revolutionary nanography printing technology, plus all the other exciting new print machinery from the likes of Xerox, HP and Heidelberg at Drupa 2012…

Drupa (www.drupa.com), held once every four years, is the world’s biggest and most important exhibition for the printing industry. Around 1,850 exhibitors from more than 50 countries have descended upon Dusseldorf in Germany for the prestigious Drupa 2012 event this week. It’s here that the latest advancements in commercial digital and lithographic printing are being revealed to the world today.

Here are just a few of our favourite printing gizmos from this year’s show. Keep checking back to this blog over the next few days – as we’ll be adding all the new digital, litho and print finishing equipment once we’ve seen it demonstrated to us by the manufacturers themselves. The Solopress team will also be posting up our own photos from the Drupa 2012 show floor – after we’ve got back from a refreshing drink or two in the beer hall!

Landa

Landa (www.landanano.com) kicked off Drupa 2012 in plenty of style, with the unveiling of their groundbreaking nanographic digital printing presses. This hot technology promises to revolutionise the very core of printing – applying ink to paper in a new way. Landa claim their machinery has all the benefits of digital printing, complimented by speeds that are comparable to a lithographic offset press. Better still, as any images using the water-based NanoInk are already dry as soon as they’ve been printed, the print finishing processes can begin immediately. In other words, Landa say they’ve finally achieved what has so far been the impossible dream of commercial printers the world over.

The top-of-the-range Landa S10 Nanographic B1 Digital Printing Press is capable of printing up to 13,000 single- or double-sided sheets of paper per hour – on any standard stock type, coated or uncoated, from 60gsm to 400gsm in thickness. Each of Landa’s three sheetfed presses can print in up to eight colours – with the option to use spot and specialty colours too. The company also offers three web presses.

“Landa Nanographic Printing Presses are intended not to replace offset printing, but to complement it. For the foreseeable future, offset printing will continue to be the preferred method for producing run lengths of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands,” says Benny Landa, the firm’s founder and CEO. “But the market is demanding shorter and shorter run lengths – and that’s where Nanography comes in – to enable print service providers to produce those short to medium run lengths economically – at offset speeds.”

In case you think this just may be a belated April Fools joke by us pranksters at Solopress, Benny Landa originally founded Indigo back in 1977, a company now completely owned by Hewlett Packard and better known as HP Indigo. Landa is widely regarded as the father of commerical digital colour printing – could nanography be his crowning achievement?

Benny Landa and the S10 Nanographic B1 Digital Printing Press

Landa S10 Nanographic B1 Digital Printing Press cutaway view

Landa Nanographic print samples at Drupa 2012

Heidelberg

Heidelberg (www.drupa.heidelberg.com) announced a new alliance with Landa on the eve of Drupa 2012, whereby both companies have agreed to collaborate on the development of nanographic digital printing presses. In words that ring so true to Solopress.com, Heidelberg CEO Bernhard Schreier commented: “We are keenly aware of our customers’ need for high volume production, cost effective printing of short runs, and quick turnaround times. And it is those same needs that led us to embrace Landa Nanography for a new generation of digital presses for commercial printing. The fact is, our customers need both offset and digital.”

With 90% less paper waste and 50% shorter make ready times, Heidelberg’s world premiere of the Speedmaster XL 75 with Anicolor inking unit technology was equally well received news for any commercial printers visiting Drupa. As you probably already know, paper is the biggest factor in a print firm’s carbon footprint, so anything that minimises paper waste is great for the planet AND the balance sheet! We’ll even forgive the American spelling of colour this time, as this new Heidelberg press also features a 50% increase in productivity over conventional offset printing. Boasting print speeds of up to 15,000 sheets per hour, the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor will go on-sale at end of 2013.

Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 litho offset printing press at Drupa 2012

Xerox

Xerox (www.xerox.co.uk/digital-printing/drupa/engb.html) had their own show stoppers in form of a special performance by Cirque du Soleil and the new iGen 150 Press. Solopress are already big fans of Xerox digital printing technology, so we were very eager to get our hands on Xerox’s newest digital cut-sheet colour press.

Providing the colour, sharp quality and consistency that a modern commercial printer – and our customers – demand, the iGen 150 sports a new higher resolution imaging system (2400 x 2400 dpi), with an increased print speed of up to 150 pages per minute. Flexibility is another key feature for any print shop looking to purchase a new digital printing press. Needless to say, the latest iGen can handle a full range of different paper stocks – including textured and heavy cover weight papers. The Xerox iGen 150 Press will be available to order from next month, costing a cool $722,000 in the USA for its base configuration.

Xerox iGen 150 digital printing press at Drupa 2012

HP

HP (www.hp.com/go/drupa) may have a weird web address for their Drupa 2012 landing page, click the link on the left to see what we mean, but this didn’t stop the company from demonstrating their first full colour HP Inkjet Web Press operating at an increased speed of 244m per minute – that’s an impressive 33% quicker than existing models. Despite having the second largest booth at Drupa, HP had already announced 10 of their new digital printing systems back in March.

If you would like to see a quick demo of how a modern digital printing press works, HP have uploaded this great promo video showing the new HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press in action. Please note: you will need Adobe Flash installed to watch it.

HP Indigo 10000 digital printing press at Drupa 2012

Solopress at Drupa 2012

Aron calmly prepares for the Drupa 2012 show
Aron calmly prepares for all the Drupa show schmoozing ahead of him…
Adam takes an arty photo of his Drupa 2012 trade visitor badge
Adam takes an ‘arty’ shot of his Drupa 2012 trade visitor badge… or e-mails us the wrong photo by mistake!

A selection of Solopress photos from the Drupa 2012 show floor

Fischer's Hell scores 82 for style at Ratebeer.com
What the hell, let’s try the local lager while we are here!

Green printing is important to Solopress and the rest of Drupa
Green printing is important to Solopress and the rest of Drupa!

Mars bar with almonds at Drupa 2012
Washed down with a Euro Mars bar featuring almonds!
Looks like the Solopress boys have had a busy day at Drupa 2012
Looks like the Solopress boys have had a busy day at Drupa 2012! Or a German beer festival…?

Essential Drupa 2012 Twitter Feeds

Official Drupa 2012 http://twitter.com/drupa2012 – also look out for the #drupa and #drupa2012 hashtags
Print Monthly http://twitter.com/PrintMonthly
PrintWeek http://twitter.com/printweek
Heidelberg http://twitter.com/Heideldruck
HP http://twitter.com/hpgraphicarts
Landa http://twitter.com/landanano
Xerox http://twitter.com/XeroxProduction

You may also be interested in these Solopress.com blog articles about printing:

5 reasons why Solopress love digital print

Glossary of printing terms

Have Your Say

So what’s your pick of the best printing hardware and software being shown at Drupa 2012? Please scroll down this page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below and post your comments (you can also comment via the Facebook box)… 

2 COMMENTS

  1. I am a visual artist, and I did a search online to get the difference between Digital Printing and Lithograph Printing. I was brought to your website, which described to me the differences. Thank you!

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