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I have been to a number of very memorable Drupa exhibitions. I was here for the first time in 1982, when at the height of the Falklands war the international printing industry congregated in Germany. I remember being cold-shouldered by the Latin Americans and Spanish as the war raged and the Belgrano and HMS Sheffield were sunk. Drupa1982 was also the start of the digital phototypesetting revolution with products from AM and Scantext – whatever happened to them? It was also my first visit to an Argentine steak house, something I considered very daring, given the war!
Dry film technology introduced by both Xerox and Polaroid was my main memory from Drupa 1995. It was the must see revolutionary product, doing away as it did with film processors and chemistry, and I also remember being amazed that there we around fifty manufacturers showing computer to plate systems and thinking that there would not be space in the market place for all of them.
Drupa 2000 for me was all about true digital production colour printing. It was christened the “digital Drupa” with the launch of the Xerox iGen3 digital press, and this was the show that convinced me that digital printing was fast becoming a mainstream technology.
My memory of the last Drupa show in 2008 was that digital printing was the dominant theme. HP had by then bought Indigo and with Xerox again in force, for the first time there was more floor space dedicated to digital rather than to traditional analogue printing.
My retirement from the Danwood Group this year should have meant that I had attended my last Drupa. However, by the time you read this, I will be gone – to Drupa 2012 in Dusseldorf, and once again preparing for the start of yet another global printing industry exhibition. Only this time I am in Germany again for the launch of what I believe will be one of the most exciting developments in the history of printing technology – Benny Landa’s Nanography.
Having had a glimpse of what he was launching, my retirement plans were put on hold and as such I am joining the Landa Digital Printing team at Drupa 2012 to help launch the product range to visitors to the show from the UK and Ireland. Landa sold his Indigo business in 2002 to HP and went back to Israel to set up Landa Labs, an R&D operation that has spawned a number of exciting new products using “Nano” technology. NanoInk is at the heart of the Nanography technology, with pigment particles a fraction the size of a human hair, using an ink layer half the thickness of conventional lithography, with the associated cost savings. The quality of the images needs to be seen to be believed and is comparable to the image enhancement made by an HD television, coupled with the widest reproducible colour gamut of any printing process.
There will be a family of 8-colour perfecting Nanographic presses on display at the show printing at up to 11,000 pages per minute in sizes from B3 to B1 in both cut sheet and web formats. Benny will be delivering his presentation “Nano. Bigger than you think” several times a day, every day, in the specially constructed 300 seat theatre in the centre of the Landa stand, and the organisers are expecting demand for these seats to be very high indeed.
I was at Ipex in 1993 when he launched the Indigo E-print 1000 and I know what a show he put on and what a stir he caused, and this time around, with his reputation secured following the success of Indigo and the sale of the business to HP, you can be sure that Benny is bound to wow the audience again.
It’s going to be a fantastic show. Come and see it for yourself.
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