It is very much a work in progress rather than the finished article: an extension to seven-colour printing, increasing speed to 13,000sph or more and the addition of inspection control are still to come. But Graphic Bezalel founder and managing director Eyal Harpak is already thoroughly impressed.
"Our new Landa S10 will enable our customers to do things they’ve never done before. It allows a truly unique degree of production flexibility that will change the way that they manage their supply chains. For us, it is a genuinely groundbreaking and unsurpassed technology, taking our business into new areas of profitability. The Landa S10 is now the focal point of our folding carton operation, and we’re confident that it will be a huge success," he says.
"It has been here seven weeks and it is printing jobs for our customers. It is a perfect fit for our system. If you run a B1 machine at 13,000sph it’s almost as good as the new Komori. We don’t need to buy another press."
A number of jobs have been used commercially while customers like Carlsberg and Nestlé have said they are happy with the quality. The latter is also happy that the water based ink contains no substance that would rule out food packaging.
Carton production is the main initial market. Serial production of the single-sided machine will begin next year, ahead of beta sites for the duplexing version that will be targeted at commercial printers. Pricing for the B1 press starts at €3 million according to unconfirmed reports, with a monthly €10,000 service charge covering maintenance and replacement of the imaging belt. The beta phase will provide feedback about the life of this consumable, expected to need changing every two or three weeks.
The appeal is almost instant makeready, minimal wastage and being able to handle jobs with 5,000 sheets on average. With a standard litho press, job preparation will require plate production, start up waste and alert operators. Graphic Bezalel is also eyeing custom packaging, even production of personalised boxes.
The next customers will cover packaging, MPS, and point of sale, US printer Imaging. Beyond that, and assuming the beta phase goes as well, the rest of the world awaits.
Around 100 from different countries around the globe were present at the open house, representing all manner of printers. They heard founder Benny Landa relate his life story from a family owned pharmacy to the highest profile entrepreneur in Israel. He also laid down the challenge to the German press manufacturers, declaring that the Israeli press manufacturer was prepared to take the mantle of technology leader.
Selected printers from around the world were in Tel Aviv for a close up look at the Landa technology and the first beta site for the machine. It remains a work in progress, and many will continue to wait until remaining imperfections are ironed out.
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