On 23 October 2019, Komori announced that Shinwa Factory in Saitama is the first beta site customer for its Impremia NS40 digital printing press. A printing and packaging company with an annual sales revenue of 3.2 billion yen (approximately 27.5 million Euros or Rs 209 crore), Shinwa Factory provides across-the-board services from designing creative packaging, displays, and sales promotion material to high volumes of printing, processing, and delivery. The company offers a quality-controlled one-stop shop for a diverse range of print products.
Komori’s Landa Nanography press
Shown as a prototype at Komori’s drupa 2016 stand, the Impremia NS40 is slated for a sales launch at drupa 2020. The 40-inch sheetfed Nanographic Printing System uses Nanography technology licensed from Landa. Komori says the press was developed by incorporating the know-how and technology that it has cultivated over the years in its offset press manufacturing business.
Landa started beta testing the similarly specified 40-inch S10 digital press more than two years ago. With half a dozen installations in Israel, Europe, and North America, it recently sold an S10 to a Latin American packaging printer as well. The 35-ton S10 is built using a chassis and paper movement from Komori.
The Komori Impremia NS40 and the Landa S10 have virtually the same specifications in terms of resolution, size, speed, and the paper and board thickness that they can handle. Komori describes the new press as powered by both Landa’s Nanography and Komori’s offset technology.
The Impremia NS40 has a printing speed of 6,500 sheets per hour and a true resolution of 1,200 dots per inch (dpi). It can print with 4 to 7-colors, with UV, LED, or aqueous-based inline coating and at Komori’s quality level. The press can handle paper sizes up to 750 x 1050mm, with a thickness of 0.06 mm to 0.8 mm, and can print on a wide range of offset paper without any special pre-processing.
Short runs and color match without manual checking
Representative director Yasunari Yamazaki of Shinwa Factory, said, “I am extremely grateful that Komori chose us to conduct the field testing for the Impremia NS40. We had two specific requests, and when Komori assured us that the press would meet these requirements, we decided to embrace the new Impremia NS40. One of our requests was the support for small lot production of packages. About 40% of jobs of the total volume of packaging that we manufacture are of 2,000 sheets or less, and there is a limit to one day’s production (in terms of setup and efficiency). We can expect that the production volume of the Impremia NS40, with a print speed of 6,500 sheets per hour and an extremely short changeover time, will far exceed our current offset printing capabilities.
“The other request was to reduce manual steps and fail [rejection] costs during the production of signs and displays, which is our main business. Although proofing is currently standard, the colors often do not line up, which wastes much time. With the Impremia NS40, there is almost no ‘blurring’ of the proof and mass production colors, so we can confidently provide printed items that meet our customers’ expectations without manual checking.
“Even when there is a longer-run production, we will perform color matching of digital and offset color tones as much as possible and aim for a situation in which hands-on print checking is not necessary,” said Yamazaki. “There are many other advantages such as the press is easy to operate, while thin paper also can be printed in-house without variations in color even with additional surface treatments after printing.”
Yamazaki continued, “Moving forward with the Impremia NS40, we expect new business opportunities will be created. While not out in the field selling, designers and planners, too, are looking forward to sharing its capabilities with customers. With its limitless possibilities, we are excited to get the Impremia NS40 up and running so we can start providing new solutions to our customers.”
President and CEO of Komori, Satoshi Mochida, said, “I would like to thank representative director Yasunari Yamazaki for partnering with Komori. Shinwa Factory is an integrated manufacturer that performs every step in the creation process from the design to production and delivery of creative and high-quality packaging, displays, and sales promotion material. It has built a one-stop system, ideal for the intensive field testing of the Impremia NS40. The Impremia NS40 is a digital printing press powered by Landa Nanography in conjunction with Komori offset technology. Not only does this 40-inch sheetfed nanographic printing system achieve a level of quality and high productivity that was previously unheard of, but it also brings to life gloss and luster on applications, which is the feature of NanoInk, as well as the texture that the printing paper possesses. The press can also print minutely detailed expressions accurately.
“The partnership with Shinwa Factory symbolizes the last milestone before sales and mass production. By integrating Shinwa’s know-how and proprietary technology into the extensive field test, we can maximize the quality output and efficiency of the Impremia NS40. Moreover, Komori plans to launch the general availability of Impremia NS40 at drupa 2020,” continued Mochida.
Our view – digital packaging presses at drupa 2020
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, 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.