Landa and Komori Strengthen Strategic Relationship (Added Commentary by Cary Sherburne)
Monday, November 04, 2013
Press release from the issuing company
Landa Selects Komori Platforms for all Sheetfed Nanographic Printing™ Presses – Orders Production Units
Landa Corporation and Komori Corporation today announced the strengthening of their strategic relationship. The companies had collaborated during Landa’s development of Nanography™, with Komori providing sheetfed platforms for Landa’s launch of Nanographic Printing™ at Drupa 2012. The companies have now formalized their long-term strategic alliance by entering into multi-faceted agreements in which Komori will be the global supplier of all sheetfed Landa Nanographic Printing Press platforms to Landa and Landa will provide Komori with Nanographic Printing technology and Landa NanoInk™ Colorants for incorporation into Komori-branded Nanographic Printing presses.
Komori Selected to Provide State-of-the-Art Customized Platforms for all Landa Sheetfed Presses
Since Drupa, Landa engineers have been evaluating proposals from the industry’s leading press vendors, both European and Asian, for the supply of sheetfed platforms for Landa Nanographic Printing™ Presses. In making its assessment, Landa took into account the caliber of engineering, robustness of design, automation, reliability and cost effectiveness. The vendor’s culture of innovation, technical resources, commercial success and financial stability were also important criteria. The conclusion of this year-long pursuit left no doubt: Komori is in a class of its own and the clear partner of choice for Landa. The outcome led Landa to place orders with Komori for sheetfed platforms for Landa’s S10 Nanographic Printing Presses, which will start to be delivered to customers in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Komori and Landa Formalize License Agreement
Following a lengthy technology diligence period, during which Komori scientists and engineers studied, evaluated and tested Landa Nanographic™ Printing technology, Komori concluded that Nanography™ has the potential to deliver on its promise of matching the quality and speed of offset printing at the lowest cost per page in the digital printing industry. Komori therefore formalized its license agreement with Landa, cementing the long-term strategic alliance between the companies.
Landa Founder, Chairman and CEO Benny Landa says, “Since we first started our collaboration with Komori, we have been deeply impressed by the company, its people and its culture. Komori is an outstanding partner for Landa, bringing an extremely high caliber of engineering expertise, second-to-none quality and performance, together with a fervent commitment and willingness to invest in the future. It is gratifying to have as our strategic partner the one global press vendor that continues to thrive despite the challenges faced by the industry.”
Yoshiharu Komori, Komori President, Chairman and CEO, says, “It is a great honor to be able to cooperate with Landa in bringing Nanography to market. Our teams have been closely monitoring Landa’s development and have been amazed with the progress made so far, which exceeds our expectations. We believe that the impact of Benny Landa’s new invention, Nanography—with the Komori platform—will have a far greater impact even than his introduction of the first digital printing press.“
Commentary by Cary Sherburne (Added 11/4/13)
After receiving the Landa/Komori press release early on Friday, I had an opportunity to speak with both Benny Landa and representatives from Komori: Kosh Miyao, President and COO of Komori America, and Susan Baines, Director of Marketing.
Both indicated that the companies have been working together for the past five years, and the first result we saw was the show Landa put on at drupa. Following drupa, as the development process continued, Landa wanted to select one partner as the source for its sheetfed platforms, and after evaluating options, selected Komori.
He said, “There are certain requirements that must be met by licensees for our technology. We grant licenses in phases and there are requirements that must be met by the licensee, also in phases. The first one to meet all of those requirements was Komori. Others will follow.”
By others, he is likely referring to Heidelberg, man roland and KBA, all of whom announced partnerships at or following drupa. The difference for Komori is that the company will both be providing all sheetfed platforms to Landa and making its own branded presses using Landa nanographic technology. Landa added, “Komori must be doing something right; its stock price has quadrupled in the last 10 months.” A check of stock market records shows Komori with a 52-week low of ¥433, and as of this writing a current price of ¥1,539. That is impressive.
Landa also stated, “Komori has the unique combination of vision and the courage to invest in that vision.”
From the Komori side, Miyao said, “We are not sitting still. We have to continue to evolve ourselves, and we need to support the printing industry as we do so, not only sheetfed presses but anything to do with printing in the future. That is Komori’s vision, and we all follow that vision.”
Miyao indicated that Komori will continue parallel development of both the Landa presses and its Impremia line of web-fed inkjet presses being developed in conjunction with long-time partner Konica Minolta. In terms of availability for the Landa-enabled Komori-branded presses, he stated, “We expect our schedule to be similar to Landa’s, toward the end of 2014. But we don’t have any specific dates yet for beta or product launch.” He did indicate that Komori has been having conversations with customers on the topic.
On the subject of vision and innovation, Baines added, “Japanese companies are always thinking ahead; you can see that across all industries, including automotive, electronics and printing. I think we are looking at the next chapter. Komori has been working on this digital product line for years. It is impressive to us that we are as far down the path as we are.”
As far as any cultural shifts this might involve at Komori, Baines said, “This really plays into what Mr. Komori said at our Print13 press conference. We are in a rebirth stage as a company. The Landa agreement is one more arrow in the quiver for us moving forward. This is an exciting time for Komori and we are looking forward to what’s on the horizon.”
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