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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.”



By Paul Gardner on Nov 02, 2013

So... what does this mean for Landa's partnership agreements with Heidelberg and Manroland?


By David Straub on Nov 03, 2013

Big mistake for Komori. It may lead to their ulimate demise.

Nanography and Landa are big pies in the sky.

Just look at the print that comes off from this process. Oh that's right, no one can touch it or view it up close.

Maybe Drupa year 2525.


By Stan Najmr on Nov 04, 2013

Based on this information it is difficult to imagine any impact of Landa's presses on actual print production in next 5-10 years.


By Paul Gardner on Nov 05, 2013


David, When is the last time you ASKED to see a sample?

Stan, Do you know the history of Indigo?


By David Straub on Nov 05, 2013

Paul, Please forward samples accordingly. There it has been asked.

As far as Drupa 2012, show goers were not allowed at all to touch or view any of the print samples off this machine.

It sounds like the technology has come a long way, eh?

Short run, low quality uncomplicated print is probably the best, as to where's it at.

I am a guy who likes quality printing. How is the quality today with nanography or better yet, does it even matter?


By Stan Najmr on Nov 05, 2013

Paul, I know what HP did for Indigo. In my own opinion they finished the product and delivered it into excited marketplace.


By Charles Gehman on Nov 05, 2013

I touched it!

And I think the Komori partnership is excellent for both parties.


By Paul Gardner on Nov 05, 2013

David, I don't work for Landa, but rather wanted to point out - as Chuck just did! - that samples are now being shown and shared. I think quality does matter, but in many categories, the standard for Good Quality is not what it once was.

Stan, Great Point! Based on that experience, Benny Landa's genius is in imagining and launching new technologies, not polishing them for deployment to a mass market.

Now is a great time to be a printer!


By Stan Najmr on Nov 05, 2013

Good point, Paul. I believe Heidelberg and KBA will have high quality products in the marketplace sooner than Landa.


By Greg Imhoff on Nov 05, 2013

I think the Landa & Komori inking of a deal is smart.

The rush to digital market dominance, will be decided by the company providing best in class imaging resolution, that works.


By Paul Gardner on Nov 08, 2013

Resolution may have been the game in 2008... Today there's WAY more to it than that.


By David Straub on Nov 08, 2013

It most likely will be successful for limited, lower end printing application work.
But even with the brightest minds and capital investment being utilized, the marketplace for nanography will remain quite small because of the lack of quality in print reproduction.
But again, with these efforts, it will have some place in the marketplace, albeit small, in comparison to all the printing down domesticaaly as well as globally. Many limitations are in it's pathway.


By Greg Imhoff on Nov 08, 2013

Paul if the image is good you are right. Right now the resolution is OK at ~ 1200 dpi vs. twice that in Offset, Flexo and other technologies. We may all agree Digital has evolved and is growing. How fast and or effectively may be in the why...


By Paul Gardner on Nov 08, 2013

Seems to me that high-speed web inkjet is already making a pretty big impact, primarily at 600 dpi.


By Greg Imhoff on Nov 08, 2013

Digital is always growing high speed Indigos were launched many years ago and always improving at least under Moore's Law. Improved resolution has been the challenge and is the route for greater market penetration. Stated another way better imaging resolution makes for better digital sales. Look at the public interest displayed to Landa this past DRUPA.


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