Landa Digital Printing, Benny Landa's nano-printing venture, plans to recruit dozens of employees in Israel, and to supply its first printers to its customers in 2015, sources inform "Globes." Six months ago, Landa Digital raised €100 million from German group Altana, which develops special chemical products, at a value estimated at over NIS 1 billion. Landa's company has developed a unique digital printing process with special ink composed of particles tens of nanometers in size (one nanometer is one billionth of a meter) that facilitates better printing quality and efficiency, aimed mainly at the commercial printing market.
The company displayed its product at professional exhibitions already in 2012, and obtained substantial orders. Altana's investment was designed to enable the company to expand its production infrastructure in preparation for marketing the machines to customers.
Not everything has gone smoothly for the company, however. In a post by Landa at the end of last week, he explained about the process, saying, "We had to re-engineer the product from top to bottom." In a talk with "Globes," he said, "We were under the radar for a long time, and were in contact with only a few close customers. When we sent our people to 120 customers to start working with them, we discovered that there were many things in the product they would prefer to be different.
"For example, they wanted package printers to be able to coat the package, while our plan was for them to do the coating separately… The machine we displayed at the exhibition weighed 10 tons. Today, our star is a 30-ton machine - and that's not just metal; that's 30 tons of technology," Landa says. "The customers were amazing - they waited patiently, and there were almost no cancellations."
Landa says that the process took a lot of time and cost more money than expected. Landa and Altana have invested over $250 million in the process to date. "Today, we have enough resources for all our goals," Landa declares. The next stage is setting up a global marketing and sales network, and Landa Digital Printing recently recruited Marc Schillemans, who has served in senior executive positions in printing industry, as VP sales for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Kobi Ulmer has been appointed VP field operations.
"In the next year, we'll hire sales and marketing personnel, and we're already hiring more engineering and production employees," Landa says. "Today, we have over 200 employees, and we'll hire dozens more."
"Globes": How is cooperation with Altana going?
Landa: "Wonderfully. It's an amazing partner, with a lot of synergy. We cooperate a lot, not just in things for now, but also in future applications."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 14, 2014
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