Bluetreee Group has announced its order for a second Landa S10P perfecting B1 digital press for its South Yorkshire site as the Israeli manufacturer revealed that it now has 50 units installed and running around the world, including six second purchases, and anticipates reaching 100 ‘quite soon’.

James Kinsella, co-CEO of Bluetree, noted that the group had installed the first perfecting Landa press in Europe in 2019 to bridge the gap between litho and digital print and had been using it for stitched and perfect-bound books. Since the 2021 acquisition of high quality book printer Kingsbury Press, the books business has been growing steadily and the plan is to use the new S10P, which will be a seven-colour model, to move more high-end book work to digital. The additional colour gamut of the new press will support both photographic reproduction and enable a move away from the use of spot colours in analogue print.

Mr Kinsella explained that Bluetree’s typical workload runs to some 125,000 jobs a week, ranging from 50 to 5000 copies and noted that the Landa presses will print on the same stocks and sizes as the litho ones, and therefore feed into the same finishing lines – Horizon for stitched booklets and Kolbus for book blocks to be perfect bound. ‘The area that the Landa is making the biggest impact is in booklet work, perfect bound books for example are printed as blocks and then run through our Kolbus KM600. The Landa has enabled much faster turnarounds as well as opening a wider range of materials that traditionally were only available on litho quantities,’ he said.

Bluetree’s second S10P, which will feature double delivery for improved operational efficiency, is scheduled to be installed early in 2024.

Landa executives also revealed further customer details including Model, a Swiss carton and corrugated converter, Bob Jones University of South Carolina in the USA and Wirtz Druck, a 135 year-old German direct mail specialist. Mark Schmidt, managing director of Wirtz, described the S10P as ‘a game-changer’ and said that the company would be transitioning work done under its MailingLiebe brand from mixed litho and digital print to fully digital on the Landa. Installation is currently underway with production planned to begin early in 2024.

Another customer with working experience of a Landa press is Jim Singer of Brodnax 21C Printers, a Dallas, Texas, USA-based commercial printer that has had its S10P in production for around two months and is using it to produce high quality books, 650,000-run direct mail campaigns and a ‘whole spectrum’ of print, including some jobs that were previously done on wide-format equipment. The Landa press here is also a seven-colour model whose colour Mr Singer described as ‘stunning’, saying that he had secured interest from a prospective new client based on the ability to reproduce a specific shade of blue that CMYK-only digital presses could not match. Mr Singer also praised the smoothness of the installation process and quality of Landa’s support.

In terms of Landa’s growth plans, Sharon Cohen, chief business officer, said that three years ago there were only 11 units installed but that number had grown quickly to 50, particularly in the last year. New CEO Gil Oren revealed that a third unnamed investor had joined Benny Landa and Susanne Klatten and that following significant growth in 2023, ‘We are expecting another big leap in 2024’, with the 100th sale expected to be achieved ‘quite soon’.