Following its busiest and most successful FESPA Digital exhibition to date, EFI reported that record high interest levels were seen across all of its digital platforms and integrated software solutions featured at the Hamburg event. Proving that diversity and production expectations cross all types and budgets of end user, from small entry-level businesses up to high-end production houses, all featured production machines generated record levels of attention.
"This year's FESPA Digital event was an exhilarating experience. EFI set new records for units sold at any FESPA event. In addition, we received more than 300 leads to keep our sales teams busy," said Paul Cripps, managing director of EFI EMEA. "Our exhibit had more new products than any vendor and showed wide-format and specialist production machines for all budgets and throughput requirements. We introduced the revolutionary VUTEk GS3250LX with LED "cool cure" technology, the versatile new roll-fed EFI VUTEk GS3250r 3.2m system and the enhanced VUTEk GS5000r UV roll-to-roll system. But in addition our new entry-level roll-to-roll 3.2m Rastek R3204, which has a price point of less than €100,000, ranked strongly in the visitor ratings, as did our UV-curable digital ink-jet label production printer, the Jetrion 4830.
Lastly, our latest textile printer, the VUTEk TX3250r drew crowds at the Hilord stand. This dye-sublimation printer is EFI's answer to the growing demand from users wanting the ability to print onto greener textile materials. "
Without a doubt the headline news of the Hamburg show was the European début of the VUTEk GS3250LX, which uses LED curing to increase the types of difficult substrates that can be printed direct with UV-curable inks. EFI's "cool cure" technology provides low cost production, instant on/off and no warm up times, with extremely long lamp life that offers years of consistent curing.
Nick Olson, owner of PVS In-Store Graphics, is already seeing the benefits of his new VUTEk GS3250LX. "We've been able to print on a much wider gamut of materials than ever before which is opening up new opportunities we couldn't pursue previously. With a much lower UV cure temperature, we have been able to use thinner styrene sheets at half the cost of what we previously had to order."
The GS3250LX offers users increased uptime, with the added advantage of essentially no VOCs and very low energy consumption. It also features a continuous board feature for colour consistent accuracy from sheet to sheet, and throughput speeds of up to 55 1.2m x 2.4m boards per hour. This feature is facilitated by the machine's precision media alignment fence for automated sheet positioning, plus the option to be used with the VUTEk MediaMaster hands-free loading and offloading system which enables multiple sheets to be printed simultaneously at maximum speed without operator intervention.
Also taking pride of place on the EFI stand was the new VUTEk GS3250r, designed for print service providers who need to produce high margin, closely viewed interior application on a platform which represents a modest investment and very low running costs.
EFI sees the VUTEk GS3250r 3.2m roll-fed printer as providing the catalyst for users of solvent-based machines who have not yet made the transition to UV-curable inks. This machine's high quality throughput speeds of up to 111 square m/hour, multi-queue capabilities and double-sided printing functionality all combine to outperform other ink technologies.
For superwide-format print companies, and users wanting optimum roll-fed versatility obtained from working with up to three rolls simultaneously for extremely fast throughput, EFI announced important enhancements to its VUTEK GS5000r 5m production platform. Now benefiting from an automated double-sided printing capability, this versatile machine now includes in-line white ink to increase its versatility and enable it to be used with non-white and clear materials.
The EFI Rastek R3204 also provides an excellent production unit for users wanting to transfer from solvent-based ink chemistries. This 3.2m roll-to-roll wide-format printer follows on from the company's successful flatbed UV-curable versions and offers the entry-level market sector a tough and reliable solution producing photographic quality onto coated and uncoated materials.
As well as running regular demonstrations on this diverse range of platforms, EFI also featured the Jetrion 4830 narrow-format digital ink-jet production printer for label printers and small-format signs and fliers. Launched earlier in the year, EFI's industrial 3.2m dye sublimation textile printer received high levels of attention on the Hilord stand. This company's inks are utilised in the VUTEk TX3250r for their rich and durable colours essential for direct and transfer printing onto polyester-based fabrics.
Because integrated workflow solutions are becoming increasingly important to print service providers of all sizes, EFI was also busy at FESPA Digital demonstrating its options designed to cover every requirement for business management and production control. The company's leading software RIP for wide-format, Fiery XF, was shown running the Jetrion 4830 as well as all the VUTEk and Rastek devices on the stand.
EFI's software products have been developed to enable print companies to run their businesses more efficiently, and these include Digital StoreFront for dual-purpose online web-to-print capabilities. This innovative product, along with Fiery XF, plus the company's management information systems for the wide-format sector, Pace and PrintFlow, were run in real-time on the VUTEk GS3250LX to show users the benefits of a truly integrated workflow and the benefits of JDF connectivity.