EFI premiered the world’s most versatile five-meter printer – the new EFI VUTEk GS5500LXr Pro with 7pL grayscale UltraDrop Technology – at the 2014 Shanghai Ad and Sign Technology and Equipment Exhibition. The new roll-to-roll inkjet product is part of an exhibit offering the industry’s most significant digital portfolio for greener, more-efficient signage printing with “cool cure” LED inkjet technologies.
EFI products making their regional debut at the show include:
- Two new options for the 3.2m, high-volume EFI VUTEk HS100 Pro UV inkjet press: fully automated material loading and unloading systems and a Material Edge Guide for printing corrugated board and other challenging substrates.
- The company’s first entry-level LED product, the 1.65m EFI H1625 LED hybrid roll/flatbed printer.
- The EFI VUTEk GS2000LX Pro hybrid printer, a 2m LED product being shown with new UltraDrop Technology.
- Version 6 of the EFI Fiery proServer, a product that can process complex vector data up to ten times faster than competitive systems.
Unmatched flexibility in high-quality, roll-to-roll graphics imaging
The VUTEk GS5500LXr Pro printer being unveiled at the Shanghai Ad and Sign exhibition delivers extraordinary performance in high-thr oughput work requiring precise imaging, thanks to its innovative LED imaging platform and EFI’s new 7pL greyscale UltraDrop Technology and new, highly flexible ink.
“UltraDrop Technology provides an important new competitive advantage,” said Scott Schinlever, senior vice president and general manager, EFI Inkjet Solutions. “With UltraDrop and LED on the new VUTEk GS5500LXr Pro printer, we have eliminated barriers businesses face producing greener, high-volume and high-quality roll-to-roll graphics. We are delighted to make the worldwide introduction of this revolutionary product this week in China among the many other innovative products we are presenting in Shanghai to fuel our customers’ success with increased productivity, high quality, reduced waste and more-profitable printing."
China-based Baicheng Group has signed to become one of the first companies in the world to install the new EFI VUTEk GS5500LXr Pro printer.
“We began our partnership with EFI in 2010 when we invested in our first VUTEk GS5000r, which gave us the capacity to grow our business, so much so that to date we have five GS5000r printers installed,” said Mr. Luan Yue Sheng, Chairman of Baicheng Group. “Recently we have extended our capabilities by installing four EFI GS3250LX LED devices. We are extremely excited about the development of the new five-meter roll-to-roll printer with LED imaging platform and 7pL greyscale UltraDrop technology. The introduction of the VUTEk GS5500LXr Pro will be unmatched in the market and will certainly allow us to set the pace for future growth.”
UltraDrop Technology employs native 7pL print heads with true multi-drop addressability in each dot position, giving high apparent resolution and high-definition quality with four-level grayscale and two ink density levels. The new technology also produces outstanding smoothness in shadows, gradients and transitions, as well as superb text quality with four-point text in both standard and knockout with fewer, stray “satellite” droplets and more clarity in all print modes.
The printer’s LED inks cure at a lower temperature than is required for other curing or drying methods, giving users the ability to print on a wider range of media that cannot withstand high heat – including less-expensive and thinner media down to .79 mm thick. The VUTEk GS5500LXr Pro printer is ideal for nearly all roll-to-roll graphics uses, including textile and mesh print jobs.
With its EFI VUTEk GSLXr 3M™ SuperFlex ink, the printer delivers superior performance for outdoor applications, vehicle wraps and graphic applications on textured surfaces, such as brick panels. The ink also offers an extended color gamut, plus it provides solvent-like elongation characteristics and withstands heat installation without cracking.
New 3M MCS Warranty
EFI and 3M Commercial Solutions now also offer a 3M™ MCS™ Warranty for vehicle graphics when produced using the appropriate 3M base film, EFI VUTEk GSLXr 3M™ SuperFlex UV Inks (excluding white), the new EFI VUTEk GS5500LXr Pro printer and the appropriate 3M film over laminate.
The 3M™ MCS™ Warranty is widely recognized as the industry’s most comprehensive finished graphics warranty, covering fading, cracking, peeling and other aspects of graphic performance. The system of matched 3M components comes with the science and weathering technology that assures end users that their images will perform as expected for the life of the graphic.
Significant energy cost savings with LED imaging
As of now, EFI has installed more than 250 printers using its innovative LED inkjet technology worldwide.Energy assessments carried out by industry association Fogra have confirmed that EFI’s VUTEk wide-format printers with LED curing show energy reductions of up to 82% when compared with devices that use conventional mercury arc lamps.
EFI is bringing these green, energy- and money-saving benefits into a new market area with its first entry-level LED product, the EFI H1625 LED printer. This hybrid roll/flatbed offering provides the cost and media versatility of cool cure imaging at an affordable price point. The product is ideal for print professionals looking for a fast return on investment and low operating costs on a printer offering the advantages of LED, grayscale, standard white ink, and single-pass multilayer printing. The product’s variable droplets provide eight levels of greyscale for superior image quality, fine gradients and strong solid colors.
“The cost of operation is better with the EFI H1625 LED printer because it uses so much less energy than other devices,” according to one user of the new printer, Chris Root, founder of U.S. printing company Evron Graphics in Livermore, Calif. “The printer also has a number of nice improvements for a product in its price range, including better software, more automation, and a more powerful vacuum table.”
The new automation on EFI’s high-volume inkjet press, the 3.2m VUTEk HS100 Pro, drives higher productivity by eliminating manual feeding and off-loading of jobs. The printer offers a high-volume digital production alternative to analog screen print and offset methods, providing versatile, fast production with exacting grayscale quality and variable gloss print modes.
Faster image processing with the latest EFI Fiery proServer
The EFI Fiery proServer Version 6, a new, scalable and flexible digital front-end workflow, offers significantly faster processing speeds. The Fiery proServer’s EFI FAST RIP (Fiery Accelerated System Technology) processing engine handles complex vector data up to 10 times faster than competitive systems.
Designed for EFI VUTEk printers but compatible with over 500 wide- and superwide-format printers from numerous major manufacturers, Fiery proServer Version 6 also supports Fogra PSD certifications, and it offers new tiling features for improved usability. A dynamic smoothing feature on the new Fiery proServer ensures superior gradient output.
The Shanghai Ad and Sign exhibition will also feature a demonstration of an award-winning thermoforming application for digitally printed 3D and shaped displays produced on the EFI VUTEk GS Pro-TF system. Plus, visitors to the EFI stand will be able to see EFI SmartSign Analytics, a renowned signage analysis product that automatically captures and aggregates gender, age and other viewership data statistics on signage viewers, giving printing companies the ability to offer their clients valuable demographic information for more-effective marketing results.