EFI Rolls Out New VUTEk LED and Largest Soft Signage Printer at EFI Connect Conference

EFI VUTEk 5339 soft-signage production printer.

At its 17th annual EFI Connect Conference, Electronics For Imaging (EFI) introduced new VUTEk LED printers and its largest soft-signage printer along with new versions of print MIS/ERP software suites and Fiery digital production-printing products.

In his opening keynote speech at the Conference, EFI CEO Guy Gecht also addressed artificial intelligence and the impact that the next wave of advanced technology is having. Some ERP and MIS workflow products developed by EFI, for example, learn to be more efficient as they track business’s operations.

“As with the developments we have all seen with personal computers and mobile technology, artificial intelligence promises to create more opportunities,” said Gecht. “In print, it can drive preventive diagnostics and predictive maintenance, which helps our customers improve their top and bottom lines.”

Worldwide Premiere of Super-Wide Roll-to-Roll and Soft-Signage Printers

During Connect, EFI announced its new VUTEk 5r and 3r printers, which it says are “the industry’s most technically advanced LED roll-to-roll production offerings.” Printing at speeds up to 4,896 square feet per hour at resolutions of up to 1,200 dpi, the 5-meter EFI VUTEk 5r and 3-meter EFI VUTEk 3r printers are said to maximize performance, efficiency, and quality. Featuring high-resolution, 7-picoliter EFI UltraDrop Technology, the new printers are said to be the fastest throughput in the market, providing superior image quality and a lower total cost of ownership for premium graphics printing work. The printers are also available with arange of upgrade options for high productivity and versatility, including optional light colors and white for multi-layer printing; inline dfinishing for all-in-one printing, cutting, slitting, and collecting; auto backlit and blockout printing, and more.

Rami Cohen, general manager of the Rishon LeZion, Israel-based print business Campus Digital Imaging, recently replaced a pair of 2-meter solvent printers and a sublimation printer with the new VUTEk 3r model, a move that has reduced his turnaround times from two or three days to same- or next-day delivery. “It’s faster than the three machines it replaces combined,” Cohen said of his new printer. “Before, we had to move finished rolls to a dedicated machine to cut them into sheets. Now, the sheeting and slitting happen on the fly, simultaneously with the printing itself.”

The new, superwide, roll-to-roll LED printers are available now. The 5-meter VUTEk 5r printer is being shown for the first time in Connect’s center for innovation.

VUTEk FabriVU 520 Printer

EFI’s largest soft signage printer, the 5.2-meter EFI VUTEk FabriVU 520 also launched at Connect. The printer is said to give users new capabilities for producing a broader range of soft signage products, including wall murals, theater drapes, and other super-wide printing applications.

EFI states that after purchasing a 3.2-meter EFI VUTEk printer last year, marketing communications company Image Options has also just become one of the first companies in the world to install the 5.2-meter FabriVU model. The pair of advanced soft=signage production devices is said to have helped the California-based company grow its service offering.

“Image Options invested in EFI’s soft signage products with the FabriVU 340 and, because of the demand we have seen, we quickly expanded our capabilities with the new FabriVU 540 printer,” said Tim Bennett, Image Options’ CEO. “This technology allows us to enter new markets with the widest and highest-speed performance available on the market today. The new 5.2-meter printer also gives us the ability to offer high-quality capabilities to clients who need un-seamed exhibit graphics.”

The printer can produce up to 4,800 square feet (446 square meters) per hour, and prints at resolutions up to 2,400 dpi. It can do both direct-to-textile and transfer printing with an easy changeover using the same ink set for greater versatility. A patented ink-recovery system saves more than 95 percent of the ink lost in textile printing systems offered by other manufacturers.

Both new VUTEk printers feature the latest-version EFI Fiery proServer DFE, which is said to give users the advantage of fast RIPing, accurate, high-quality color printing, and robust production management. EFI also presented a demonstration of a new, 65-inch wide EFI Wide Format LED inkjet hybrid roll/flatbed printer at Connect, showing the continuing evolution of the  ‘cool cure’ platform that it says has become the industry’s most popular choice for production-speed LED imaging.

Latest EFI Fiery Products

EFI also demonstrated its new Fiery NX server and NX Station for fast RIPing and streamlined cut-sheet production-printing automation; Fiery DFE products for wide- and super-wide-format inkjet proofing and production; and Fiery Workflow Suite offerings that are said to boost productivity with best-in-class tools for document imposition, assembly, late-stage editing, visual make-ready, pre-press automation and more. The newest version of EFI Fiery Navigator displayed is said to simplify the process of analyzing daily digital print operations and long-term trends, delivering information in a customizable, visual dashboard while providing device-management capabilities.

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