EFI says it now offers one of the industry's most robust portfolios of digital textile production printers, and EFI signage customers, such as French digital printing specialist CIDI and U.S.-based Imagine! Express, are taking advantage of significant, profitable business opportunities.
EFI's portfolio of digital fabric printers includes the EFI™ VUTEk® FabriVU® series, a product line featured at the upcoming Fespa and PacPrint industry tradeshows that is designed to get customers into the soft signage business quickly with high image quality and true production-level throughput. EFI soft signage printers also include the EFI Reggiani ONE and PRO printer series for established soft signage producers looking to aggressively develop and drive more profitability with outstanding image quality and higher-volume capacity. All of these products leverage the industry leading expertise of EFI Reggiani - a market leader with 70 years of experience in textile printing - together with EFI's recognised expertise in workflow, colour management and business management solutions.
500% increase in capacity with "the best full solution"
Imagine! Express, a company that serves retail, museum, tradeshow and corporate décor customers, had been using a fleet of several older-model printers that were nearing end-of-life. The company chose to move from a primarily direct-to-fabric dispersion printing technology to transfer printing, acquiring 3.4-metre EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340 and EFI Reggiani PRO 340 printers. The two production devices are boosting the company's quality, while increasing capacity by 500%.
"As we looked to move down this new path, we targeted the transfer printing model that we believe gives you the sharpest, cleanest look with the greatest depth of colour," explained Mike Lecus, the company's president. "While our direct dispersion printer still had some life in it, we decided to replace it with the FabriVU 340 to put in place a more strategic workflow committed fully to transfer printing.
"By adding the EFI Reggiani PRO 340 as well, we are able to increase our capacity by 500% without the need for additional staff in the printing department," Lecus added. "Following our due diligence, we felt that EFI presented the best full solution for our business."
VUTEk FabriVU printers have proven to be especially successful in helping signage and display companies move into higher-value soft signage display work as they offer an unparalleled combination of productivity and quality. And, a new, 5.2-metre soft signage model, the EFI VUTEk 520 printer, has already seen a number of installations in Europe and North America among customers now offering larger displays, theatrical backdrops and other oversized graphics without having to seam together multiple panels.
CIDI: A positive revolution
CIDI, a textile soft signage specialist company based in suburban Paris, acquired a 3.4-metre EFI Reggiani PRO 340 printer last year to bolster its position in soft signage and open new opportunities for fabric-printed graphics.
"This printer has brought about a real positive revolution in our way of working thanks to its productivity, efficiency and the ease-of-use for our employees," said CIDI co-founder Henri Dias. "Our customers are in growing markets with good margins - especially the interior decoration market. The printer gives us tremendous flexibility to help them in terms of the range of textiles we can offer, and it allows us to provide levels of responsiveness and print quality that few can match today."
The industry's only end-to-end digital print workflow and printer offering
Complementing the VUTEk FabriVU and Reggiani ONE and PRO printers, EFI has the industry's only complete end-to-end workflow available for signage production, from advanced web-to-print design and eCommerce software that integrates with EFI Fiery® digital front ends offering industry-leading colour management and productivity tools, to a comprehensive and certified EFI Midmarket Print Suite with award-winning Pace™ MIS/ERP software at its core, for highly accurate scheduling, estimating, accounting and more in superwide-format graphics production.
"There are many advantages to soft signage," according to Marco Boer, vice president of digital print analyst company I.T. Strategies. "Not only does fabric signage provide a luxury look and feel, but there also are significant economic benefits to production, shipping and storage since they can be easily folded or rolled and typically weigh less than conventional vinyl. We see many opportunities in the sign and display graphics industry for increased adoption of textile printing technologies, which have advanced significantly in recent years."
[Image shows EFI Reggiani PRO 340]