Helsingborg, Sweden-based Storbildsbolaget is making a significant change in print production this month, switching brands for the first time to install a 3.4-metre EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340 soft signage printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc.
Surging client demand in Sweden, Norway and Denmark for fabric-printed soft signage is a key part of Storbildsbolaget's growth. Soft signage print volumes exceeding 2,000 square metres per month have outstripped the company's current capacity, and executives at the Swedish company found that the VUTEk FabriVU model has lower running and maintenance costs compared with the latex printer they have been using to produce soft signage.
Storbildsbolaget - a company with annual turnover of 42-million SEK that rates as one of Sweden's biggest large-format digital printing companies - explored products from three different vendors before taking the big step of leaving its previous printer provider to choose its new printer from EFI. After comparing EFI's offerings with those of two other brands, and following a visit to the EFI Reggiani factory in Italy, Storbildsbolaget CEO Jonas Hellke decided on the FabriVU 340 based not only on the machine's production speed and print quality, but also on its ease of operation and maintenance.
A robust machine designed for high productivity
Hellke was especially impressed with how well built the printer is. "We were invited to visit the entire factory in Italy - which is quite an exceptional offer from a printer vendor - and it was clear to me that the FabriVU 340 is a very strong machine with a solid frame and good quality components," he said. "It's built like a tank."
According to Hellke, ease of access to the printer was another big differentiator for the FabriVU model compared with other brands Storbildsbolaget considered. "One competing model was like a black box that seemed to be quite time consuming to service," he said. "It was very beautiful to look at, with software to monitor everything, but too cumbersome to take apart if you need to replace a component or a consumable, especially since this is going to be a production machine."
The company will use its new printer for soft signage light boxes and interior design elements. The printer represents an upgrade in quality, thanks to its aqueous ink sublimation printing, where the ink on the finished piece penetrates the fabric instead of being deposited on top. For Storbildsbolaget, the printer offers the mix of reliability, productivity and quality needed to further the company's ambitious plans to grow by another 10 million SEK over the next three years.