Upper Marlboro, Md.-based printing business Linemark is expanding its display graphics offerings, delivering greater substrate selection and product choices to its customers using an EFI Pro 30f UV LED flatbed printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc.
With its high-quality output, opaque white ink and versatile “cool cure” UV LED curing technology, the new flatbed printer gives the Washington, D.C.-metro area print business the ability to produce new applications, reduce cycle time and replace revenue losses created by the pandemic.
“There is momentum to support growth in large format,” said David Ashton, a partner at Linemark responsible for the company’s business development. “Demand declined in 2020 for large format overall, largely due to cancellation of events and conferences. But we know the volume is coming back in 2021, and we wanted to be prepared.”
The printer – which Linemark purchased from authorized EFI distributor Nazdar SourceOne – delivers high productivity and image quality at a competitive price, with four colors plus dual channels of white and multi-layer printing capabilities. An EFI Fiery proServer Core digital front end is included for the ultimate in processing speed and color quality.
The printer, which supports media up to 4 inches (10 cm) thick, features EFI’s UltraDrop Technology with variable grayscale 7 to 21 picoliter drop sizes for excellent color gradients and smoothing capability. Its large bed size delivers a maximum printable area of 120 x 80 inches (3.05 x 2.04 m) and bleed printing, with express mode maximum speed of up to 2,130 square feet (198 square meters) per hour at up resolutions up to 1,200 dots per inch.
Outstanding versatility for premium wall art
While Linemark has felt the pandemic’s impact in work for trade shows and events, with the EFI Pro 30f flatbed printer the company is expanding its capabilities, recovering a good portion of lost business by fulfilling wall art orders that come to Linemark online through partnerships with popular online craft marketplaces. “Our print-on-demand wall art business has exploded,” Ashton explained. “People are nesting at home and redecorating. They are looking at the four walls of their homes and wanting something different.”
Linemark prints on a wide range of substrates, including acrylic, foam board and Dibond. “The Dibond aluminum composite sheet, specially optimized for display, makes stunning wall art, and being able to print on that, including with white ink, has been a big boost to our wall art business,” said Steve Bearden, Linemark’s president.
“The vast majority of our direct mail customers also have work printed on our Pro 30f,” Bearden added. “Not only do we produce direct mail to promote meetings and events, but we also produce clients’ signage for their conference booths. This one-stop approach has been enabled by our EFI Pro 30f. And our clients have certainly noticed the boost in quality.”
‘The quality and productivity are phenomenal’
Linemark had been doing wide format flatbed work previously, but with a printer that had neither the productivity nor the white ink the company needed to capture more work. “Our Nazdar sales rep called us and brought us samples from various flatbed and hybrid printers,” said Bearden. “The EFI Pro 30f was the clear choice. The quality and productivity are phenomenal.”
Printing on acrylic has also been a growth area for the company, especially during the pandemic, and the EFI Pro 30f printer is ideal for those jobs, as well as for work on other substrates.
The printer’s six-zone, user-selectable vacuum system ensures efficient hold-down for no unintended media movement, Plus, the printer requires less heat for curing or drying compared with traditional UV inkjet or latex printers, making it ideal for Linemark to print on corrugated boards that could otherwise warp under high heat and create damaging head strikes during the printing process. Non-profit sector clients especially benefit from the corrugated capability, as Linemark is using the Pro 30f printer to help those clients stand out with premium-quality gift boxes sent to their high-value donors.