The world's first EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340i soft signage printer, which coincidentally is also the 100th VUTEk FabriVU aqueous soft-signage printer to be sold, has been ordered by CoverUp in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Delivery is scheduled for the end of May, two weeks after the printer's debut at the FESPA exhibition in Berlin, Germany.
CoverUp's new printer is an advanced, 3.4-metre wide aqueous dispersed dye ink printer that builds on the original 340 model with the addition of a heated platen and vapour extractor for inline fixation of direct-printed textiles. It offers high printing speed at all quality levels, while using less floor space than would be required with separate printing and sublimation stations. All of the EFI VUTEk FabriVU models draw on the experience and technology of EFI Reggiani in Italy, which has specialised in textile printing systems for more than 70 years.
The best quality on solid colours
The big attraction for CoverUp regarding the new FabriVU is the printer's efficiency, with its combination of quality at high speed and inline heat fixation. "Quite honestly, we were struggling before EFI showed it to us," said Anthony Byrne, the company's operations director. "We looked at some other direct textile printers, but some needed a separate calendar unit, which doesn't really suit our needs in business. At a demonstration in Italy we found this model created the best quality, especially when printing solid colours."
CoverUp was founded in 1976 and originally specialised in making PVC-nylon fitted covers, for machinery, boats, vehicles and industrial plants. Local companies started sending large format printed banners to be finished on the same equipment, and so a logical step in 2004 was for CoverUp to invest in its own large-format printers and to offer a trade service. "We sell to other printers, mainly, who don't have such large machines as ours," explained Byrne.
Today CoverUp produces flags and banners of all sizes and shapes, backlit graphics, soft signage and building wraps, as well as printed or unprinted fitted covers. Customers mainly come from within Ireland, but the products are used internationally, especially in exhibition graphics. The company operates two sites in the Dublin area, in Sandyford and Clondalkin, where it employs 16 full-time and two part-time staff.
The new FabriVU 340i is CoverUp's first purchase from EFI and will be installed in the Clondalkin site with the intention of adding capacity to its existing line-up of UV-cure and dye-sublimation printers. The company's new addition will primarily be used for direct-to-textile printing of flags and banners, but the company will also explore other possible applications, including garment work.
Caption: Anthony Byrne, CoverUp Operations Director, holding EFI plaque for the 100th installed EFI VUTEk FabriVU Series printer at Fespa Global Expo 2018