EFI Connect conference highlights new digital print

During the 22nd annual Connect conference at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort, EFI highlighted the state-of-the art digital print innovations that give print businesses more capability and profit potential in a range of market applications. Display graphics inkjet offerings at Connect from the company’s leading-edge product portfolio include the new EFI Pro 30h production printer. Plus, Connect featured the first-ever live demonstration of the new EFI Fiery FS500 Pro digital front end (DFE) — the most-advanced print server in EFI’s 30+ year history — and the debut of the EFI Fiery Impress DFE, a scalable, flexible server and colour management solution for inkjet label and packaging applications, as well as for inline manufacturing lines that need variable print.

21 Jan 2022 | By Noel D'Cunha

The new EFI Fiery Prep-it software delivers significant media savings in true shape nesting

EFI Connect also marks the debut of an innovative pre-press product for display graphics businesses, EFI Fiery Prep-it software for the preparation, layout, and automated production of print-for-cut jobs. Designed to address productivity needs amid continued labour shortages, this powerful and cost-saving true-shape nesting solution reduces the time needed to nest complex objects for wide-format printing by up to 90%. Compared with competing products, Fiery Prep-it software also reduces media usage by 10% or more, helping to alleviate media supply constraints. With the media savings it generates, this affordable, effective software can pay for itself in four months or less, helping print shops become more competitive.

The newly launched, 126-inch-wide EFI Pro 30h UV LED printer prints up to 2,477-sqft/hr, offering a combination of speed and efficiency that makes it an ideal hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll superwide-format solution for businesses targeting production display graphics as a growth opportunity.

Designed to provide broader application capability, versatility, and profit potential, the printer maximises productivity by printing large boards or multiple small boards continuously. Switching from rigid to flexible media with the printer is easy, and the Pro 30h can print on dual rolls, giving users high throughput and the ability to run multiple jobs simultaneously.

Connect attendees also learned about the accelerating signage production opportunities empowered by EFI’s advanced super high-speed class of superwide-format inkjet printers. Conference sessions exploring the faster, better, state-of-art possibilities in high-quality display graphics showed how these solutions can drive digital production to new, higher levels.

This power trio of printers includes the EFI Vutek XT, the EFI Vutek Q5r and the EFI Nozomi.

The EFI Vutek XT is a robust, 126-inch-wide hybrid solution with available media handling automation that prints at speeds above 375 boards per hour. A new and unique CP5G system for the XT model delivers complete ink circulation, superior dot placement, five-picoliter drops and grayscale imaging for near-lithographic quality without expanding beyond four-color CMYK ink sets.

The EFI Vutek Q5r, a 208-inch-wide UV LED inkjet production workhorse that is the fastest roll-to-roll printer in its class, thanks to throughput speeds that reach 7,233 square feet per hour. Users can establish a complete print-to-finished-graphic workflow on the Vutek Q5r with inline slitting, trimming and other value-enhancing options, including a new inline visual inspection system available this year.

The EFI Nozomi 18000+ LED single-pass printer for display graphics, a groundbreaking 71-inch-wide signage solution. Available with up to six colours, plus white ink, it prints on synthetic and paper-based media at up to 1,000 sheets or boards per hour — a speed that is three or four times faster than the most productive shuttle-based/multi-pass display graphics printers.

Connect was also where print professionals witnessed, for the first time, the FS500 Pro platform scheduled for release this quarter with new office and cutsheet production systems from many of the world’s leading digital printer manufacturers.

The advanced, new DFE platform for commercial and cutsheet digital printing RIPs graphics-intensive jobs up to 50% faster than previous EFI Fiery DFEs. And, a Fiery JobExpert feature for the DFE can streamline job prep tasks, saving valuable time by automatically choosing correct colour and imaging settings. Fiery FS500 Pro also provides an extensive collection of additional, innovative new features that address top challenges print businesses face, such as shorter runs, faster turnaround times, less experienced staff, increased security standards and the need to reduce costs.

“As the industry works to regain its footing after a very difficult couple of years, EFI customers and partners are coming to Connect to learn about the actionable strategies and important tech developments that could be essential to their future success,” said Ken Hanulec, vice-president of worldwide marketing, EFI. “And, more than anything, this year’s conference reflects the community, collaboration and innovation that print businesses can use to capture the growing opportunities of the industry’s analog-to-digital transformation.”