EFI releases trio of new high speed printers at Engage
The global EFI Engage online user event currently taking place has seen the imaging giant launch a host of new solutions, including a trio of new print systems, all operating at significantly higher productivity rates.
The new hybrid Vutek XT is the fastest Vutek ever made, doubling the output of the printer it succeeds, to 375 boards an hour. In addition the company says the new Q5r and Q3r Roll-to-Roll Printers are the fastest machines in their class, capable of pumping out 672sqm and 558sqm an hour respectively.
EFI print systems are now being supplied in Australia and New Zealand by Currie Group.
The new Vutek XT hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll display graphics printer brings what EFI says are the next generation of multi-pass pin-and-cure imaging, ink delivery and dot placement technologies to signage and graphics providers looking to address higher-volume needs with a reliable, premium-quality print solution offering a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
The new Vutek XT model is the redesigned, next-generation successor to the EFI Vutek HS series of hybrid high-volume printers.
“Print businesses need the next level of capability with a lower TCO, and EFI has focused our global R&D expertise to meeting those goals with this printer and a complete EFI technology offering that together make super high speed inkjet display graphics a profitable reality for customers,” said Ken Hanulec, vice president of worldwide corporate marketing, EFI. “The new VUTEk XT printer – with its outstanding quality, superior substrate capability, robust productivity and almost unheard-of ink yield – delivers greater versatility and value in the display graphics market.”
The printer includes a new media transport that eliminates the need for material edge guides, ensuring accurate registration and smooth transport of even thick boards. The printer’s new vacuum belt and vacuum table ably handle a wide range of materials. EFI says that as a result, printing even difficult types of materials can be easy and accurate, reducing waste and improving overall throughput.
The Vutekk XT also features front-to-back registration within 1 mm, and produces boards in up to three printing lanes that can be the same or different files.
The XT’s CP5G ink syste, delivers complete ink circulation, dot placement, 5-picoliter drops and grayscale imaging – which EFI says is a robust combination of features that provides fine text imaging and “near-lithographic” quality without expanding beyond four-colour CMYK ink sets. CP5G also expands users’ capabilities further in media compatibility, providing improved adhesion to a broader range of substrates.
EFI says the printer also gives customers the significant economic advantage of a 30-50 per cent ink yield increase compared to other display graphics inkjet printers.
Printers can choose from a number of automation options to configure the printer to their exact needs. This includes the ability to feed one or two large rolls of media, as well as three-quarter in and out and full pallet-to-pallet automation options. All options minimize the need for operator intervention and speed work through the printer.
EFI says the new Vutek Q series product line delivers quality and a complete system solution with advanced roll-to-roll LED technology.
It says the new EFI VUTEk Q3r and Q5r UV LED printers produce a wide range of challenging applications, like the most demanding premium POP with multi-layer white and cosmetics displays that demand the highest print quality to the highest volume campaigns that requires the lowest cost of production.
The 198-inch wide Vutek Q5r printer runs at speeds up to 672sqm per hour, and the 138-inch wide Vutek Q3r model prints up to 558sqm per hour.
The Vutek Q3r and Q5r printers have a full system solution from file submission to finished print which is already cut to size and rolled and marked for the designated display location. Users benefit from throughput that EFI says can be up to a few times faster than existing models in the market.
The world’s first Vutek Q5r installation site, Yahav Digital Print, is a large wide-format print production company currently with four EFI roll-to-roll printers and many more throughout its history. Zevik Nur, CEO of Yahav Digital Print, found the new capabilities of the Q5r go beyond just faster print to also deliver a complete full system solution from file submission to finishing.
“Our new VUTEk Q5r was installed in October of 2020, and we have been running it in full production ever since,” Nur said. “It has exceeded all our expectations in terms of reliability, production speeds, print quality, ink consumption, media usage and ease of use. We can shift a lot of jobs to the new Q5r, and our customers are highly satisfied with our ability to shorten lead time and produce even higher quality prints at faster speeds.”
The new printers feature up to nine ink colours (standard CMYK and optional lc, lm, lk, white and clear coat), enabling exact customisation of each printer to users’ needs and strategies.
They also have EFI UltraDrop Technology, featuring native 7-picoliter printheads with multi-drop addressability for high-definition image quality. EFI says users gain smoothness in shadows, gradients and transitions, as well as precise and sharp 3-point size text with a resolution of up to 1,20dpi. The UV LED curing ensures cost savings and a more environmentally friendly printing solution, consuming less energy and enabling the use of thinner, heat-sensitive substrates.
The printers also feature EFI’s Power Tool options for advanced productivity and capabilities, including in-line quality inspection, in-line slitting and cutting, roll and tape collection, auto-calibration, automated backlit printing, automated blockout printing and much more.
Newly designed mobile operator touch screen stations for the Vutek Q3r and Q5r printers offer operators maximum convenience. The touch screen stations also direct users to new EFI IQ optional cloud-based applications for easy monitoring and analysis of production activity, resulting in actionable data that can help operations be even more efficient and profitable.
Both printers include EFI’s Fiery proServer Premium digital front end (DFE) with Fiery Fast Rip for accelerated file processing, which EFI says maximizes the printer investment by eliminating idle printer time.
The printers’ Fiery DFE systems also include options such as Fiery Spot Color, Fiery Color Profiler Suite and Fiery Color Verifier for the ultimate in easy-to-use, proof-grade color management.
“We designed the EFI Vutek Q3r and Vutek Q5r to go beyond printing to provide a complete print to finished graphic workflow – from RIP to finished product – on the same platform,” said Ken Hanulec, vice president, Worldwide Marketing, EFI. “This new printer series is one big competitive edge for our customers, bringing unprecedented speed to our portfolio and a host of valuable features and options that take profitable roll-to-roll print production to a new, higher level.”