Aztec Signs looks to next generation with new EFI Vutek

The new EFI Vutek h3 arrived at Aztec Signs in February
The new EFI Vutek h3 arrived at Aztec Signs in February

Aztec Signs has taken on an EFI Vutek h3 hybrid LED printer to increase capacity and quality in its output, as well as opening up opportunities for print’s next generation.

Brought to the Leeds-based company’s site in February, the new system replaced on older Vutek GS 3250 and will run alongside an Esko X-44 digital cutting table that was installed 18 months ago.

The 3.2m-wide system was supplied by Shrewsbury-based reseller CMYUK and has been in Aztec’s sights since Fespa 2018 in Berlin.

Co-founder Tom Wilton, who started the company with Chris Jameson, said: “During the past 30 years, we’ve been through a wide range of large-format printers in various guises from water-based machines through to solvent, UV and latex, so we've got a pretty wide view of all the various technologies.

“We’ve been using EFI Vutek printers for 12 years now, all purchased through CMYUK which would always be our first port of call for buying printing and cutting hardware. We did look at other machines, but we didn’t find anything that was comparable at the price point.

“Chris and I are very much seen as the business but at some point, fairly soon, we’ll want to step back. We have a young workforce and they will be the people who will be taking the business forward and we’re putting them in a position where they can. The h3 is a choice for the next generation, it’s about moving the business forward without us, and I know that this printer will act as a safe pair of hands.”

The h3 is a belt-driven 3.2m super-wide, industrial volume printer. A 10-channel system, it can output up to nine layers in a single pass at high resolution and features three rows of Ricoh Gen 5 printheads. It comes with a one-day field upgrade path to the h5 configuration which sports five rows of printheads.

According to Fogra studies, it uses up to 82% less energy than other systems.

Originally founded in Wilton’s sitting room in 1988, Aztec Signs is now an eight-strong business housed in 1,670sqm premises on the outskirts of Leeds city centre.