Hollywood first in UK for new Vutek

Hollywood Monster has become the first company in the UK to take the new 5m-wide EFI Vutek 5r printer.

The machine was installed around two weeks ago at the firm’s 3,700sqm Birmingham premises and has already been making a huge difference to turnaround times, according to managing director Simon McKenzie. It was supplied by EFI reseller CMYUK.

McKenzie said that along with speed, he was particularly impressed with the machine’s X-Y finishing system for cutting and slitting, which reduces turnaround times by trimming work to size straight after printing.

“We do big campaigns and we’ve just done a job for a big retailer of around 17,000 banners, each of which had to be cut by hand, so it worked out at something like 4,000 man hours to complete, which is a lot of cash when margins are tight,” said McKenzie.

“The fact that this machine cuts to size and all you have to do is roll-and-pack makes the job way more profitable and way more efficient and as far as I’m concerned there’s nobody else in the country that can print 455sqm/hr with a banner finish.

“It puts Hollywood Monster on the map a bit. We’ve never been the first to do anything like this before so it gives us a bit of credibility.”

CMYUK had a pre-existing relationship with Hollywood Monster, having supplied it with five EFI machines in past.

“There’s quite a lot of trust there in terms of service and they’ve given us this machine as an attractive deal as we are acting as a test site, so it works well for both companies really,” added McKenzie. 

EFI launched the machine, along with the Vutek 3r and Vutek FabriVU 520, at its annual Connect user conference last January. It claims world-beating production speeds of 455sqm/hr on the 3r and 5r and the FabriVU is its largest soft signage printer at 5.2m-wide. Earlier this month, EFI said it will likely bring the 5r and the FabriVU to May’s wide-format flagship Fespa trade show in Hamburg.

The Vutek LED roll-to-roll machine has a resolution up to 1,200dpi. It can handle a variety of flexible and rigid media, making it suitable for applications including building wraps, billboards, fine art, floor graphics, POP, signage, tradeshow graphics and wallpaper. The device uses Matan technology to incorporate its inline finishing system. 

After a recent rebrand, which cost around £80,000, £8m-turnover Hollywood Monster is now looking to boost sales beyond the £10m mark by the end of 2018. It also announced last year that it planned to hit the M&A trail

“There is definitely progress. Acquisition is still part of Hollywood Monster’s growth plan and in 2018 we want to reach £11m turnover aided by natural growth and potential acquisitions," added McKenzie. 

The 80-staff company, which has recruited four new staff to its commercial team so far this year, has also committed to buying two new flatbed machines by the end of 2017.

Alongside the new Vutek, it runs a whole variety of kit, including two EFI GS3200s, two 5m-wide HP Expedio roll-to-roll machines, an EFI GS5000r and an Mtex 3200 dye-sublimation machine.