EFI claims world's first all-in-one full-colour box production system

Packsize EFI X5 Nozomi: EFI's big Drupa draw
Packsize EFI X5 Nozomi: EFI's big Drupa draw

EFI unveiled a raft of new products across its three core markets at Drupa, including a new partnership to bring a single-pass inkjet corrugated line for the automatic production of finished, variable sized constructed boxes.

Ken Hanulec, EFI’s vice president for worldwide marketing, said the Packsize EFI X5 Nozomi was the world's first full-colour, on-demand box line. He described it as the perfect marriage of single-pass Nozomi technology with that of right-sized packaging kit manufacturer Packsize, resulting in an all-in-one production line for printed, right-sized packaging.

Targeted at e-commerce, logistics and print businesses, the fully automated line prints, cuts, creases, glues and forms customised boxes at speeds of up to 600 boxes per hour.

It features Packsize’s X5 customisable boxmaking system, which was launched last year, with an EFI Nozomi five-colour (CMYKO) single-pass inkjet engine. It can run four different board feeding widths for full flexibility.

“The four widths enable the system to produce over 30,000 different [box] sizes and produce a fully printed, decorated, assembled box every six seconds,” said Hanulec.

“There is a further technology, that is not commercially available, that we’re working on, which is flat box packaging. We’re going to bring that to market by the end of the year.”

According to Hanulec, the line is as near to operator free as is possible, with labour only required to load metarial or ink; everything else can be controlled by the ERP or MIS.

“When I saw this technology in Spain around a month ago I thought holy smokes, this is truly revolutionary.”

While the X5, which was demonstrated at Drupa alongside the 1.4m-wide Nozomi 14000 SD for sign and display applications, was EFI’s star of the show, the company used the 11-day event to announce a range of new products.

These included the next generation EFI Reggiani Bolt XS single-pass textile printer and three other new Nozomis for corrugated packaging, metal packaging and sign and display. Although none of the four were on display at Drupa, output from the devices was.

New Nozomis announced at Drupa

  • Nozomi 14000 AQ a 1.4m-wide, 100 linear m/min engine for corrugated printer that runs water-based inks, configurable up to six colours. The 1,200dpi press can be configured with continuous feeder, two lane printing, roll-to-roll primer unit, and bundle or pallet delivery
  • Nozomi 12000 MP a 1.18m-wide, 50 linear m/min engine for metal packaging, configurable up to six colours
  • Nozomi 17000 SD a 1.7m-wide, 60 linear m/min engine for the sign and display market configurable with up to seven colours. The press will be available later this year.

Appearing at his first Drupa, CEO Frank Pennisi spoke about how the business leveraged its close customer relationships to drive product development, particularly in terms of the convergence mega trend.

"[For example,] the signage and display and packaging markets are becoming one and the same, signage and display customers are printing more and more on corrugated and more and more people are using signage in the packaging industry."

New launches in the signage space included the EFI Vutek X5r 5m-wide roll-to-roll printer, which is 30% faster than the 672sqm/hr Q5r, and the 3.3m-wide, 905sqm/hr EFI Vutek Q3h XP hybrid.

The X5r will be commercially available by year end, alongside a 3m version.

Alongside the 14000 SD, which was launched earlier this year – with the UK’s first machine installed at imageData, other established products running on the stand in Hall 9 included the Vutek FabriVU 340i+ soft-signage dye-sub printer and the Reggiani ecoTerra 180 one-step, pigment ink textile printer.

The firm also launched two new software packages for Nozomi packaging presses at the show: EFInsight, a cloud-based productivity package; and a life cycle assessment tool in partnership with Clean Energy that documents the presses environmental footprint.

While Pennisi didn’t expand on EFI’s partnership with Agfa in the firm’s press conference, he hinted it was constantly on the lookout for new collaborations and didn’t rule out future tie-ups.

“I think of it like kissing frogs, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince, well these are our three princes [Fiery, Packsize and Agfa]. We’re very excited.”

Demos on EFI's stand

  • Packsize EFI X5 Nozomi
  • Nozomi 14000 SD
  • Vutek Q3h XP
  • Vutek X5r
  • Vutek FabriVU 340i+
  • Reggiani ecoTerra 180