The 18-staff company spent around €250,000 (£220,000) on the machine, which is due to be installed in June. The deal was announced at Fespa, at which the 340i was officially launched.
CoverUp's new device is an advanced, 3.4m-wide aqueous dispersed dye ink printer that builds on the original 340 model. Byrne said he considered other machines, including a 3.2m-wide Mimaki.
“The EFI kit is not only fast but has a built-in fixation unit, which the other machines don't have. All we need to do is print in one go and bring it upstairs for finishing – good for fast-turnaround jobs,” said operations director Anthony Byrne.
The 60sqm/hr printer includes a heated platen and vapour extractor for the inline fixation of direct-printed textiles.
“It is three times faster than our other machines and is easy to load up and take down. Being a first for EFI, it's a bit of a gamble but when we saw it running in Italy it worked really well.”
It joins existing kit including a 5m-wide HP, a 3.2m-wide MTEX, two 1.8m-wide Dgens and an Agfa flatbed. Byrne said he may buy another 5m-wide machine next year – an EFI or Durst.
CoverUp produces flags and banners, backlit graphics, soft signage and building wraps for customers mainly from Ireland. Products however are used internationally in exhibition graphics.
The company operates two sites in the Dublin area, in Sandyford and Clondalkin and the new FabriVU 340i is CoverUp's first purchase from EFI. It will go into the Clondalkin site. Where it will primarily be used for direct-to-textile printing of flags and banners, but the company will also explore other possible applications including garment work.
Byrne added: “We were struggling before this machine. We looked at some other direct textile printers, but some needed a separate calendar unit, which doesn't suit our needs in business.”
CoverUp was founded in 1976 to make PVC-nylon fitted covers for machinery, boats, vehicles and industrial plants. In 2004 it bought large-format printers to offer a trade banner service.