EFI launches high-speed Vuteks and revamps cross media offering

By Darryl Danielli, Tuesday 13 February 2018

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EFI has launched two reconfigured Vutek HS hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll printers developed for high-volume out-of-home applications and revamped its cross-media software suite.

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Gecht, Bacourt and McGowan discussing "game-changing" Nozomi

The Vutek HS125 F4 and HS100 F4 feature a double CMYK configuration, which boosts their speed to 225 and 190 boards per hour respectively.

Both the 3.2m-wide machines have the same base features as their HS Pro brethren, including a six-zone vacuum bed, variable-drop greyscale imaging, EFI’s Pin & Cure technology, and the ability to handle rigids up to 50.8mm.

“What we’ve done is leverage the HS platform and changed the head platform to dual channels, which doubles the speed and opens up new market opportunities in distant-view, outdoor markets, said Ken Hanulec, vice-president of marketing, EFI Inkjet.

The double CMYK configuration offers a speed boost of more than 50%, which EFI said makes them ideal for cost-effective production of outdoor applications such as banners, billboards and building wraps.

The F4s will be available this quarter, when the new configuration will also be available as an onsite retrofit for existing Vutek HS125 Pro and HS100 Pro users.

The two machines were announced at EFI's annual Connect user event in Las Vegas last month, where the company also unveiled its next-generation customer engagement platform, MarketDirect.

MarketDirect is a ground-up redesign of its DirectSmile cross-media suite and has been in development for a year. EFI said it represented the next generation of campaign management tools and simplifies the multi-channel personalised engagement process, making it accessible to all.

“We’re providing a platform that is suited to those that are just getting started with customer engagement and also those that have that technology, but are really looking for the next step in their evolution,” said Charlotte Tueckmantel, vice-president and general manager, Value Added Products, EFI Productivity Software.

Features include EFI SmartCampaign, an HTML5-based cross-media design tool; intuitive campaign metrics dashboard; drag-and-drop storyboarding to map the customer’s journey and automatically create a campaign; campaign theme templates; and a Campaign Wizard to enable users to create and measure fully fledged campaigns using print, web, email, mobile and social media.

The MarketDirect suite can be hosted by EFI or by the user, it has been successfully beta tested since last November and is now available. Current DirectSmile users will be upgraded to MarketDirect.

EFI also used Connect to herald the success of the first two installations of its giant Nozomi C18000 ultra-high-volume LED flatbed inkjet with EFI chief executive Guy Gecht hosting a ‘fireside chat’ with the platform's first two users.

In the session, Mal McGowan, chief executive of point-of-purchase and digital print specialist McGowans Print in Ireland and Eric Bacourt, chief executive of packaging converter Hinojosa in Spain, shared their experiences with Gecht. Both users hailed the productivity and print quality of the Nozomi, which has a 1.8x3m bed and can print single-pass in up to seven colours with a top speed of 75 linear m/min, as “game changing”.

“To me Nozomi is a game-changer, its represents a complete new era and represents the single biggest change in digital technology that I have seen in the past 10 years,” said McGowan.

“You can tell a Nozomi print a mile away – it's better, it’s a got a gloss finish and particularly on corrugated it’s the easiest sell a salesperson can have.”

Bacourt also praised the productivity and uptime of the press, revealing that his machine was now in 24-7 production.

EFI also used the event to announce its third Nozomi customer, and first in the US, Corrugated Synergies International, which has signed for the inkjet press and EFI’s Corrugated Packaging Suite manufacturing execution system.

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