EFI unveils new products

Jo Francis in Las Vegas
Thursday, January 20, 2022

EFI has taken the wraps off a number of new inkjet and Fiery products at the Connect user conference.

A number of new Fiery features were unveiled at Connect, including Prep-it
A number of new Fiery features were unveiled at Connect, including Prep-it

On the show floor at the event EFI has handed a worldwide debut to the new Fiery FS500 Pro digital frontend, billed as “the most advanced print server” in EFI’s more than 30 years in the DFE business.

Toby Weiss, COO of the Fiery business, said EFI had been able to boost new product development during the pandemic because engineers weren’t able to be out on the road as normal, and could instead “pump out feature after feature”.

“We put the effort in and the new Fiery S500 processes files 50% faster than before. If something took five minutes, it might take two-and-a-half now,” he said.

“But Rip processing is not the only thing that matters. We’ve made our user experience process three times faster, and we’ve made the boot time two-to-three times faster. And even launching the application is 40% faster than it was before because we want you [customers] to be up and running and back in business as fast as possible.”

Also new from the Fiery team is Fiery Prep-it, whereby complex shapes can be nested very quickly – a one minute calculation – resulting in dramatic time savings and also material savings.

“The ability to nest jobs in signage is critical,” Weiss stated, showing an example of a job that would be produced using five sheets rather than 11 using the Prep-it tool.

“And not only that we nest the jobs faster – not only did we beat our previous score, we’re beating everyone else in town in terms of getting you the results fast. It’s a total game-changer in terms of cost and productivity for anyone in the wide-format signage market.”

Coming soon is the Fiery Impress DFE for specialist applications at customers who don't know about print, for example industrial manufacturers using print bars as part of their manufacturing process. Weiss added: "Sneakers, handbags... anything. It's an out-of-the-box solution for those customers."

Ken Hanulec, vice president of worldwide marketing, commented: “We are seeing a big investment ‘re-cycle’ as we come out of the pandemic. The birth of local brands and cottage industries is creating nice opportunities for printers,” he stated, while citing near-shoring as “a real trend”.

Scott Schinlever, COO of EFI’s inkjet business, said packaging was a “huge growth opportunity” for the company.

“The box is becoming the new display graphic, and we are bringing our heritage in display to this market”, he said.

With 35 high-speed single-pass Nozomi devices installed worldwide, Schinlever said that a focus on uptime over the last year had boosted that figure to more than 90% “resulting in an 80% increase in print volumes in 2021”.

The new Mcorr corrugated device, which will launch in the spring, prints 375 boards per hour “and offers a stepping stone as people grow their business”.

Hanulec said: “I really believe we are hitting an inflection point. We saw substantial growth in packaging last year and we are forecasting to double that growth.”

He said the opportunity in printing using white ink on kraft substrates had the potential to disrupt the traditional litho-laminate market in corrugated.

“We are going directly to brands with information about the benefits of this technology,” he added.

The new EFI Pro 30h hybrid 3m-wide printer being demonstrated at Connect was described as “a sub-$200k model for people’s first rung on the production ladder”, while the Nozomi for display graphics prints with six colours plus white ink, and can produce 1,000 sheets per hour “each unique”.

eProductivity Software
Nick Benkovich, vice president of portfolio product management at the now standalone eProductivity Software business, said the firm’s “journey to cloudification” would continue in 2022, and the firm would be moving the vast majority of its portfolio of products to the cloud.

He said that within business process automation the focus was on “actionable insights”, such as the ability to flag up the option to use partially-used rolls in display graphics.


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