Guildford, UK-based Digital Sign Services has purchased two EFI VUTEk 5r+ LED superwide roll-to-roll printers from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. (Nasdaq: EFII) within the past six months. The purchases give the company important production firepower for high-volume, high-end graphics while saving costs and increasing sustainability thanks to the 5.2-metre-wide printers' green "cool cure" LED technology.
The company installed its first VUTEk 5r+ printer earlier this year; the second printer will be installed in the coming weeks.
"Thanks to the success of the first VUTEk 5r+ and EFI's after-sales service, help and support with bedding in the new machine, we are purchasing our second 5r+ and having it installed this summer," said Tom Weaver, Managing Director at Digital Sign Services.
Reliable EFI technology year after year
The company works purely in trade services, specialising in large-format printing for retail signage, windows and point of sale. Digital Sign Services purchased its first VUTEk printer a few years after it was founded in 2001. By 2005, the company added a second VUTEk to keep up with a growing workload. The continued growth and opportunities the company achieved with its superwide-format digital print equipment are the basis of a reliable and long-lasting relationship with EFI.
"The big reasons why we choose EFI again and again is their after-sales care and their response to any issues or problems we may have," Weaver explained, discussing his company's reliance on EFI technologies leading up to Digital Sign Services' latest two purchases. "We also think the 5r+ is a better machine in that it uses LED lamps for curing rather than mercury vapour lamps."
EFI's market-leading "cool cure" LED technology on the printer requires up to 82% less energy compared to traditional UV or latex printing, which provides a cost savings. Plus, it allows Digital Sign Services to be much more mindful about sustainability. "With the 5r+ we have the reliability of the LEDs in a less power-hungry machine that also doesn't have mercury lamps damaging the environment or anything else," said Weaver.
Plus, the lower-heat/lower-energy curing process means Digital Sign Services can successfully print on thin or delicate substrates that cannot withstand the heat required with latex and UV printers.
Built on the foundation of EFI's popular VUTEk 5r printer, the 5r+ printers at Digital Sign Services offer improved media handling along with new white ink printing modes with faster speeds. In addition, the VUTEk 5r+ model features a re-engineered print head control algorithm that provides higher ink densities and an overall quality improvement. Printing resolution is up to 1200 dots per inch, with native EFI UItraDrop™ Technology 7-picolitre variable-drop printheads for outstanding visual quality.
Unparalleled quality in day-night and selective illumination backlits
The VUTEk 5r+ printers also offer several new options, including automated backlit and blockout printing - features that the Digital Sign Services staff are impressed with and widely using. Weaver said, "The auto blockout feature is really valuable here. We do a lot of print for retail outlets on the retail parks where, for example, there is a dark blue background with the centralised logo to be the only section that illuminates."
Signs printed with the company's current VUTEk 5r+ show "the perfect colour during the day, then, at night with the lights on, just the logo is visible with a colour density that looks the same as by day," according to Weaver.
Weaver also anticipates future opportunities thanks to the printers' ability to easily handle five-layer printing - a digital printing technique often used for retail window graphics to ensure correct densities when viewed from inside or outside the store.
The printers also offer Digital Sign Services more flexibility in handling customer demand. The company's current VUTEk 5r+ printer has a four-colour plus white configuration, while the second ordered machine will have seven colours (CMYK, light cyan, magenta and black) as well as white.
Digital Sign Services has been a loyal EFI customer for 14 years, running their operations purely on EFI machinery. In addition to the two EFI VUTEk 5r+ printers, the company also has an EFI VUTEk GS3250lx Pro hybrid roll-to-roll/Flatbed LED printer and an EFI VUTEk FabriVU® 340 dye-sublimation printer. "From 2005, we have remained with EFI due to their quality and reliability along with the exceptional after-sales, care, support and response times," said Weaver.