Most printers traveling to Las Vegas January 23-26 for EFI Connect 2018 are looking for ways to reduce costs, increase productivity, and capture new market opportunities. Some are also here to see firsthand what this user conference would offer in the way of new hardware.
For some it might have been a better understanding of the many options EFI offered with their digital front ends. For others, it might be seeing the latest commercial and industrial print devices from EFI and other OEMs.
Connect 2018 provided all of that with the debut of several new EFI products, including:
- EFI VUTEk HS125 Pro and HS100 Pro Fast-4: hybrid flatbed/roll inkjet press models that offer a range of 4-color grayscale modes. With speeds up to 225 boards per hour, each enables more cost-effective grayscale production of distance-viewed signage and graphics.
- EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340i: a soft signage entry-level printer into high-growth soft signage applications that offers fully integrated inline sublimation without loss of engine speed or image quality.
- Version 6 of EFI’s Enterprise Commercial, Midmarket Print, Publication, Quick Print, Packaging and Corrugated Packaging Productivity Suites: end-to-end business and production MIS/ERP workflows.
- EFI iQuote technology for estimating of versioned and variable-data digital print work.
- EFI Optitex 3D Design Illustrator, a plug-in tool for the fashion textile space that gives designers the ability to customize 3D garments in Adobe Illustrator.
“The new print is all about putting spectacular images on essentially any material. With digital inkjet technology and automation, the new print brings immense opportunity in the era of the fourth industrial revolution,” said EFI CEO Guy Gecht during his opening keynote speech.
Many of the new opportunities for customers discussed at Connect 2018 reflect a market redefinition for the print industry in the wake of continued digital industrial transformation.
Superwide-format inkjet imaging technologies were also prominent at Connect, including technologies that addressed the fast-growing soft signage and industrial packaging applications.
Printers on display at the show included the VUTEk 3r roll-to-roll LED printer; the EFI VUTEk GS3250lx Pro hybrid LED printer; and the new EFI Pro 24f dedicated flatbed LED printer. EFI also offered a virtual reality demo of the EFI Nozomi C18000 ultra-high-speed single-pass LED inkjet corrugated packaging press.
EFI partner Ricoh Americas Corp. featured EFI inkjet technology at its booth with the 65-inch wide EFI Pro 16h hybrid LED printer.
Several partners, including Ricoh, Xerox, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. and Riso, showcased print engines running EFI Fiery digital front ends (DFEs). The new, scalable Fiery FS300 Pro DFE platform, used in several new print engines from EFI partners, can handle high-speed sheetfed and ultra-high-speed continuous-feed B1 production and offers new features for color, performance, usability, and integration.
EFI’s new Fiery-based DFEs included version 6 of Fiery Command WorkStation–an advanced user interface with enhanced preview, search, and reprint functions that can serve as the single point of control for multiple Fiery Driven production devices. EFI also demonstrated the upcoming Fiery products: Fiery Command WorkStation for wide- and superwide-format inkjet and Fiery Navigator dashboard analytics for wide- and superwide-format inkjet.
We were impressed by the large turnout of industry press from around the globe. There were some 115 publications/analytical firms represented. When we started attending Connect more than a decade ago only a very small group of journalists covered the event.
It was good to see the global awareness of the value of this conference and what it means to the print industry. The fact that so many journalists travelled so far reinforces our opinion that industrial print is not an isolated phenomenon. It is the future of print.
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