This is an excerpt from a Technology Focus on wide format and signage which featured in the August 2021 issue of ProPrint magazine. To read the full story, please click here.
Look around and you will see built spaces populated by signage that conveys information. You will also see surfaces that have been enhanced by technologically dazzling wide-format and grand-format printers.
Beyond the cloud cover of COVID, the horizons for printers look sunny. You just need to know where to look:
Currie Group and EFI
“Do your homework” when choosing your optimal wide-format hardware setup is the key piece of advice from Currie Group business unit manager for sign and display, Paul Whitehead.
“The wide-format application gamut is broad as well as the technology capable of producing them. Depending on volumes, turnaround times, substrates, longevity of print, indoor or outdoor installation, all these and more will impact your decision making,” Whitehead said.
But where should printers be looking in a sector that has become so attractive that it too is becoming highly competitive?
“Start with your existing customer base,” counsels Whitehead. “There’s a good chance they already have a wide-format printing requirement, and you already have an established relationship.”
Whitehead sees soft signage continuing to grow and offer advantages when it comes to a premium-looking product that can be easily folded, shipped and installed.
“Equipment is a key element but having the right partner or partners when it comes to choosing the right technology, as well as providing technical advice and support, is critical,” he emphasises.
“The EFI portfolio that Currie Group supplies and supports is broad, so depending on your targeted customer base, this will determine the right platform for you.”
Whitehead points to the EFI Pro 30h Hybrid UV LED printer which expands on the extensive EFI portfolio and was recently unveiled at virtual.drupa. The new EFI Pro 30h brings 3.2m hybrid printing capability to the broader industry. With its ability to print on flexible (including digital textile), as well as rigid materials, it enables the production of the majority of wide-format application requests from end-customers.
At 3.2m, EFI says the Pro 30h is ideal for commercial print shops, sign shops and in-plant print departments looking to start, upgrade or add board and roll-to-roll print jobs to their wide-format capabilities. It comes standard with two channels of white and optional clear ink for unique, high-value prints with high gloss images, special effects and multilayer printing.
EFI says that one of the Pro 30h’s key differentiators is its continuous board printing capability, a standard feature that allows users to maximise the printer’s full production speeds with large boards or multiple small boards simultaneously.
The Pro 30h features dual-roll printing for even more throughput and is designed to make alternating between rigid and flexible substrates fast and easy.
With speeds of up to 230 square metres per hour, customers will be able to take on more jobs and meet customer demand, adds EFI.
It can print on flat media up to 5cm thick and features an EFI Fiery proServer Core digital front-end with FAST (Fiery Accelerated System Technology) RIP acceleration technology for quick file processing.
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