EFI had a packed stand at last week’s Fespa show, which is inevitable if you put a lot of large machines in a small space, and Ken Hanulec, vice president of marketing for EFI, rattled through a fair number of products at the press conference, but despite all this the company only really showed one new product, the Pro 30f flatbed.
This appears to have come about in response to customer demand for a larger version of the existing Pro 24f. This has a 3x2m bed and can print full bleed on media of that size. It will also take media up to 10cm high and 180kg in weight. EFI says that the table is flat to within 50 microns and that this is adjustable. There’s a six-zone vacuum, with users able to select the appropriate combination of vacuum zones. Interestingly, EFI says that the bed comes with extra pins to make it easier to work with jigs, which should open up more industrial print applications.
As with most other current EFI printers, it’s fitted with Ricoh Gen5 printheads, which print variable drop sizes from 7-12 picolitres for 1200 dpi resolution, and which appears to be the same imaging system as the 24f. There are 12 heads, two per colour, for CMYK plus two whites. It uses UV inks with LED curing. It can produce up to 210 sqm/hr.
It boasts a linear drive instead of a belt, similar to EFI’s H-series hybrids, and which should lead to more accurate carriage movements, and ultimately better image quality. There’s a roll-to-ground option for printing to roll media up to 3m wide. It also includes a Fiery ProServer Core front end, complete with Fast RIP, and EFI claims to have developed a new user interface to help with the layout of the media on the bed.
At the company’s press conference Hanulec also talked about a new printer, the Pro 32r, which was actually launched back in October last year in the US and is presumably coming to Europe, though obviously not quick enough to have it on the stand at Fespa. This is an entry-level 3.2m wide roll to roll printer that has been developed from a Matan design. It can produce up to 207 sqm/hr at up to 635 dpi resolution, using a 7pl drop size. The standard machine takes CMYK inks with white available as an option. It uses LED curing and has a built in Fiery DFE.
EFI has now added its X4 approach to its Vutek H3 and H5 printers. Essentially this means running two sets of CMYK for faster productivity, up to 74 boards per hour in the case of the H3, and up to 109 boards per hour for the H5.
The standard configuration for these printers is eight colours plus white. I believe that EFI has also improved the layering as they can now print up to nine layers in a single pass, which enables some pretty cool backlighting effects, where different lighting states can display different versions of an image so that you don’t just have a static display. Multiple layers also means that you can have different images on either side for a window graphic, so that customers inside a shop can see a different message from that on the outside.
You can find further details on all these printers from www.efi.com.