With so many UV-LED wide-format inkjet printer models on the market, it is becoming easier for companies to find a model that matches specific production requirements. For example, this case study about a user of the EFI Pro 30f printer shows that some buyers choose UV-LED flatbed printers in order to decorate manufactured products.
AJJ Enterprises Installs Second Flatbed
AJJ Enterprises is an online seller of custom-decorated cornhole game boards. Visitors to the AJJ Cornhole website can order pre-decorated boards or wraps in dozens of themes or styles, including weddings, military, patriotic, state flags, or NCAA-licensed sports team logos. Buyers can even have themed cornhole sets personalized with their names.
AJJ Enterprises in Cincinnati installed their second EFI™ Pro 30f flatbed UV-LED inkjet printer in June.
Because the EFI Pro 30f flatbed printer is engineered to accomodate materials up to 4 inches thick, AJJ Enterpises can print directly to pre-assembled cornhole boards. This saves considerable time, labor, and production costs.
With the pair of Pro 30f printers, AJJ Enterprises has achieved roughly a seven-fold increase in throughput compared with the roll-to-roll vinyl and UV inkjet flatbed printers the company used previously.
“EFI’s engineers worked really closely with us because we have such a unique application,” explained AJJ Enterprises co-owner Shane Back. Because AJJ Enterprises constantly prints at maximum thickness, EFI worked with the company to adjust the printer’s UV LED curing lamps and ensure consistent, high-quality output.
The first model AJJ Enterprises used was a beta version. “On the beta printer, we changed our jig to hold the boards on the table,” said Back. “We also made some structural changes that are now standard on all Pro 30f machines.”
This simplified, fast production the Pro 30f delivers is imperative for the company, which has seen an unprecedented increase in demand for its products. While a portion of the company’s sales come from the struggling promotional corporate sector, the other half of the business – direct-to-consumer ecommerce retail through the AJJcornole.com website – is booming.
“With everyone at home due to COVID-19, it’s really driven our direct-to-consumer market,” Back said. This demand drove the need for the second Pro 30f.
AJJ Enterprises says the ability to print white ink direct to its birch cornhole boards has been a game changer.
“Being able to print white at a high speed has been a huge help,” said Back. “It’s been a huge cost savings. Because of the white ink, we can move jobs that we would have first printed on vinyl and then transferred to the substrate.”
The printer’s six-zone, user-selectable vacuum system ensures efficient hold-down, no unintended media movement, and easy transitions between jobs, which is conducive to AJJ Enterprises’ high volume of work.
“What sets us apart from competitors is the wide breadth of designs that we have and the fact that we can print so quickly,” said Back.
“With the Pro 30f,” he added, “we can print a cornhole board in a minute and 40 seconds.” That translates to a significant increase in work completed per shift compared with the company’s previous process printing on vinyl and mounting those vinyl sheets to each cornhole board.
The EFI Fiery® proServer Core digital front end has also helped improve throughput and overall efficiency, providing simple job management for both new and existing designs. “Since we reprint a lot of the same designs, once we get the first print set up it’s an easy press-and-replay approach,” said Back. “Custom designs take a little bit of finesse, but it’s just a matter of testing, making any adjustments, and printing.”
About the EFI Pro 30f
According to EFI, the Pro 30f was designed for improved speed, quality and cost-savings for unique applications. It delivers customer-requested features such as a larger flatbed size, thicker media handling, wider application possibilities, and better price points.
The Pro 30f UV-LED flatbed printer has a maximum printable area of 120 inches x 80 inches (3.05 m x 2.04 m) with bleed printing. It features four colors plus dual channels of white standard, along with multi-layer printing. EFI’s white ink gives users the power to print superior color images on clear and colored media, as well as specialty media, such as wood, metal or glass. This short video shows the EFI Pro 30f in action:
The EFI Pro 30f was first shown at the FESPA Global Print Exo in May, 2019
EFI™ (Electronics for Imaging, Inc.) is a global technology company, based in Silicon Valley. They develop breakthrough technologies for manufacturing signage, packaging, textiles, ceramic tiles, and personalized documents. EFI manufacturers a wide range of printers, inks, digital front ends. Plus, they develop business and production workflow software that transforms and streamlines the entire production process. (www.efi.com)