EFI VUTEk Q3r and Q5r Printers Combine Superb Quality with High Productivity

The EFI VUTEk Q series of superwide roll-to-roll printers were developed to deliver the highest image quality at the highest rated speeds in the industrial roll-to-roll printer market.

The EFI VUTEk Q3r and VUTEk Q5r printers can provide full-system solutions, from file submission to finished prints that are cut to size, rolled, taped, and marked for the designated display solution.

The EFI VUTEk Q5r print different graphics simultaneously on 3 rolls of 63-in. media.

The VUTEk Q3r can print up to 138 in. wide on one superwide roll of flexible material or on two side-by-side rolls of 63-in. wide media. It runs at speeds of up to 6,006 sq. ft. per hour.

The VUTEK Q5r can print up to 198 in. wide on one superwide roll. It can be loaded with 3 rolls of 63 in. media. It runs at speeds up to 7,233 sq. ft. per hour.

The printers can handle the wide range of flexible materials used in sign and display graphics, wallcoverings, window and floor graphics, vehicle wraps, and manufactured decor products such as luxury vinyl tile.

“We designed the EFI VUTEk Q3r and VUTEk Q5r to go beyond printing to provide a complete print-to-finished graphic workflow (from RIP to finished product) on the same platform,” said Ken Hanulec, EFI vice president, worldwide marketing. “This new printer series brings unprecedented speed to our portfolio and a host of valuable features and options that take profitable roll-to-roll production to a new, higher level.”

Below is more information about the inks, printhead technology, optional power tools, print management systems, color controls, and cloud connectivity. Together, these features help improve the efficient, accurate production of many different types of jobs with minimal waste.

Inks

Both printers use nine UV LED-curable inks.

  • The four standard colors include: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
  • The five optional colors include: light cyan, light magenta, light black, white, and clear.

The configuration and type of inks you choose will depend on the type of applications you plan to do most often. For example, if you routinely print high-quality photos and graphics for museum exhibits and premium point-of-purchase displays, you will have different requirements than a shop that plans to print woodgrain patterns on the decor films used to make luxury vinyl tile.

Shops that create high-resolution photographic images will use the light magenta, light cyan, and light black inks to produce a wide range of colors with smooth transitions in the skin tones and greater detail in the shadows and highlight areas.

Companies that print on clear or translucent films for window graphics or backlit graphics will use a white ink to create a base layer for the color inks. And shops that want to produce wallcoverings and decor films with interesting textures will include a clear ink.

The clear ink either as flood coat to add protection to the print or surface. Or, the clear ink can be applied in layers to selected areas of the print to create textured or glossy highlight areas.

Graphic shops that will use VUTEk Q3r and Q5r machines to produce outdoor-durable vehicle wraps and fleet markings can choose 3M SuperFlex XF ink. Vehicle graphics produced with these inks and specific 3M wrapping films qualify for 3M’s Matched Component System warranty for vehicle-graphic performance.

The LED technology used to cure the inks on the surface of the substrate consumes less energy than other forms of UV ink curing. LED curing also improves control over the gloss and matte surface finishes, and expands the range of materials you can print to, including lower cost and specialty materials.

EFI UltraDrop Technology

Both printers use EFI’s UltraDrop technology with printheads that can deliver ink droplets as small as 7 picoliters and true resolution up to 1200 dpi.

The droplet size can be varied to produce high-definition image quality with smooth shadows and gradients and superb font quality even as small as three-point text.

Power Tools

EFI’s “power tool” options help improve overall throughput by removing the amount of manual processes involved in setting up, running the print job, or preparing the finished rolls of materials for delivery. Some of the optional Power Tools include:

X-Cutter: This tool cuts the prints to the desired length without the slowing down the printing.

Y-Slitter: This device cuts prints to the desired width, making it easy to produce multiple widths of prints on wide or superwide roll. This eliminates wasted media and includes collectors to hold the materials trimmed from the edges of the prints.

InSpec: This in-line print-quality monitoring system alerts the operator when print imperfections are spotted. The operator can take corrective action before imperfections on reproduced on multiple prints.

Roll & Tape: This automated device takes printed cut sheets directly from the printer, rolls them into scrolls, and tapes the edges with labels that include printed job information.

ID Backprint: This features enables you to print customer information on the backside of the printed media.

Automatic Backlit: This print control makes it possible to print each side of a media with a different print mode.

Super Duty Winder: This equipment is used for loading heavy media rolls.


Fiery proServer RIP Premium Digital Front End

Print jobs are set up and managed through a mobile operator touch screen connected to the Fiery ProServer Premium digital front end (DFE). This high-powered DFE combines Fiery XF software with EFI’s cutting-edge server hardware and Fiery FAST RIP for accelerated processing of the large file sizes associated with grand-format printing. In addition for tools for managing job layouts, print modes, and color quality, Fiery DFE Systems include options such as Fiery Spot Color, Fiery Color Profiler Suite, and Fiery Color Verifier.

Fiery Spot Color automates the process of matching spot colors and brand colors used on the many different substrates in advertising, promotional, and display graphics.

Fiery Color Profiler Suite is comprehensive toolset for creating custom color profiles for the precise and repeatable production of colors on both the monitor used to soft proof jobs and the printer and media you plan for use.

Fiery Color Verifier can measure, compare, verify, and correct the color values of prints. It can be used to enable remote proofing, matching prints to standards, or verifying that colors printed in one run are consistent with the colors produced earlier or on a different printer. The Fiery Color Verifier works with internal and external spectrophotometers

Cloud Connectivity

Operators of the EFI VUTEk Q3r and Q5r printers can use the mobile touchscreen stations to connect to new EFI IQ cloud-based applications. With EFI IQ applications, users can track ink and media usage for each job, and monitor job queues and production downtime.

Comments from Users

The world’s first VUTEk Q5r installation side was Yahav Digital Print, a large-format print production company in Israel that currently uses four EFI roll-to-roll printers.

“Our new VUTEk Q5f was installed in October 2020, and we have been running it in full production ever since,” said Zevik Nur, CEO of Yahav Digital Print. “It has exceeded our expectations in terms of reliability, production speeds, print quality, ink consumption, media utilization, and ease of use. We can shift a lot of jobs to the new Q5r and our customers are highly satisfied with our ability to shorten lead times and produce even higher quality prints at faster speeds.”

David Aloni, CEO of Xtreme dpi, said, “As part of our due diligence in selecting a new roll-to-roll printer, we ran the EFI VUTEk Q5r through its paces, including full production. It is the fastest printer in its class, achieving a record production speed. We found its print quality second to none, even for the most challenging files and media types.”

For more information about the VUTEk Q3r and Q5r printers and other superwide roll-to-roll printers from EFI, visit: https://www.efi.com/products/inkjet-printing-and-proofing/efi-superwide-roll-to-roll-printers/

EFI announced the VUTEk Q3r and Q5r printers at the EFI Engage virtual conference in January 2021.

iTEK Graphics Adds EFI VUTEk Superwide Hybrid Inkjet Printer for Retail Signs

Six years after first adopting digital printing, iTek Graphics has completed its largest-ever investment in superwide-format inkjet printing. The Concord, North Carolina-based company has installed a 126-inch wide EFI™ VUTEk® HS125 Pro hybrid inkjet press from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. The EFI VUTEk superwide printer uses UV-curable inks to produce graphics on either flat, rigid substrates or rolls of flexible materials.

 

The new press replaces an older hybrid inkjet printer the company used. iTek Graphics will use the added production capacity of the EFI VUTEk HS125 Pro to meet the growing customer demand for high-quality retail point-of-purchase (POP) signage and graphics.

iTek Graphics will primarily print retail display promotional signage on styrene and corrugated plastic. Much of that signage will be for a grocery chain that relies on iTek Graphics for its printing needs at locations across eight states.

‘The most bang for the buck’

“We looked at all the high-volume, high-quality superwide-format inkjet presses in the market,” said iTek Graphics Owner John Rawlins, “and while they all offered high-quality printing, the decision came down to which press offered the best combination of price, speed and price per square foot for ink. The VUTEk gives us the most bang for the buck.”

Printing at speeds up to 125 boards per hour, the VUTEk HS125 Pro has eight channels, including two white inks, and delivers premium-quality, grayscale imaging on a broad range of flexible and rigid substrates up to 2 inches thick. A three-quarter automated material handling system installed with the press ensures faster loading and off-loading to maintain high productivity.

Integrated productivity for high-volume digital print

iTek Graphics also offers sheetfed offset and cut-sheet digital printing. The company has long relied on EFI MIS/ERP workflow software to drive efficiencies in its overall business and production management operations.

The EFI Fiery® proServer digital front end iTek Graphics installed to drive its new superwide-format inkjet press integrates directly with the EFI Midmarket Print Suite workflow the company uses to manage the business.

That seamless connectivity into iTek Graphics’ overall workflow will reduce the time needed to estimate, schedule and deliver jobs printed on the new inkjet press.

“Digital is an important part of our business,” Rawlins said. “When we moved into our current facility 14 months ago, 40 percent of our business was digital. Now, with the new HS125 press, our digital printing revenues should reach the 50 percent mark by the end of the year.”

For more information about superwide-format inkjet graphics production with EFI VUTEk products, visit www.efi.com. To see many of the imaginative applications possible with EFI print technology, visit www.ImagingofThings.com.