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.