EFI innovation honored with EDP Award in three categories

EFI Fiery FreeForm Create variable data printing (VDP) software drives more productivity in graphics arts

EDP Awards
EDP Awards 2020

Electronics For Imaging (EFI) received three European Digital Press (EDP) Awards from the European graphics arts trade press in 2020 for advanced new technology solutions that support graphic arts professionals to drive more productivity and revenue. For the 14th annual EDP Awards, judges recognized EFI Fiery FreeForm Create variable data printing (VDP) software, the EFI VUTEk 32h LED hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll inkjet printer, and EFI VUTEk D Series LED roll-to-roll inkjet printers as winning solutions in one of Europe’s most respected print technology competitions.

We are both honored and proud in receiving three EDP Awards this year,” said Paul Cripps, EFI regional vice president of sales. “These awards are important to us as they reflect our commitment to developing smart, breakthrough technologies as well as reinforce our hard work – all to better support our customers across market segments.”

The EDP Awards are held every year by the EDP Association, an organization comprised of 20 leading European trade magazines in the printing industry. The Association evaluates the latest products and solutions that are digital or are able to integrate into a digital workflow.

Fast, free and easy personalization

Fiery FreeForm Create, winner in the EDP Awards category for best special application software, is a standalone application that comes included with EFI Fiery print servers. It enables companies to easily and quickly add personalized elements such as variable text, images, or barcodes, to files in just a few clicks, making it ideal for VDP novices and seasoned veterans alike.

For print businesses, in-plants, and packaging producers, FreeForm Create can provide a more efficient and cost-effective method of personalization compared to existing or paid applications.

Once we took the time to learn the basics of FreeForm Create, our efficiency and turnaround times became so much faster,” said one user of the software in the US, Matt Gale, owner of the AlphaGraphics franchise in Sheridan, Wyoming. “Before, all variable files had to go through our designer to be merged in InDesign, which often resulted in huge files and production bottlenecks. Now, with FreeForm Create, we have several employees that are trained to set up the files. No costly software is needed, and it can be done from almost any machine. The ability to preview variable files is great, and the ability to make changes instantly is amazing. We look forward to continuing to learn more about FreeForm Create so we can offer these capabilities to even more clients.”

Superior quality, high flexibility, increased output

The VUTEk D series and the VUTEk 32h are ideal solutions for customers moving into superwide graphics production printing. Both printers offer precision printing with UltraDropTM Technology 7-picolitre greyscale printheads and eco-friendly EFI LED “cool cure” technology, opening doors for sign and display graphics producers to get into high-volume, high-quality production-level printing.

The EFI VUTEk D series – winner of the EDP Award for roll-to-roll printers above 320 centimeter – consists of two advanced, mid-range LED printers: the VUTEk D3r with a 350-centimeter maximum printing width and the D5r with a 520-centimeter maximum printing width. EFI created these printers for the industrial printing demands of high-quality volume producers, with the ability to produce a wide range of applications, from indoor signage to fleet graphics, car wraps, and truck-side curtains. The outstanding features of VUTEk D series printers, including 1,200 dots per inch (dpi) printing, white and clear ink, multi-layer printing, and inline finishing, make them ideal for closely viewed indoor applications such as window displays, POS and POP images, backlit signs, interior décor for walls and floors, trade show graphics, and fine art prints. The durable and high-quality graphics VUTEk D series printers provide also give customers more value in their ability to produce outdoor applications.

The 3.2-meter EFI VUTEk 32h LED hybrid inkjet printer received the EDP Award for hybrid/flatbed printers up to 250 square meter per hour. The eight-colour printer is a versatile solution that can print on materials up to 5.08-centimeter thick in true 600- or 1,000-dpi resolutions. A highly versatile hybrid solution, the VUTEk 32h is ideal for direct-to-rigid printing as well as roll-to-roll applications. Its white ink, optional clear ink for spot, flood, and unique applications, and multi-layer printing capabilities make it ideal for the production of premium specialty applications.

For EFI VUTEk 32h user Charlotte Aveline, production manager of the Alsace, France-based printing service company Aveline, the VUTEk 32h and its white ink enable a stronger offering to clients: “The quality of the white ink enables us to offer printing with real added value… while ensuring that we can respond to customers from the media world.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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