EFI Cubik single-pass inkjet printer for wood

Decoration on building materials, including wood

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EFI
The Cubik digital inkjet technology saves on time as well as cost of rolls and tools, replacing analog technology needed to stain wood boards and veneers

EFI has reported that Concord Flooring in Corona, California, is one of the first companies in the world to adopt EFI Cubik with Mineral Inks, an innovative digital single-pass printing solution for printing on wood. EFI’s Cubik technology offers a unique concept for staining and decorating solid hardwood floors, boards for doors and panels for furniture and cabinets. Its mineral inks are specifically created to decorate wood naturally with inkjet printing since they integrate with the material, respecting the nobility and warmth of the wood.

Concord Flooring began operations designed around EFI Cubik capabilities with an all-digital and fully automated workflow for decorating wood for flooring and other purposes. It is the largest engineered hardwood flooring manufacturer on the West Coast. “Our owner wants nothing but the best,” said Sylvia Bulanek, Concord Flooring’s Marketing director. “In the wood industry, there are two things that most manufacturers have problems with: it is difficult to maintain color consistency, and there is too much downtime with the analog processes they are using. Our factory has addressed both of these issues.”

“The EFI Cubik, with its Fiery digital front end, is able to automatically adjust color based on specifications, taking into account the color of the wood,” Bulanek added. “Wood, of course, is a natural product whose color varies from tree to tree. Also, this automated color management enables us to switch colors quickly as we move from project to project.”

The EFI Cubik single-pass inkjet printer, available in 27.6 and 55 in (700 and 1400 mm) printing widths, is capable of decorating and staining boards and planks up to 1.18 in (120 mm) thick. Available with optional vacuum transport and printing speed up to 164 linear ft/min (50 linear m/min), combined with EFI’s Mineral Inks, it’s a powerful, efficient, and high-quality solution for modern wood decoration. The mineral inks are ideal for staining hardwood, veneers, and plywood, and do not need priming prior to inkjet printing.

The Cubik digital inkjet technology saves on time as well as cost of rolls and tools, replacing analog technology needed to stain wood boards and veneers. Ink mix stocks and masterpieces are no longer needed as inkjet printing guarantees color consistency from one production run to another. Digital staining with mineral inks makes it easy to obtain a greater range of tones.

At Concord Flooring, the wood exits the system ready for post-processing and shipping, accomplished with a series of finishing stations connected via conveyors. There is no waste and no downtime between job lots. In addition, the automated factory requires very few employees, making it easier to deliver a high-quality product at a competitive price. The full capacity of the factory is 80,000 square feet per day.

Bulanek also explains that the system offers a means of using different types of wood to achieve the same outcome. An example, she explained, is with oak woods. “French oak and American oak are two very different woods from different continents. French oak is more white, and American oak is more red. But with Cubik, we can use either one to achieve the same outcome. And for us, using American wood is more sustainable since it ships from within the U.S. Plus, the inks allow you to really see the beautiful grain in the wood, especially when we use a super matte industrial-grade durable wood finish.”

EFI is a global technology company with a scalable portfolio of products, solutions, services, support, and world-class partnerships for the manufacturing of signage, packaging, textiles, ceramic tiles, building materials, commercial print, and personalized documents with a wide range of printers, inks, digital front ends, and workflow software. 

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