EFI 'Ignites' Customers at Inkjet Innovation Open House
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One of the best ways for industry suppliers to showcase and demonstrate their latest hardware and software innovations is to host open house events for small groups of prospects and existing customers. EFI is no different, as exemplified by the "Ignite Your Business With Brilliant Capabilities" event held recently at its 220,000-sq.-ft. Global Inkjet Innovation Center in Londonderry, New Hampshire. The equipment housed in the demo center and presentations centered around EFI's push to drive the analog-to-digital transition across the packaging and corrugated, display graphics, textile, and building materials/décor end-markets for industrial inkjet.
The Londonderry center consolidated all of EFI’s inkjet operations into a single facility, which includes research & development, manufacturing, warehousing, training and service for EFI VUTEk and EFI wide-format printers, along with worldwide sales and marketing management for EFI's portfolio of narrow, wide-, and superwide-format industrial inkjet printers and presses.
The latest "Ignite" event kicked off with a welcome address by CEO Frank Pennisi, who just joined EFI in January. Pennisi is no stranger to the company, however; he was an EFI customer. As the former president and CEO of Orora Packaging Solutions, he was an EFI Nozomi single-pass inkjet printer user. Pennisi's experience with EFI also extended to Orora Packaging’s sister company, Orora Visual – a display graphics provider that is among the largest North American users of EFI VUTEk display graphics and EFI Reggiani industrial textile digital printers.
Pennisi was followed by a presentation from Doug Edwards, EFI's chief technology officer, who provided a roadmap of future product development goals. Overseeing 700 engineers worldwide, Edwards discussed EFI's ongoing efforts to convert former analog printing processes to digital. While he indicated it took 10 years for ceramics to convert from 0% to 95% digital industrial manufacturing, the display graphics and corrugated markets remain in their analog-to-digital infancy.
The longtime printing industry veteran and R&D technologist also talked about EFI's efforts to embrace "lights out" manufacturing incorporating auto replenishment, on-board inspection, and self-diagnostic capabilities across a single-pass inkjet press lineup that uses a common Piezo inkjet head platform. He also discussed the Nozomi platform's expansion into display graphics, the Fiery IQ suite that enables data-driven decisions based on production analytics, as well as a common API to enable EFI customers to easily integrate with third-party software.
Some of the wide-format equipment demonstration highlights for Ignite attendees included, among others:
- EFI VUTEk XT super-high-speed printer
- EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340i+ for soft signage
- EFI VUTEk Q Series roll-to-roll printers
- EFI VUTEk h Series
- EFI VUTEk 32h hybrid super-wide printer
Ken Hanulec, EFI VP of worldwide marketing, also took the assembled group of journalists and analysts who attended the Ignite event on a tour of the massive EFI facility. "EFI is well-positioned to continue to make big strides in the analog to digital conversion of all high-value print applications," he said. "The roadmap is clear that there are many, many, more big things to come from EFI.” From all appearances, Hanulec wasn't kidding.
Following the morning EFI tour in Londonderry, the group of journalists and analysts were hosted by Frank Romano at the Museum of Printing in Haverhill, Massachusetts. (Click here to read a report about the museum.)
Mark Michelson is the Editor-in-Chief of Printing Impressions. Serving in this role since 1985, Michelson is an award-winning journalist and member of several industry honor societies. Reader feedback is always encouraged. Email firstname.lastname@example.org