With the acquisition of a 518.16cm (17 foot) wide EFI VUTEk FabriVU 520 dye-sublimation printer from Electronics For Imaging, long-time EFI customer Imaged Advertising Creations (IAC) in Toronto has become a total EFI large format shop.
For several years now, the company has also used a 487.6cm (16 foot) wide EFI VUTEk UV roll-to-roll printer, as well as a 320cm (10.5 foot) wide EFI VUTEk UV hybrid flatbed/roll printer.
IAC is the first company in Canada to install the FabriVU 520 dye-sublimation printer. IAC, which is a full-service visual communications company, will leverage the quality, productivity and expanded format of the printer to grow its dye-sublimation business into new markets and industries.
‘The size of this printer opens up new markets for us where customers need larger graphics,’ said Sean Sadhoo, general manager of IAC. ‘One of those markets is theatre companies that need theatrical backdrops, or curtains. They used banner vinyl until recently but are now switching to sublimated panels.
‘These are very custom, one-off jobs,’ Sadhoo added. ‘There are only five shops in North America that can do it, so the VUTEk FabriVU gives us a huge advantage.’
Other markets where IAC sees growth opportunities are large-scale events, such as music festivals and sporting events. The company serves clients looking to create exciting brand experiences that resonate with audiences. Event companies also want compelling visual impact with high production values to distinguish their brands. Printed fabric is optimal for these clients because it is less expensive to ship, while the quality and versatility of the substrates create many new opportunities for IAC to grow its business.
In addition to the potential for expanding in new markets, the VUTEk FabriVU line – which is also available in 176.7cm (5.8 foot) and 335.2 (11 foot) widths – sets IAC apart with its current customers. IAC was an early adopter in Canada for dye-sublimation printing, having identified the growth potential of the segment early on. Now, more than half of its sales volume is currently in dye-sub work for clients needing graphics for tradeshow and pop-up events, and corporate and retail environments. Nearly all of IAC’s customers are increasingly using fabric over other substrates to enhance their brand impression.
‘In the last six months or so it seems that retailers in Canada have caught on,’ said Sadhoo. ‘There’s so much fabric going into retail stores now, especially silicone edge graphics, like light boxes. The cost savings in shipping when they’re rolling out national programmes are significant, and the graphics are easy to install.’
For these clients, IAC’s new VUTEk FabriVU 520 printer will deliver faster and better quality than the shop previously could provide. The printer is a highly productive, robust solution designed for 24/7 operation. Its aqueous inks deliver four-colour printing in a wide colour gamut with deep saturation up to an ultra-high resolution of 2400 dpi. This workhorse produces print at a maximum speed of 446 square metres (4800 square feet) per hour.