EFI Flatbed Printer Ramps Up Production

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The Pro 30f meets demands for a larger flatbed size, capability for thicker media production, wider application possibilities, and better price points. After a successful beta run with the first EFI Pro 30f printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc., AJJ Enterprises has purchased a second Pro 30f from authorised EFI inkjet reseller partner Nazdar SourceOne to meet increased consumer demand.

The Cincinnati-based company and the world’s first Pro 30f user installed its newest LED inkjet flatbed printer in June. With the pair of Pro 30f printers, AJJ Enterprises has brought about a seven times increase in throughput compared with the roll-to-roll vinyl and UV inkjet flatbed printers the company used previously. The EFI Pro 30f printer’s direct-to-substrate production capabilities on items up to 10cm (4 inches) thick was exactly what AJJ Enterprises needed to print directly on pre-assembled cornhole boards, saving crucial time, labour and production costs.

‘EFI’s engineers worked really closely with us because we have such a unique application,’ explained AJJ Enterprises Co-owner Shane Back. Because the company constantly prints at maximum thickness, EFI worked with AJJ Enterprises to adjust the printer’s UV LED curing lamps and ensure consistent, high-quality output. ‘On the beta printer, we were also able to change our jig to hold the boards on the table and make some structural changes that are now standard on all Pro 30f machines.’

This simplified, fast production the Pro 30f delivers is imperative for the company, which has seen an unprecedented increase in demand for its products. While a portion of the company’s sales are in the struggling promotional corporate sector, the other half of the business – direct-to-consumer e-commerce retail – is booming. ‘With everyone at home due to Covid-19, it’s really driven our direct-to-consumer market,’ Back said. This demand drove the need for the second Pro 30f.

The LED flatbed printer has a maximum printable area of 3.05m x 2.04m (120 inches x 80 inches) with bleed printing. It features four colours plus dual channels of white standard, along with multi-layer printing.

The machine’s unique capabilities allow EFI customers to extend their range of supported substrates. Best-in-class white ink gives users the power to print superior colour images on clear and coloured media, as well as specialty media, such as wood, metal or glass. The ability to print white ink direct to its birch cornhole boards has been a game changer for AJJ Enterprises specifically.

The printer’s six-zone, user-selectable vacuum system ensures efficient hold-down, no unintended media movement, and easy transitions between jobs, which is conducive to AJJ Enterprises’ high volume of work. ‘What sets us apart from competitors is the wide breadth of designs that we have and the fact that we can print so quickly,’ said Back.

‘With the Pro 30f,’ he added, ‘we can print a cornhole board in a minute and 40 seconds.’ That translates to a significant increase in work completed per shift compared with the company’s previous process printing on vinyl and mounting those vinyl sheets to each cornhole board.

The EFI Fiery proServer Core digital front end has also helped improve throughput and overall efficiency, providing simple job management for both new and existing designs. ‘Since we reprint a lot of the same designs, once we get the first print set up, it’s an easy press-and-replay approach,’ said Back. ‘Custom designs take a little bit of finesse, but it’s just a matter of testing, making any adjustments, and printing.’

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