Vancouver-based The Flag Shop’s recently installed EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340i dye-sublimation printer is the first printer in its class to offer in-line sublimation, which eliminates the need to transfer printed items to a separate calender/heat press. The four-colour, 337.8cm (133 inch) wide printer also offers superior quality and 2400dpi imaging, which enables The Flag Shop to differentiate itself with truly premium products.
‘We needed a replacement printer, but we also wanted a printer that would allow us to expand our opportunities,’ said Susan Braverman, The Flag Shop’s president. ‘The EFI 340i will be fabulous for our existing ‘bread and butter’ product line but, equally important, it opens up a whole new world of products that don’t yet exist in our marketplace.’
Braverman added, ‘I like to find products that aren’t being made, and love to expand into areas where we have no competition. This printer not only allows us to do that, but having a grand format printer in Vancouver means we have the flexibility of completing large projects in-house and the ability to deliver really quickly if needed. That’s a big advantage for our clients.’
The printer is already setting a new standard for quality among clients. ‘We recently made street banner samples on the FabriVU 340i for a large international retailer of high-end yogawear – and they told us we blew away the competition,’ said Ron Reyes, The Flag Shop’s production manager. ‘We were awarded the order and installed their full banner programme throughout the city.’
Vancouver is also colloquially known as Hollywood North because so many films and television series shoot there. The Flag Shop has been actively supporting this industry with both digitally printed and appliqué products.
Reyes commented, ‘We are now able to provide products, such as backdrops for sets, with fewer seams, which is important to this industry. We used to do projects in multiple pieces which were then sewn together but now are able to produce large backdrops in one piece – that’s impressive.’
The Flag Shop also purchased the newest-version EFI Fiery proServer SE digital front end (DFE) to drive its new printer. With the DFE, the company gets superior colour management and spot-colour handling, along with EFI’s exclusive Fiery Accelerated System Technology RIP (FAST RIP) – a processing feature that RIPs jobs fives times faster on average to eliminate printer downtime spent waiting for files.
‘The 340i recirculation ink technology extends the mileage of the inks,’ he added, ‘so our ink cost has gone down and our ink usage has gone down. The ROI on this printer is impressive and I’ve been blown away by the EFI level of professionalism.’
‘EFI is in their own class. You don’t just buy the printer and they’re gone,’ Braverman summarised. ‘We expect to enhance our competitive advantage and improve profitability by taking advantage of all the features that the VUTEk 340i offers us. EFI has an incredible lineup of printers.’