Graffiti Remain Market Leaders With First Vutek GS5250LXr In South Africa


In a first of its kind for South Africa, branding and out-of-home media company Graffiti has purchased an EFI VUTEk GS5250LXr. The deal was concluded with EFI VUTEk distributor Saga Digital, whose South African division will work closely with Graffiti to ensure a seamless installation.

The relationship with Saga Digital UAE principals goes back many years, as they were the original suppliers of the Jeti Solvent Printers that Graffiti is still using. With the new Saga Digital SA office now up and running, the transition to EFI, and more so the new VUTEk GS5250LXr, was a comfortable one.

Alan Harris, MD of Graffiti, has a great deal of passion for the business and was relentless in his pursuit of excellence when doing his research on the company’s next big purchase. Criteria such as service, experience, performance, running costs and overall production feasibility were among the key issues looked at when assessing market opportunities. As the market leader in super-wide UV Printers, EFI VUTEk was certainly up to the task of working with Saga Digital SA to ensure that Graffiti’s needs were assessed and met. As a leader in vehicle branding and fleet services, Graffiti had a great part of the business which needed to be looked at in terms of efficiency, costs and overall returns.

‘We decided to upgrade our equipment to state-of-the-art technology,’ said Harris. ‘We looked at different machines and this is the only one that could do something for us that no other equipment can—it’s a game-changer. The VUTEk will enhance our different divisions, such as vehicle branding, tarpaulin services, building and boundary wraps and retail solutions. Previously, we had to outsource certain things; with the new VUTEk we can bring more work in-house as it opens up a broader spectrum of substrates and niche avenues in the market. We can also print massive billboards without joins, which we couldn’t do before. It allows us to provide a much wider product offering and will ensure we are a one-stop-shop for our clients.’

The quicker turnaround times provided by the VUTEk also appealed to Harris. ‘By tripling our capacity, the machine will speed up our process significantly, because we no longer have to wait for prints to dry. Being the pioneers of vehicle branding, we are now at the cutting-edge of technology,’ he said.

Graffiti has also adopted a cleaner future for branding and has since opted for a ‘greener’ print operation, by reducing operating costs with less emissions to compliment the fresh ideas and specialised print work they endeavour to carry out. ‘There is pressure from our clients to be more sustainable, so the VUTEk helps us to meet those expectations,’ said Harris. ‘The savings on energy consumption, especially with load shedding and increasing energy prices, was also a factor in the purchase.’

‘The market has become highly competitive over the past few years,’ said Iain McMurray, General Manager of Saga South Africa. ‘Factors such as exchange rates for media, electricity, labour costs and tighter deadlines were all key factors in the analysis which Saga South Africa carried out at Graffiti over a long period, to decide on which equipment would take them to the next level, while securing their long term investment.

‘The Vutek GS5250LXr is a tribute to EFI’s cutting edge technology and is one of their flagship units in the range. The unit boasts 10 colours including white channels all cured with the latest LED technology, not to mention EFI’s SuperFlex ink which is unprecedented in terms of flexibility, longevity and amazing colour gamut. This particular unit will be the first of its kind in South Africa and will no doubt take the market to a new level in quality and performance.’

The unit will allow Graffiti the full measure of up to 5m in width to aggressively attack markets such as high point of sale, while also meeting sharper deadlines and carrying out niche work for clients. The fact that the unit has white and is 5m, will also open up new avenues within Graffiti’s target markets. The technology invested in this unit also allows for highly specialised applications that are unique to the growing band of EFI disciples and the GS5250LXr takes this to a new level of specialisation.

‘On Behalf of Saga Digital South Africa and SAGA Digital UAE, we look forward to working with Alan and his team as well as taking them to new heights,’ said McMurray.

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