AlphaGraphics Suwanee Drives Rapid Growth with an LED Production Printer from EFI
Thursday, November 06, 2014
FREMONT, California - EFI™, a world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation, today reported that the AlphaGraphics center in Suwanee, Ga., has installed an EFI H1625 LED wide-format printer. The production printer model is a hybrid roll/flatbed device that includes industry- leading white ink and EFI’s “cool cure” LED inkjet technology.
With the assistance of AlphaGraphics’ headquarters, Alan Akins, owner and president, AlphaGraphics Suwanee, and his team evaluated a number of different offerings before making a final decision. “One of the things that moved us toward EFI is the quality of the white ink,” Akins said. “It is so much better than everyone else’s, a true white without the blue tones you find in other wide-format printers, and it is a much denser ink. Its speed gives us great throughput and we are really happy with the registration and overall quality.”
The EFI H1625 LED printer helps companies develop more creative business opportunities by printing on a broader range of substrates compared with UV or latex inkjet printers. The printer’s four color grayscale printheads produce near-photographic image quality, with saturated colors and smooth gradations.
LED innovation fuels success with reduced waste and lower energy usage
The printer’s cool cure LED technology handles roll or flatbed media that cannot withstand the heat of other curing or drying processes. Plus, the instant on/off LED lamps provide more consistent imaging with fewer wasted prints. The lamps also last longer than halide lamps employed in UV inkjet printers, reducing users’ consumables costs.
The printer also is a greener option compared to other print methods, printing with virtually no VOCs. Plus the printer’s LED lamps can significantly decrease power consumption.
“We’ve been in the printing business since 1990, and joined the AlphaGraphics network about three years ago,” Akins noted. “Since that time, we have tripled our business to $1.2 million in annual revenues with 11 employees. Our new EFI Wide Format printer will be a key factor in helping us continue that growth.”
Upgrading for business growth
Akins has offered wide-format services in one form or another since 1994 and the EFI H1625 LED printer acquisition is the latest in a series of upgrades that have helped to expand the business. “We have been able to add wholesale work for other AlphaGraphics centers in Atlanta to our mix,” he said, “and we have been really pleased with the ability to print backlit materials and do direct printing on black boards. This is something we couldn’t do before. We’ve experimented with just about everything, including black neoprene and metal side pieces for equipment such as x-ray machines.”
Another new opportunity for the company is the ability to print on 20 pound roll paper. “This helps us compete with the latex printers out there,” according to Akins. “And, we can do a lot of things that they can’t; the printer is extremely versatile.”
“It is gratifying to see the level of innovation at companies like AlphaGraphics Suwanee,” said Scott Schinlever, senior vice president and general manager, EFI Inkjet Solutions. “The features and capabilities we offer for inkjet graphics production with this printer are key to customers who want to grow with wide-format printing and develop profitable, new business opportunities.”
Software offerings from EFI provide additional advantages to AlphaGraphics Suwanee. Akins is pleased with the EFI Fiery® XF software AlphaGraphics Suwanee uses to drive his new printer. “We have Fiery servers running other equipment in the center,” he said, “and we are very familiar with the workflow. We have also been happy with Fiery’s color management capabilities since we often produce pieces of the same job on color toner presses and our wide-format solvent printer. With Fiery, we are able to ensure that all of the pieces look the same.”
AlphaGraphics Suwanee also uses EFI PrintSmith™ business management software for estimating and accounting tasks.