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EFI's Fiery XF Expands VUTEk Capabilities

Published on February 7, 2012

Christian Schowalter, Product Marketing Manager at EFI, tells Cary Sherburne about the new turnkey solution with the Fiery XF solutions.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I'm Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Christian Schowalter, who is Product Marketing Manager at EFI.  Welcome.

Christian Schowalter:  Thank you very much for having me.  

Cary Sherburne:  So you are Product Marketing Manager for Fiery XF.  

Christian Schowalter:  For Fiery XF, Color Proof XF, Web control center and the services around the XF.

Cary Sherburne:  That’s good.  So tell us a little bit about the Fiery XF comes with—Fiery XF is with the VUTEk brand format printers and tell us why that is a good thing.

Christian Schowalter:  Traditionally Fiery XF came with our VUTEk printers and actually today or starting with Graph Expo we give our customers the choice to select between Fiery XF and Fiery XF Pro Server, which is now on bundle and truly gives the customer the option to have a turnkey solution where he gets the software, he gets additional software features, he gets a year of software maintenance and support contract, full hardware support and a very, very high performance hardware system that comes with it.

Cary Sherburne:  So for these large format printers like the VUTEks I mean the files are huge.  They require a lot of computing power.

Christian Schowalter:  Exactly.  It’s very intensive view power and we actually have to rip the file before we hand it over to the VUTEk, so what can happen if you have a low performance rip that you really have the operator sitting next to it, a very significant investment machine in waiting for the rip to catch up, so we see two benefits on the Fiery XF Pro Server.  One is obviously very, very fast hardware.  The other one is the Fiery XF system itself is able to parallel process, so if you want to run multiple jobs in parallel, multiple printers we can do that.

Cary Sherburne:  That’s great and what about color consistency?  That’s important.

Christian Schowalter:  It’s very important and the Fiery XF system is actually based on the color management technology that came over from the Color Proof XF, so the Color Proof XF being the biggest install base of proofing systems out there because we know it’s a very solid color management technology, especially with the Pro Server we ship with what we call the Color Verify Option, so we give our customers the opportunity to put a strip on their print and actually verify if their print is printing correctly or not and one unique value of EFI is that we support what we call the Dynamic Wedge, so we are able instead of printing just a static strip, we are able to analyze the image and really take the colors out of the image that are important, including the spot colors and import that on the strip.  So now we’re really verifying what is important for this particular job and if something really should go wrong you can take this information and now automatically update that particular job and reprint it.  So instead of a customer doing trial and error we really can do this in a very automated-

Cary Sherburne:  That brings up the issue of spot colors because for brand owners if they’re looking at signage and other things they’re very picky about those spot colors.

Christian Schowalter:  Absolutely and if you don’t have those under control you’re just going to end up spending a lot of time in your printer going through a lot of media and I believe we’re the only vendor that can really put that spot color in this control strip and get control of that.

Cary Sherburne:  And you’ve got pantone certification.

Christian Schowalter:  Absolutely.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah, that’s terrific.  And so there are—Fiery, I know Fiery in general is JDF compliant, so I mean that’s just starting to happen in the sign industry, the adoption of JDF.  What is happening there?

Christian Schowalter:  Yeah, in general all our products at EFI are very, very compatible and you can upgrade as we go, so the Fiery XF system is fully JDF compliant with our PACE for example, digital storefront.  Now with the newest VUTEk GS engines we’re actually getting bi-direction communication from a printer back as well, so we know exactly how much ink that they use, how much media that they use.  I mean you can either just display it on the Fiery XF or we can feed it upstream in the MS system if we have one available.

Cary Sherburne:  That’s terrific.  Very exciting.  Thank you.

Christian Schowalter:  You’re more than welcome.

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