Speed, technology and print quality are differentiating factors for Mexico City-based business
FREMONT, Calif. – Already the owner of five EFI™ VUTEk® machines, Mexico City-based Laboratorio Mexicano de Imágenes (LMI) has expanded its printing capabilities with a sixth, becoming the first Latin American company to install an EFI VUTEk FabriVU® 340i printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. The 3.4-meter dispersed dye-sublimation inkjet printer puts LMI ahead of the competition with high production capacity, speed and print quality. LMI also benefits from the printer’s differentiating features, such as online fixation – an innovative technology that eliminates the need to use a separate process to create soft signage on textiles.
With 25 years of experience, more than 200 employees and a philosophy based on excellence, innovation and being close to the customer, LMI has a strong market presence and invests in new technologies to continue being competitive. “Our mission as a company is to always be cutting edge, offering quality products, and the purchase of the FabriVU underscored this commitment. We are proud to offer complete solutions that exceed expectations," said Javier Gómez, spokesperson for LMI.
With customers in the B2B and B2C market requiring a broad range of products – from basic photographs to campaigns for brands such as Vans® – LMI has a strong presence in the publicity, art and decoration sectors. As a leader of the graphics sector that makes every effort to respect its clients’ budgets and delivery times, the company has won over the many agencies, museums, artists, architects and designers it has in its customer portfolio.
Gómez described the moment his company realized the need to purchase technology that would respond to new demands. “We spent a lot of time working with classic sublimation printing, on paper and with a heat press, but the market has grown and demands more,” he said. “We started to focus our efforts on digital marketing, and we began to receive a lot of new orders.”
The company consulted with a local authorized EFI distributor, TSG, S.A. de C.V., about its soft signage needs. TSG, headquartered in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico, sold the VUTEk FabriVU 340i to LMI.
LMI’s new printer delivers high efficiency on premium soft-signage textile graphics, with speeds up to 500 square meters per hour and print resolutions up to 2,400 dots per inch. It is the only production-level solution in its class that offers direct-to-fabric production and in-line sublimation without a separate heat press. VUTEk FabriVU printers – which are also available in 180- and 520-cm widths – use aqueous dye-sublimation inks from EFI.
Few printers achieve output equivalent to the EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340i, which offers high speed, an industrial build and high image quality. “Our products feature high-impact color that attracts attention, and this is the excellence the customer is seeking,” Gómez said. “We do not yet have ROI and investment recovery figures for the machine because, unfortunately, we had to suspend production with the pandemic, but the increase in productivity is evident and visible. Other industry companies that consult with us have also noticed.”
Support and training
The support of the EFI team and EFI’s attentive training left an impression on Gómez. “EFI started the work with some preliminary visits and, later, the process took an educational approach,” he said. “It is not sufficient to just have better technology, but the support is important so operators can fully absorb everything that the machine is capable of producing. From the board to our vendors, everyone learned about the equipment.”
According to Gómez, this concern for educating the market is a differentiating feature of EFI, which is reflected in the production and profitability of LMI’s work on the printer. “Because they are well trained, our employees are capable of offering differentiated products and we are capable of producing a lot more. In addition to training the teams, EFI support has helped our customers, and this exchange offers more security in carrying out any project,” he stated.
LMI has bold plans to increase its growth and productivity with the printer. “We need to take a step forward sometimes and invest in new technologies because they make the difference, and customers are excited by being able to carry out different projects with the equipment,” said Gómez. “The investment has already borne fruit!
“My suggestion for smaller companies,” he added, “is to make a shared purchase on a machine because, like LMI, they can have a positive yield. We are optimistic despite the economic instability at the moment, and we are investing now to reap the rewards when the market stabilizes.”