FREMONT, California - Instant Sign Center recently completed two key enhancements, partnering with EFI™ to offer even better quality and productivity for the signage and graphics services it provides in the construction, real estate, retail, trade show display and other markets. The Norwood, Mass.-based company purchased an EFI VUTEk® QS2 Pro UV hybrid roll/flatbed inkjet printer to replace a UV inkjet printer it had from another manufacturer. Instant Sign Center also transitioned its production operations to an EFI Fiery® proServerproduction workflow.
The 2-meter wide VUTEk QS2 Pro printer Instant Sign Center installed is 75% faster than the machine it replaced. On top of that, according to Instant Sign Center General Manager Dan Johansen, “The quality of printing we get with the VUTEk at standard production speed mode is better than what our old UV printer could produce at its higher quality setting.”
EFI also has a service team close to Instant Sign Center, a luxury the company did not have with its former printer vendor. Because it has a new printer with faster service availability if needed, Johansen estimates that the company also will save more than $50,000 in costs annually.
Better profitability from solving the solvent/UV inkjet equation
Plus, the greater throughput the VUTEk QS2 Pro printer provides generates additional labor savings, a factor that made the investment easy to justify. Instant Sign Center uses the VUTEk printer to produce all the UV inkjet work it had before, as well as a significant amount of work that once ran on slower, solvent inkjet devices. Moving solvent work to the new VUTEk printer will help reduce overtime the company often pays to meet production schedules.
“With the VUTEk printer, the amount we spent to buy it is not much of a factor compared to how much we are able to save,” said Johansen. “Our goal for getting a great ROI involved moving 30% of our solvent work to UV inkjet, but we were actually able to switch more than 50% of our solvent work to the VUTEk printer, which immediately improved our bottom line.”
The six-color VUTEk QS2 Pro comes standard with roll-to-roll functionality and prints on rigid, sheet and flexible media up to 80 inches wide and 2 inches thick. Instant Sign Center’s clients benefit from the printer’s superior-quality, variable-drop grayscale imaging. The printer also includes EFI’s industry-leading white ink and single-pass, multilayer printing, features that have helped Instant Sign Center dramatically expanded the range of materials it can print on, eliminating the time and expense of laminating white film to jobs produced on clear, acrylic substrates.
Instant Sign Center installed an EFI Fiery proServer along with its new printer, becoming one of the first companies in the country to use the new, faster, version 6 of the advanced Fiery production workflow and RIP system. Working together, the new proServer and the printer ensure exceptional quality without common imaging mistakes, something that allowed the company to cut its volume of wasted prints in half compared to its previous UV printing system.
Eliminating bottlenecks with a consistent, high-quality production workflow
Fiery proServer 6 features the Fiery Accelerated System Technology (FAST) RIP, an EFI-developed acceleration technology that improves processing for the Adobe PDF Print Engine as well as the Adobe Post Script Interpreter (CPSI). Utilizing a combination of file compression algorithms and efficient memory management, FAST RIP redefines how complex images are analyzed. As a result, the proServer processes files faster than competing RIPs, operating at speeds that are up to seven times faster than the previous proServer version.
The Fiery proServer provides a high-performance color management workflow and, because it is compatible with more than 540 printers from numerous major manufacturers, Instant Sign Center was able to replace two other RIP platforms it used to consolidate all of its inkjet print operations on the faster Fiery product.
“The fact that the Fiery proServer could run all of our inkjet printers made it very attractive,” said Johansen. “Plus it does the work faster. We used to wait for our old servers to catch up to the printers, and it was a major bottleneck for us.”
The proServer’s color management capabilities also reduce the time Instant Sign Center spends matching its clients’ corporate brand colors by 80%, compared to what Johansen described as a “challenging” process of managing color across two different RIP platforms. “Our job is to protect our clients’ brands,” Johansen stated, “and without the color tools included with the proServer, we would be doing color correction for hours if not days on certain jobs.”
“Success stories like Instant Sign Center’s are the reason EFI goes beyond industry norms in the extensive R&D needed to create efficient, superior-quality inkjet products and a faster, integrated workflow to drive them,” said Scott Schinlever, senior vice president and general manager, EFI Inkjet Solutions. “With the faster throughput, higher quality and lower total cost of operation EFI products offer, this customer is saving a significant amount of money while becoming a more valuable supplier to its clients.”
For more information about EFI products, visit www.efi.com or contact 800-875-7117.