FREMONT, California - Bill Korman, president of Korman Signs in Henrico, Va., knew that that rapid pace of advancement in digital print technology would eventually create new industry standards in quality and productivity for his traffic signage business. So, when he was offered the opportunity to install the new EFI™ H1625-RS printer – developed by EFI and offered as part of a complete traffic solution together with 3M™ Inks and substrates – he jumped at the chance.
Korman Signs became the first business in the world to install the printer in late 2015. “We wanted to be on the front line of this new technology and lobbied to get it,” said Korman. “When you do that as a beta user like we were, manufacturers make no promises on down time, poor quality, production mix-ups and things like that, but the machine works great. Almost immediately after the installation, we were up and running and producing good products.”
A 40%+ increase in longevity with digitally printed traffic signage
Korman’s company serves local, state and federal government agencies, including police departments and the National Park Service. Both Korman and his clients were intrigued with a printer that can print signage that has a 12-year life span in a digital market where five to seven years is the industry norm.
The partnership between 3M and EFI was a big selling point as well. Korman Signs has been manufacturing traffic signs using 3M materials for more than 40 years. The company also has operated EFI equipment before, and Bill Korman considers EFI to be one of the world’s premier digital print technology manufacturers.
Korman Signs’ new, 65-inch wide printer can print direct to 3M reflective media in roll, sheeted and mounted-to-rigid forms, and features new 3M UV inks for traffic signage applications. The printer’s UV curing provides a marked productivity boost compared to the screen printing technology Korman Signs used previously. With screen printing, the company’s traffic signs would take up to 24 hours to dry, which meant Korman had to have several sheet drying racks floating around the building.
When printing on 3M media mounted to signage material, the process is especially fast. Now, says Korman, “when a job comes out of the EFI printer, it’s finished. We’re done. No further work necessary.”
Significant opportunities for future growth
With four process colors, plus blue and red, the printer’s color capabilities will help Korman expand his company’s offerings and open up new business opportunities, such as producing full-color wayfinding signage. Korman Signs also manufactures the red and blue stripes on police cars in the District of Columbia. With his new equipment, Korman Signs can also cost-effectively produce the multi-color emblems that appear on the sides of DC police cruisers.
“When you can make a multi-colored item for the same price as a single color, that’s where you open up new business,” Korman stated.
Korman believes the expanded color options available in traffic signage with digital print will become increasingly important as designers start creating improved signage designs. And, businesses like Korman’s can produce more eye-catching signage that can ultimately help enhance traffic safety.
“We were happy to be the first to use this sophisticated technology,” said Korman. “We are very pleased with the result and it has met all of our expectations.”
EFI wide-format hybrid roll/flatbed printers are ideal for specialty and overflow applications, and for businesses looking to increase customer satisfaction and profitability with quick service and high image quality. EFI’s complete printer portfolio, which features some of world’s leading textile, LED and UV industrial inkjet technologies, gives customers profitable opportunities in “The Imaging of Things,” delivering greater product customization and appeal in everything from signage and packaging to décor, apparel and industrial manufacturing. To see many of the extensive, imaginative applications possible with EFI print technology, visit www.ImagingofThings.com or www.efi.com.