Fremont, Calif. – Electronics For Imaging, Inc. announced that Aahs Signs (www.aahssigns.com) in greater Los Angeles has purchased an EFI™ VUTEk® LX3 Pro superwide-format printer with an EFI Fiery® proServer Premium digital front end (DFE). The company plans to leverage the versatility, throughput and speed of the hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll printing device to expand its already thriving online novelty gift-production business and to meet growing demand for specialty large-format printing in the décor market.
“About three years ago we started creating and selling products online, through Amazon and eBay. The business is doing well, but with our previous capacity, we couldn’t keep up with demand. With the new VUTEk, I’ll be able to fulfill the growing demand for our products and grow that business,” said Gurmeet Sawhney, president and CEO of Aahs Signs.
A look at its Amazon store reveals an extensive catalog of life-size cutouts of celebrities, desk plates, plaques and an assortment of other novelties. It is a business that has few competitors and the capabilities of the VUTEk are key to Aahs’s future success.
“That side of the business is growing much faster than the traditional signs and point-of-purchase graphics, and it’s where the future lies for us,” according to Gurmeet. “We’re adding new products all the time. The VUTEk LX3 Pro positions us to take advantage of this opportunity because we can go from concept to production in days.”
Throughput, versatility, speed: Aahs’s new VUTEk is the whole package
The speed, versatility and throughput of the new VUTEk printer gives Aahs the production muscle it needs to exploit this opportunity. With its roll-to-roll and flatbed versatility, LED curing technology, and 126-inch width, the superwide-format printer is a powerhouse production device. It prints on a host of substrates up to 2 inches thick, reaches speeds of 3,400 feet per hour, and prints in eight colors plus white.
“I looked at other devices. But after doing a thorough analysis of throughput, quality and speed, we decided on the VUTEk. It was the only printer that I felt could deliver. It was the whole package,” said Sawhney.
With the printer, Aahs Signs – a company that counts Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park, Univision and Hilton Hotels as clients – can meet rising demand for specialty applications for the architectural and décor market. For example, Aahs prints acrylic panels for a client that then forms the panels into lighting fixtures that are installed in hotels.
“Before we acquired the VUTEk, it would take too long to produce these specialty orders. Now I can take large orders and produce them twice as fast, allowing me to take on even more business,” said Sawhney.
Aahs had its start as a novelty gift shop and entered the graphics business mostly to produce internal signs. But, before long, it began selling banners, posters and point-of-purchase materials to its clients. Today, it has a 13,000-square foot production facility in Commerce, a suburb in southeastern L.A., and three gift stores in Irvine, Santa Monica and Encino where it also takes large-format orders.
The name, Aahs, says Sawhney, “reflects a state of awesomeness” and it has served him well as he expanded into graphic arts. “Everyone in L.A. knows the name,” Sawhney said.
But it is also how he feels about EFI equipment. He became an EFI client about two years ago when he bought a refurbished model. “I had always wanted a VUTEk but never thought it was within my budget,” Sawhney stated. “But as soon as I bought it, I said, I totally get it now. This is it.”