Electronics For Imaging, Inc. has announced that Flexpress has purchased an EFI™ Pro 16h LED hybrid flatbed/roll inkjet printer from authorized EFI distributor Konica Minolta® Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. With its new acquisition, the Dallas-based digital printing company can broaden its local and national customer base by offering a much greater range of high-quality signage and graphics work.
“We had wanted a wide-format device for a while, partly to broaden our customer base and the services we offer,” said WP Ward, founder of Flexpress. “We also received feedback from our clients that they had wide-format work and would give to us if we had the right device.”
Speed, high quality, and wide substrate choice
For Ward, the choice of wide-format printer was clear. “The EFI Pro 16h has the size, speed, high-quality and white ink we were looking for,” he said. “It can print on such a wide variety of materials, and that really opens up what we can do. We can print on substrates almost 2 inches thick, which is amazing,” he said.
With its newly installed printer, Flexpress is offering many different types of applications on both rigid and flexible media. The printer’s outstanding quality and broad media compatibility has even opened the door to fine art reproductions. “One of the benefits of the Pro16h is that it can run canvas,” said Ward, adding that his company is working with three international artists to produce fine art work on both canvas and on watercolor paper.
In the signage market, the printer gives Flexpress the added ability to capture some of the opportunities that come with being in the rapidly expanding Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) metropolitan area.
“More than 100,000 people move here every year, the area has a large concentration of Fortune 500 companies, and is a popular destination for large-scale events,” said Ward. “Companies come in and they need signs and other services. And with the growth of condos and apartment, the demand for signage, banners, and related products is going up as well. The EFI Pro 16h puts us in a position where we can take advantage of this opportunity.”
Within the next 12 months Flexpress intends to explore short-run packaging and package prototyping services with the printer, including printing custom products for local events and tradeshows.
Fast printing, with lower operating costs
The Pro 16h model runs up to 30% faster than other EFI entry-level hybrid inkjet devices. The EFI Fiery® proServer Core digital front end (DFE) on the printer helps drive the high productivity with EFI FAST RIP acceleration technology, RIP-and-print-on-demand functionality, and the ability to print pre-RIPed files at the printer interface.
The printer’s “cool cure” LED technology cures prints at lower temperatures, giving Flexpress the ability to run thin or challenging substrates that cannot withstand the heat required in UV or latex printing. The lower-temperature curing also translates into lower energy costs compared with similar UV and latex printers.
Flexpress offers a full range of digital printing, bindery and finishing, fulfillment, and graphic design services to local business and brokers across the country. The company also uses an EFI Fiery DFE on one of its cut-sheet digital presses, and it offers web-to-print job submission using EFI Digital StoreFront® software.
EFI’s advanced technology offerings, along with Konica Minolta’s strong digital printing customer service and support capabilities, gave Ward confidence in his company’s latest purchase for wide-format printing.
“One of the considerations for choosing a supplier is the kind of service they provide. Anytime we bring a company’s technology in here, we partner with them,” he said. “Both Konica Minolta and EFI have the reputation we are looking for, and the high level of service we want.”