Analog-to-digital transformation pays off for Michigan signage provider with EFI’s VUTEk 32h LED printer

November 20, 2019

American Graphics Printing Co.’s signage and graphics business division, Whatsyoursign.net, can deliver a faster, more-efficient, high-quality digital production advantage, thanks to a recently installed VUTEk® 32h hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll LED inkjet printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. The Clinton Township, Michigan-based business excels in price-sensitive work producing corrugated plastic yard signs and similar graphics products. With the new EFI™ VUTEk printer, American Graphics has the largest advantage it has ever had in a challenging market where it competes against analog screen print shops.

American Graphics outperforms rival shops by regularly producing high-quality work at throughput levels that are close to the printer’s maximum speeds. “We used to be able to print three to five boards per hour on our old printer, and now we can do more than 50 boards an hour,” said American Graphics President Bob Hindman. “We typically print 10 signs on each board, so the new printer gives us much more capacity.”

The newly installed, 126-inch wide LED-inkjet printer is a significant upgrade for American Graphics compared with the older UV-inkjet printer it operated previously. The VUTEk 32h model – a brand-new EFI offering that recently won industry association SGIA’s 2019 Product of the Year Award in the UV hybrid $100,000 to $500,000 category – is ideal for print service providers moving into production-class, superwide-format digital output. Users benefit from premium-quality imaging with 7-picoliter UltraDrop™ Technology, with white ink and multilayer printing included. An EFI Fiery® proServer Premium digital front end included with the printer enables fast job preparation and color management for excellent results on a broad range of substrates.

The EFI LED advantage

EFI’s proven, reliable “cool cure” LED imaging technology on the VUTEk 32h offered a stark contrast to some other superwide-format inkjet products American Graphics considered. “The UV printers we considered, for example, had failsafe levers in case the curing lamps became too hot, something we do not have to worry about with LED imaging.”

The EFI LED inkjet imaging technology on American Graphics’ new printer also requires less energy than comparable UV-cure or latex printers. Plus, it gives the company the ability to print on thin, delicate or specialty substrates that cannot withstand the heat that comes with drying or curing systems on other superwide-format printing technologies.

Better results and bigger jobs

According to Hindman, American Graphics has a distinct advantage in turnaround time. Thanks to the new VUTEk printer’s throughput, in many cases, his company is able to proof, print, cut and deliver many of its larger-volume orders in the time it takes analog screen print competitors to create screens – an advantage that has helped Hindman and his team take on even more work.

The VUTEk 32h has exceeded our expectations,” he said. “The speed we can deliver to our customers now is a big advantage in our market. And, we are finally able to compete on larger-volume jobs that we would have had to outsource to other providers in the past.”

For further information on American Graphics, please visit www.americangraphicsprinting.com.

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