A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit the EFI factory in Israel (in Rosh HaAyin city), to write an evaluation on the EFI VUTEk 3r, an interesting UV-curing printer that was recently launched by the company.
In this article we share first-hand information not based on reading PR releases or magazines, but based in our actual visit to the factory.
If you are looking to upgrade your current roll-to-roll printers, or want to expand your print services to wide-format signage, the EFI VUTEk 3r / 5r is an option you should consider.
Before going through the 5 highlights of this interesting UV printer, let’s review the basics. The following is an overview of the specs:
EFI VUTEk 3r: Main Specs
This printer comes in two widths; The EFI VUTEk 3r has a max. print width of 3.5 meters (138 in.), and the EFI VUTEk 5r has a max. print width of 5 meters (198 in.).
The EFI VUTEk 3r prints up to 380 m2/hr (4,090 ft2/hr).
The EFI VUTEk 5r prints up to 460 m2/hr (4,951 ft2/hr).
Both models come with CMYK; optional: LC, LM, LK and White.
You can download the full report for free in this link, but here are some of the most interesting aspects of the printer.
The print speeds achieved with this printer is already an advantage, but I want to point out 5 features that makes the EFI VUTEk 3r, a very serious option.
5 reasons to consider the EFI VUTEk 3r roll-to-roll UV printer
We will mention the EFI VUTEk 3r, but all these features apply to both models, the 3r and the 5r.
1. The EFI VUTEk 3r has full flatbed capability
The EFI VUTEk 3r is the only industrial wide-format roll-to-roll UV printer that has a serious system to handle rigid boards.
The EFI VUTEk 3r has optional accessory tables you can order with different sizes:
- 4’ x 8’
- 5’ x 10’
- 3m x 2m
This printer can handle rigid boards up to 0.39” (11 mm) thick.
The flatbed capability is not an afterthought. The EFI VUTEk 3r was designed from the begining to be a roll-to-roll UV printer that also handles rigid boards.
2. Auto Backlit System
The EFI VUTEk 3r has an optional automatic system for double-sided printing, especially designed to print backlit applications.
Guided by two cameras, the software automatically corrects registration on X and Y axis. Besides, the system makes automatic corrections on the fly for a perfect registration.
3. ID Backprint function
Wide-format prints need to be precisely labeled for correct installation. Traditionally this is done manually. The ID Backprint feature prints file data on the back of each print job.
This automatic labeling system facilitates the identification of a print piece to speed up packing, shipping and installation.
This feature is especially useful when you work with inline cutting systems after printing.
4. High-quality Printheads
Several of the previous EFI roll-to-roll UV-curing printers came with Seiko printheads.
The EFI VUTEk 3r comes with Ricoh Gen5 heads, which are known to produce a high print quality. These heads have a drop size as small as 7 pl.
You would naturally think that a printhead model focused on quality would tend to affect print speed. But we compared the EFI VUTEk 3r with other roll-to-roll UV printers in the same range, and none is capable of producing print jobs at the speed of the EFI VUTEk 3r.
5. The EFI VUTEk 3r inherited the best of two companies
As you probably know, towards Q2 2015, EFI completed the acquisition of Matan Digital Printers, a highly respected UV-curing printer manufacturer based in Israel.
So this new EFI VUTEk 3r and the 5 meter version were designed with all the engineering power and years of experience of Matan, plus the brand positioning and market capabilities of EFI (which is in itself one of the most renowned UV-curing printer manufacturers).
The new wide-format printers produced under EFI have both, quality engineering, and professional tech support worldwide.
In addition to these five features, the colors produced by the EFI VUTEk 3r during my visit were vibrant and accurate. Of course we hope to test this printer in the real world, but I was taken to a sign shop that has several EFI printers and he is happy with the production levels of his. machines.
First Posted March 3, 2018.