EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340i+ Selected for The Vomela Companies’ New Visual Impact Facility

To meet growing demand for soft signage, St. Paul, Minnesota-based specialty graphics and commercial printing firm The Vomela Companies is boosting its dye-sublimation graphics production capacity with the addition of an EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340i+ printer featuring in-line fixation. The printer Vomela purchased is currently on display and running in the Electronics For Imaging booth this week at North America’s largest printing trade show, PRINTING United Expo, in Las Vegas.

After the show closes on Oct. 21, Vomela’s new, high-end printer will make its way east to be a key production solution in a 35,000-square-foot facility in Maplewood, Minnesota, for Visual Impact – an out of home (OOH) advertising, retail, hospitality, and event graphics business that Vomela acquired earlier this year.

“Soft signage is a growing category for our company – for events, retail and the out-of-home advertising market,” says Mark Auth, Vomela’s CEO and president. “The inline fixation capabilities of the VUTEk FabriVU 340i+ will increase our speed to finish and help to create shorter lead times.”

A productive soft signage solution that can make an impact

With the showpiece printer coming on board, Visual Impact will have new, premium event and convention signage production capabilities for its Midwestern customers. Vomela expects demand “to spill over into retail, too, in the form of POP displays and more OOH advertising, such as airport signage,” says Teri Mascotti, Vomela’s director of brand marketing.

“Our company exists to create impact through design and finished product,” Mascotti added. “Quality is a key factor in choosing this piece of equipment. The FabriVU has a wider application range and outstanding resolution.”

To that end, the VUTEk FabriVU 340i+ printer offers ultra-high resolutions up to 2,400 dots per inch (dpi) and three-level grayscale printing with 7-, 12- and 18-picoliter drop sizes. Its printheads optimize ink drops with no overlay for smooth transitions and perfect crispness. The result is dramatic four-color printing with a wide color gamut, rich blacks, and deep color saturation for exceptionally high quality on backlit fabric displays and other graphics.

A new growth engine for high-end display

The new printer purchase comes as Vomela rapidly grows in national prominence as a leading display graphics provider. In addition to its acquisition of Visual Impact, the company recently expanded via acquisition to launch Vomela West, a facility in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., that also operates EFI superwide-format inkjet printing equipment.

Ken Hanulec, vice president of worldwide marketing for EFI, stated: “We are thrilled to support the continued growth of The Vomela Companies, and we’re excited that the company has chosen EFI and our leading-edge soft signage technology. The VUTEk FabriVU 340i+ printer creates stunning, high-end graphics with remarkable efficiency, delivering work that is ready for finishing right off the printer. It is the perfect solution for Vomela and Visual Impact to build on their strong reputation for superior quality and productivity.”

More sustainable direct-to-fabric printing

From exhibit graphics, backlit graphics, retail fixture wraps and front-lit graphics, to block-out banners, flags, and fabric interior décor, the VUTEk FabriVU 340i+ model delivers premium results using high-end, water-based dye-sublimation inks. And its proven, in-line fixation technology eliminates the need for a separate heat press when printing direct to fabric. The four-color printer runs at speeds up to 1,791 sq. ft./hr. in high-quality backlit mode, or up to 5,172 sq. ft./hr. in outdoor print mode.

Sustainability continues to be a key point of emphasis among the brands and corporations Vomela and Visual Impact serve. Soft signage graphics stand out in that context, given that they are easy to store and re-use compared with other display graphics that are often displayed once and then discarded. VUTEk FabriVU printers are also notable for their low waste and efficiency. The medium-viscosity Genuine EFI Inks for FabriVU series printers contain high concentrations of dye, which means less water, reducing the amount of energy needed for drying. And, not only does the EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340i+ use up to 30% less ink than competing dye-sublimation systems, it also has an ink recovery system that saves more than 95% of the ink that other dye-sub printers lose during purging.

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