Engaged in EFI’s First Worldwide Virtual User Conference
A digital shift from the annual EFI Connect event
EFI kicked off its annual user group event this week under a new name, Engage, which signifies the pivot to a virtual event. The pandemic continues to alter the in-person event landscape for the printing industry. Instead of hosting EFI Connect in Las Vegas, EFI Engage puts over 200 conference sessions in front of a global audience over the course of eight days. Even though prior attendees to EFI Connect may miss the in-person camaraderie, going digital does have its benefits: the first full training track on industry textile printing from EFI.
Jeff Jacobson, EFI Chairman and CEO, gave the opening keynote address. Jacobson noted the tremendous impact the pandemic has had on the world and the industry, and that some of the changes will be systemic and continue after the pandemic’s end. While many companies in the printing industry have experienced significant financial challenges due to a shift in demand, there are still pockets of opportunity. “Short-run, on-demand packaging and e-commerce, for example, have driven a 40% plus increase in output for users of EFI’s Nozomi single-pass corrugated printers,” noted Jacobson. He further went on to applaud print service providers that pivoted and filled unmet needs for pandemic-related items like masks and other personal protective equipment.
|Jeff Jacobson, Chairman and CEO of EFI, addressing the digital audience at EFI Engage|
In addition to the general sessions and educational content, EFI Engage is also a platform for the company to highlight updates to existing products along with launching new ones. There were many updates to the software and equipment portfolios with a consistent theme of higher productivity.
- A new super-high-speed VUTEk XT hybrid printer capable of producing over 375 boards per hour while lowering the total cost of ownership
- A second super-high-speed product, a single-pass for display graphics printer optimized for high-volume production on signage media at speeds up to 1,000 sheets per hour
- Updates to the EFI VUTEk Q3r and Q5r line, introducing 138-inch and 198-inch wide versions
- Enhancements to the Fiery JobFlow prepress automation solution included features helpful for sign and graphics display printers like the ability to significantly upscale images with excellent output quality
- Release of Fiery 6.6 delivered better search capabilities and further leveraging of the cloud through EFI IQ to minimize bottlenecks and optimize production
- Updates across the Productivity Suite collection of software (version 9) to enable better shop management
EFI’s conference enables users to learn from EFI experts and share their collective experiences. Tom Griffiths (CEO of Slough, an English-based design and print agency) said, “the new Advanced Search with version 6.6 means we are able to get very granular with our job filtering and combine parameters to create production efficiencies.” Finally, the digital exhibition area gives attendees an opportunity to hear from partners, including 3M Commercial Solutions, Aberdeen Fabrics, Duplo, ISCorp, Lubrizol, Progress Software Corp., Ricoh, and Thomson Reuters.
EFI Engage runs from January 25 to February 5. To register or find out more about the event, visit https://go.efi.com/engage.
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