Attendees at the 2017 EFI Connect Conference, which took place at the Wynn in Las Vegas from 17-20 January, were introduced to new versions of print MIS/ERP software suites and Fiery digital production products. EFI unveiled version 5 of its Productivity Suite end-to-end workflow offerings. The company also highlighted its next-generation EFI Fiery® digital front end (DFE) production technologies that deliver uncompromising quality and productivity in digital print production.
In his opening keynote speech at the conference, EFI CEO Guy Gecht addressed artificial intelligence and the impact the next wave of advanced technology is having. Some ERP and MIS workflow products developed by EFI, for example, learn to be more efficient as they track business’s operations.
‘As with the developments we have all seen with personal computers and mobile technology, artificial intelligence promises to create more opportunities,’ said Gecht. ‘In print, it can drive preventive diagnostics and predictive maintenance, which helps our customers improve their top and bottom lines.’
Jeff Jacobson, the new CEO of Xerox, was featured in Gecht’s ‘fireside chat’. Xerox recently completed the separation of Conduent Incorporated, creating two market-leading, publicly-traded companies. Jacobson said the successful completion of the separation sharpens the company’s market focus and commitment to its customers.
He also said that his aim was to create ‘a culture of winning’ at Xerox and believed in focusing on customer relationships and mobilising and energising employees. His leadership advice included: ‘commitment, accountability and playing to win. You need to get the best player in every position’.
EFI Connect’s workflow sessions focused on the advancements of the industry’s largest software portfolio with version 5 of EFI’s six Productivity Suites – the Commercial Print Suite, the Midmarket Print Suite, the Packaging Suite, the Quick Print Suite, the Publication Print Suite and the Corrugated Packaging Suite.
The event featured the new Fiery NX server and NX Station for fast RIPing and streamlined cut-sheet production automation; Fiery DFE products for wide and superwide format inkjet proofing and production; and Fiery Workflow Suite offerings that boost productivity with best-in-class tools for document imposition, assembly, late-stage editing, visual make-ready, prepress automation and more. The newest version of EFI Fiery Navigator™ simplifies the process of analysing daily digital print operations and long-term trends, delivering actionable business intelligence in a customisable, visual dashboard while providing device management capabilities.
Fiery products shown at Connect provide top quality without compromise in digital production printing to the most rigorous production demands. EFI Fiery technology continued its advanced colour leadership by recently becoming one of the first offerings in the industry to successfully handle all 48 test patches in the new Ghent Workgroup PDF Output Suite version 5.0 – a critical test factor and de facto standard for determining quality printing of PDF documents.
Packaging is a major focus for EFI. There is much excitement about the release of the Nozomi C18000 press, targeted at digital printing for packaging. The press was introduced at drupa 2016 and will help corrugated manufacturers and brands access a wide colour gamut and broader design options in corrugated board work with fast turnaround times, all while maintaining low production costs. It was announced at the event that the first press will be installed at a company in Spain during early March of this year.
Besides packaging, other solutions in the pipeline that will allow customers to branch out into new markets include the EFI Cubik series, which will address the building materials market and can print on wood, concrete, metal, glass and natural stones.