Advanced Graphics’ EFI Nozomi C18000 direct-to-corrugated, single-pass LED inkjet printer from EFI is allowing the company to expand the range of products and services it offers.
Founded in 1984, Advanced Graphics was historically a distributor of framed prints and posters. Today, the company is a manufacturer of a wide range of life-size corrugated displays, folding cartons and wall graphics serving retail operations, trade houses, small businesses and end consumers.
‘When my brother Todd and I bought the company from our father in 2010, we started to evolve from being a distributor to being a manufacturer,’ said Advanced Graphics co-owner Craig Henderson. ‘By the end of 2012, 100% of our revenues were generated from our own printing operation, where it was only 10% to 15% in 2010. In the last couple of years, we have also gotten more into packaging and that’s when we started seeing the need for something like the EFI Nozomi C18000.’
Before acquiring the EFI Nozomi, Advanced Graphics’ production platform consisted primarily of flatbed digital inkjet printers. ‘We looked at a lot of different products on the market that would allow us to expand and grow,’ Henderson said, ‘but everything felt like a downgrade from what we already had – until we learned about Nozomi. It was the very best fit for what we wanted to do and the criteria we had.’
The EFI Nozomi C18000 is especially important for the company to quickly and efficiently produce a large volume of fast-turnaround, smaller-run jobs. It also opens significant new opportunities for Advanced Graphics to grow its business. While the company receives about 5% of its orders directly from consumers, its primary business is work produced for major retailers such as Amazon, Birthday Express, and Party City. ‘With Nozomi, we are able to deliver shorter turn times. In the past we were shipping orders within about a week and a half, now we can ship within 24 to 72 hours,’ Henderson explained.
‘We are also seeing a lot of interest from the trade,’ he added. ‘We can help corrugated converters with smaller orders that they were turning away before. For those customers, we mostly print sheets and they do the converting. It benefits them to have us produce the printing quickly, and they don’t have to turn down that low-volume business anymore.’
The 1.8m (71 inch) wide EFI Nozomi printer operates at speeds up to 75 linear metres (246 linear feet) per minute, printing up to 10,000 890 x 890mm (35 x 35 inch) boards per hour two-up. Its single-pass, piezo inkjet imaging system delivers accurate, high-fidelity colour, including excellent, consistent reproduction on solid areas. Advanced Graphics’ new printer includes a six-colour configuration of Genuine EFI Inks (CMYK, orange and violet) for superior-quality and expanded-gamut imaging with matte, satin or glossy finishes.
The award-winning printer’s high-productivity, robust, industrial head architecture eliminates the downtime associated with replacing consumable printheads. And, the EFI Nozomi C18000 is compatible with a broad range of boards – from N-flute to double-wall board, and including traditional Kemi, mottled, bleach and kraft materials. Plus, it is the only ultra-high-speed, single-pass corrugated inkjet printer to have its output certified for OCC recyclability and repulpability by the Western Michigan University Recycling, Paper and Coating Pilot Plant – a leading certification organisation for corrugated recycling.
EFI’s Fiery NZ-1000 – the ultra-fast digital front end (DFE) and production system used to drive the printer – provides exceptional print and colour quality, advanced colour management, and efficient job management to produce versioned and variable print runs at engine-rated speed.