The annual Electronics For Imaging, Inc. Connect event – one of the print industry’s longest-running and most successful user conferences – has entered its third decade of valuable information sharing, discussion and networking. EFI customers, along with EFI partners and industry trade media, are witnessing thought-provoking discussion from industry leaders, along with new tech advancements designed to drive digital print production efficiency and profitability.
The range of EFI™ products at this year’s conference – held Jan. 21-24 at The Wynn Las Vegas – include advanced, productivity-enhancing solutions coming to market for EFI’s leading print and packaging MIS/ERP technology portfolio. Connect 2020 also features the worldwide debut of the new EFI VUTEk® D3r mid-volume, roll-to-roll superwide-format printer, and new cloud-based solutions for digital print management.
The next evolution of integrated print workflow
Connect attendees are learning about the latest advancements in integrated print and packaging workflows, including EFI Productivity Suite offerings for automated business and production management. New features include:
Advanced, end-to-end workflow support for short-run label printing in the EFI Packaging Suite
Faster estimating in the EFI Midmarket Print Suite, along with improved inventory control for display graphics roll media
Real-time mobile device estimating using EFI iQuote and RFQ spreadsheet import capabilities in the Enterprise Commercial Print Suite
New Business Intelligence capabilities and an overhauled, simplified user interface for the EFI Corrugated Packaging Suite
An automated job creation application programming interface for short-run jobs and connectivity to advanced EFI Process Shipper workflows with the EFI Publication Print Suite
Engagement-based campaign targeting tools in EFI MarketDirect Cross Media, and the new MarketDirect PackCentral solution for packaging eCommerce and campaign management.
The new workflow enhancements EFI is bringing to market help print and packaging companies operate more efficiently and make smarter decisions through the use of data. For one EFI customer that has upgraded to new EFI solutions for the EFI Packaging Suite, Montreal-based Netpak, the latest workflow solutions from EFI can have significant positive impacts. Netpak Chief Operating Officer Georges Berbari said of his company’s Packaging Suite improvements, “With these recent workflow enhancements, we expect to make massive improvements to our overall order-to-cash process and push jobs through the plant faster, which will be a big win for us and for our customers.”
EFI Connect’s exhibit area also features new technology for digital print management, including EFI IQ™ – a comprehensive, cloud-based platform that tracks and monitors printer utilization as well as ink and substrate usage, giving users more capabilities to optimize their operations. IQ features include EFI ColorGuard – an award-winning solution that standardizes the verification process to ensure consistent, accurate color on printers using EFI Fiery® digital front ends (DFEs).
VUTEk D3r: A new mid-volume printer designed for high-end signage
The new, 138-inch wide VUTEk D3r printer launching at Connect – and a 205-inch wide D5r model – form a new mid-range, roll-to-roll printer line that helps sign and display graphics customers drive more volume with high-end work. The new roll-to-roll printers offer outstanding smoothness in shadows, gradients and transitions and precise and sharp 3-point size text with a true resolution of up to 1,200 dots per inch. Their LED curing capabilities ensure not only cost savings but also a more environmentally sound printing solution, consuming less energy and enabling the use of thinner, heat-sensitive substrates.
The printers leverage many of the advanced capabilities from EFI’s highly successful VUTEk 3r+ and 5r+ printers, offering a mid-range solution with an even wider variety of high-value applications with white and clear ink. The new printer line also supports the unique collection of options for VUTEk roll-to-roll LED printers, providing a full system for higher efficiency and a lower total cost of ownership.
Innovation insights from thought leaders
EFI Connect’s 120+ conference sessions and slate of general session keynotes deliver key insights and learning for customer success in everything from technology innovation to management and marketing strategy. The conference’s keynote sessions include Jeff Jacobson in his first Connect conference as Chairman and CEO. Connect also features a special fireside chat keynote presentation with former EFI CEO Guy Gecht. A second fireside chat keynote presentation features enterprise management systems expert and former IBM® senior executive Alfred Zollar.
EFI executives Gabriel Matsliach, senior vice president and general manager, EFI Productivity Software; Toby Weiss, senior vice president and general manager, EFI Fiery; and Ken Hanulec, vice president of worldwide marketing, EFI, are also giving general session presentations highlighting the new evolving trends for customer success and the technological innovations EFI is creating to address them.
EFI Connect is an ideal venue for open dialogue and idea exchange, with educational talks, hands-on training, and networking with a large community of print professionals committed to driving growth. Attendees from all over the world learn the best ways to use EFI’s portfolio of production and industrial inkjet, integrated MIS/ERP workflow and Fiery DFE products. Customers also benefit from being able to provide in-person feedback to senior EFI executive and technical development staff.
“EFI Connect has a significant focus on addressing our customers’ needs, and we will be sharing with our customers details on our even stronger emphasis on service and integration efficiency, along with our latest technology innovations,” said Jacobson. “And, as excited as I am to share with our customers at Connect, I also personally look forward to learning more from them. Connect is a key venue for us at EFI as a way to receive and assimilate essential feedback from them, ensuring we stay in-synch with critical customer needs.”
In addition to the latest EFI workflow, Fiery DFE and inkjet display graphics offerings on display in EFI Connect’s solutions center exhibit area, this year’s conference also features advanced solutions from participating partners, including: 3M™ Commercial Solutions; Aberdeen Fabrics; Color Concepts; Duplo; Enfocus; Konica Minolta® Business Solutions U.S.A.; MBM Corporation; OneVision; The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation; Progress® Software Corp.; Ricoh® Americas Corp.; RISO; SpencerMetrics; Thomson Reuters®; and Zünd®.