20th Anniversary of EFI Connect
EFI Connect 2019 enabled EFI to 'Connect' with printer user base

EFI™Connect 2019 concluded on a positive note with informative and valuable topics discussing the future of print. The keynote speakers and fireside chats sessions attracted the interest of attendees.

EFI™ is a global technology company, based in Silicon Valley, and is leading the worldwide transformation from analog to digital imaging. EFI develops breakthrough technologies for the manufacturing of signage, packaging, textiles and ceramic tiles, with a wide range of printers, inks, digital front ends, and a comprehensive business and production workflow suite that transforms and streamlines the entire production process.

Adele Genoni, VP/GM of EFI Reggiani.

This editorial mainly highlights the digital textile printing and fashion and ideas to highlight the EFI’s portfolio of digital inkjet and software solutions, including EFI Reggiani line of printers offering eco-friendly production with stunning colors using a variety of inks to support virtually any fabric type.

Ken Hanulec, EFI, Vice President,
Marketing, Inkjet Solutions.

EFI’s textile portfolio also includes EFI Optitex® cutting-edge 2D and 3D CAD technology and EFI Fiery® DesignPro products for textile design and production. Numerous samples of creative output applications are on display which were printed on EFITMReggiani machines.

Connect 2019 attracted print professionals from across the globe to Las Vegas for in-depth, informative training and education on key printing and packaging management and technology challenges. The conference iprovided an ideal platform for open dialogues, giving customers a valuable opportunity to participate in educational sessions, receive hands-on experience, discuss industry trends, network with peers and learn from others.

With approximately 200 sessions at the four-day conference, Connect gives EFI customers the opportunity to gain vital insights in smart business management.

Bill Muir, EFI’s newly appointed CEO took over leadership from Guy Gecht, who stepped down from the role in October 2018. Bill Muir in his message as a keynote speaker said his aim is to continue EFI’s spirit of innovation. He said, “Technology changes at an exponential rate, but businesses and organisations do not change at the same rate. The challenges will grow over time and my responsibility is in keeping the innovative engine of this company going and help enable your business to thrive in the digital age.”

Frank Mallozzi, EFI’s Chief Revenue Officer elaborated:“Our commitment to innovation means EFI customers have few limits in how they can create new opportunities in digital print.” “With the advanced solution demonstrations, training and networking happening this week, EFI Connect will prove that it is an exciting time to be an EFI customer, and it is an exciting opportunity for all of us at EFI to once again put on what has become a landmark event for the industry.”

Bill Muir, EFI CEO (right) at "fireside chat" with Joe Popolo, CEO of The Freeman Co.

Adele Genoni, Vice President /General Manager of EFI Reggiani said, “The digital design and fabric printing is the future of textile printing. Fast fashion, custom footwear, the expanding personalization of luxury goods, and consumer demand in home décor are some of the drivers of growth in this sector. The EFI’s new motto is Credibility from Slogan to Action, and the company is bringing additional inks and chemistry options as well as its new Bolt printing machine for single-pass textile production to market.”

The EFI Ecosystem of industrial textile technologies helps customers address a wide range of industry challenges, including the need to cost-effectively produce samples and smaller garment lot sizes, gain faster time to market, and produce designs that are difficult or impossible to produce with conventional technologies. As users seek automation in productivity, EFI’s advanced tools provide a streamlined workflow and reduced errors without compromising on quality.

For example, the EFI Optitex® software provides an integrated 2D/3D digital solution for the fashion and textile industry to enable companies to quickly create true-to-life 3D digital garments that inspire. Optitex 3D Design Illustrator, a new plug-in tool, gives designers the freedom to validate and customize 3D garments in Adobe® Illustrator®. Designers can visualize 3D garments, with accurate proportion and scaling, and customise the garment’s fabric, texture, stitching, embellishments, print patterns and graphic placement without waiting for a printed sample.

Press briefing: Almost 100 trade journalists attended the Connect 2019 conference.

John Henze, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for EFI Fiery, added that Fiery DesignPro and the Fiery Image Viewer also bring productivity to the textile production story.

Ken Hanulec, Vice President of Marketing for Inkjet Solutions, highlighted the advantages of the VUTEk FabriVU 340i for soft signage with inline fixation for PSPs supporting sign installations. The soft signage market is growing because it can be up to 50% cheaper to ship with easy installation.

Keynote speakers and general sessions at EFI Connect 2019

The speakers at this year’s conference helped customers to develop new strategies and processes that can spell future success in an increasingly diverse range of applications. Keynote and general session presenters include new EFI CEO Bill Muir; Joseph Popolo, CEO of The Freeman Co.; fashion designer Ariel Swedroe; Olivier Gariépy and Michel Savoie of the Cirque du Soleil® Costume Workshop; EFI CFO Marc Olin; and Gabriel Matsliach, senior vice president and general manager, EFI Productivity Software.

EFI partners and sponsers

EFI partners participating in Connect’s solutions center included 3M™ Commercial Solutions; Aberdeen Fabrics; Berger Textiles; Duplo; Enfocus; Esko; Highcon; Kodak™; Konica Minolta® Business Solutions U.S.A.; Lubrizol; MBM Corporation; OneVision; The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation; Print Speak; Printing United; Progress® Software Corp.; Ricoh® Americas Corp.; RISO; SpencerMetrics; Xerox® and Zünd®.

Ariel Swedroe showcased some of her work at EFI Connect 2019 with a fashion show.


Cirque du Soleil® Costume Workshop

Olivier Gariépy and Michel Savoie gave attendees a behind-the-scenes look at Cirque du Soleil’s costume workshop, including its screen, dye sublimation, and 3D printing capabilities and the design challenges that go into some of its elaborate creations. The session by Olivier Gariépy and Michel Savoie of the Cirque du Soleil costume workshop, highlighted how Cirque du Soleil costume workshop is utilising EFI’s Optitex solutions to produce performance outfits.

Lubrizol PRINTRITE DP 300 series textile pretreatments.

As the market for digital printing on fabrics continues to grow, textile pre-treatments are critical to achieve optimal performance, while digital printing offers the benefits of customization and a more flexible supply chain, the overall experience must rival conventional printing, including color vibrancy, ink durability and fabric handle.

Lubrizol PrintRite™ DP 300 Series pretreatments are water borne formulations that enhance the performance of both digital pigment and dye sublimation inks. They are specially engineered to enable, vivid colours, sharp definition and excellent wash durability, all the while maintaining fabric integrity. It is important to note that a proper pretreatment selection should lower the total cost to print by improving the print efficiency.

The new PrintRite DP 300 Series pretreatments are transforming digital textile printing by enabling completely new levels of performance. And perhaps the best part - due to the excellent adhesion of ink to substrate via the pretreatment, a topcoat is not necessary, so there is very little change to how the fabric feels to the touch.

Black is one of the most important colours in printing but achieving a high optical density black can be a challenge. PrintRite DP 300 Series pretreatments enable inks to realize their full potential for optical density without compromising the print speed, so deeper, darker blacks are also possible. The other colours are also more vibrant, and Lubrizol expands the colour gamut by keeping the ink on the surface, broadening the achievable colour range, providing outstanding sharpness. Fine lines and crisp graphics pop off the fabric with eye catching details.

Another significant challenge of digital printing on textiles is print durability. Printrite DP 300 series pretreatments enable patterns and designs to stand hot washes and dry cycles with minimal change in color density, due to advanced anchoring of ink to pretreatment to fabric, as can be seen from consistently improved wet and dry crock ratings.

Future of Fashion with Ariel Swedroe, Art to Wear by Ariel

Miami-based Ariel Swedroe joined the ranks of fashion designers showcasing original swimwear. Inspired by the work of her grandfather, architect and artist Robert Swedroe, she began incorporating his colorful collages into her work by 3-D printing his patterns onto her fabrics.

Ariel Swedroe in a keynote session “Future of Print” at the EFI™ Connect conference was interviewed by Cary Sherburne, senior editor for industry news site WhatTheyThink. “I am excited to be able to help Ariel share her amazing story at EFI Connect,” said Cary Sherburne, who hosted Ariel Swedroe’s session at EFI Connect. “It’s the best fashion story ever and this 15-year-old fashion designer has already been in business nearly half her life!”

“Swedroe by Ariel” showcased some of the work at EFI Connect 2019 with a fashion show with some of Ariel’s creations, along with samples showing how up-and-coming designers innovate using leading-edge, streamlined digital production technologies like EFI Reggiani textile inkjet printers.

Ariel Swedroe in a keynote session “Future of Print” at the EFI™ Connect conference with Cary Sherburne, senior editor for industry news site WhatTheyThink.

Swedroe, who admires designers like Valentino and fashion icon Iris Apfel, says she always had an interest in fashion, and when her mother enrolled her in sewing classes at the age of 7, she was able to curate the skills to launch her career in the fashion industry. She runs her own atelier, M2M Miami, where she produces made-to-order resort and swimwear under the same name.

“I see myself going to Central Saint Martins in London and expanding my brand into menswear, shoes, bags, home decor and beyond,” Swedroe says.

Conference highlights

The 20th annual Electronics For Imaging, Inc. users conference is providing valuable insights as well as news of important digital print technology innovations, including:

  • A new FS350 platform for EFI Fiery digital front ends (DFEs);
  • A new Fiery proServer Premium DFE technology offering significantly faster processing on individual jobs for EFI superwide-format printers, and;
  • EFI’s newest high-speed, premium-quality hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll superwide-format LED printer, the VUTEk h5.

The Connect exhibit floor also features the EFI Pro 24f flatbed and Pro 32r roll-to-roll LED printers, along with the EFI VUTEk 3r+, an LED roll-to-roll printer. Plus, attendees can see the company’s latest advancement for the expanding soft-signage market: the EFI VUTEk FabriVU® 340i – an aqueous dispersed dye-sublimation printer offering in-line calendering.


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