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Heidelberg, EFI Reach Distribution Agreement

January 21, 2011
KENNESAW, GA—EFI and Heidelberg USA announced a new agreement under which Heidelberg will distribute the VUTEk GS series of superwide-format digital printers to the commercial printing market across the United States.

Under the agreement, Heidelberg will distribute EFI’s VUTEk GS2000, GS3200  and GS5000r models, as well as the inks, parts, consumables, accessories and upgrades related to these printers. It will also provide customer and technical support for the VUTEk GS series of printers, including installation and training. VUTEk superwide printers range in width from 2 to 5 meters, in roll-to-roll and flatbed formats.

Foster City, CA-based EFI provides digital imaging and print management solutions for commercial, packaging, in-plant and specialty printers worldwide. Heidelberg is one of the world’s biggest press and printing accessories providers. The company manufactures sheetfed offset press systems, as well as prepress and postpress components, software and consumables for all printing applications.

Frank Mallozzi, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for EFI, reveals that the discussion of a digital printing partnership between the two companies began during an EFI Connect users' conference, even though they have already worked together for quite some time integrating EFI's Fiery, MIS and other products with Heidelberg's Prinect workflow.

He notes that the VUTEk distribution agreement is for the U.S. market only, but that its success could result in similar sales and service arrangements in other countries. Currently, Heidelberg USA will only service the VUTEk printers it actually sells to commercial printers as part of the non-exclusive arrangement.

"Heidelberg is a world-class service and support organization. I'm extremely impressed in the way that they support their customers," said Mallozzi, who describes the typical Heidelberg shop as being a high-end, 24/7 business focused on providing consistent quality.

Commercial printers will not have to sacrifice their offset-quality customer requirements when it comes to the signage, posters, point-of-purchase displays, in-store graphics and other product applications well-suited for VUTEk GS series superwide-format digital printers, he adds. Today's multimedia campaigns that require both digital and offset printing output can now achieve the same quality and color consistency, thanks to the game-changing digital output that the GS line enables, according to Mallozzi.

Heidelberg USA will install a GS3200 in its North American Print & Packaging Technology Center (NAPPTC) for demonstrations. The machine will be integrated into a complete Prinect workflow and will be color managed by Heidelberg’s Prinect Color Toolbox which has recently been awarded IDEAlliance G7 system qualification. Customers will benefit from a single workflow that drives a digital device and an offset press, with the result being a color-matched output from both.  

"Wide- and superwide-format printing are high-growth opportunities and Heidelberg has the right workflow, color management, service and Saphira consumables expertise needed to integrate these technologies into a print production environment," said James Martin, senior vice president, marketing, Heidelberg USA. "EFI is a leader in the superwide space, and together with Heidelberg, we can bring a best-in-class portfolio to our customers."

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