A Bright Future for EFI
EFI embodies the spirit of Silicon Valley in the print industry. It is an attitude that the company’s CEO, Guy Gecht, has fostered throughout his 22 years with the company, with an excitement that has never waned.
“It’s really more about the spirit of Silicon Valley that’s part of EFI’s spirit - if you really believe that if you work hard and you’re creative enough and you think about what our customers can use in the next few years, you can help real customers around the world. I think it’s an element of not being afraid to try something and fail,” Gecht says.
That spirit of innovation is present in everything EFI does, with its new products - both those it released on its own, and those it has released in conjunction with partners - demonstrating the wide view the company takes.
“There is sometimes a perception from some people I meet outside the printing industry, of what could possibly be new. It’s possibly one of the most dynamic industries. There is a lot going on,” Gecht says. Nozomi is one of those things going on, with the first installation in Spain up and running. It is a beta site, and can run as much as 78,000 sq. ft per hour on the machine. Gecht sees the corrugated and signage markets continuing to converge over time, and while, he notes, Nozomi might not be right for every company, for those with both the vision and the volume, it could be a “game-changer,” he says.
The Cretaprint and Cubix lines are another way that EFI is expanding the definition of digital printing. “Part of our strategy to expand is into what we call building materials,” Gecht notes. “It’s pretty intuitive why; this is one area where images are part of the product. I could say I’m going to put a floor in my house. You’re going to care what floor it is. You are going to be very particular - what you want, how it matches the other things - and so we started with ceramic tiles because it was the easiest place to start, the most open for digital.”
He believes that in just a few years, custom designs for all types of home décor could be normal, not just on ceramic, but on all types of materials. “We are expanding into other parts of building materials, starting with wood and some other things, because it’s all under the same category. People like to build beautiful places both in-house and outside. Inkjet is a technology to do short-run and customization.” EFI will continue to develop both brands, with Cretaprint focusing on ceramic tiles, and the Cubik brand targeting other types of flooring such as wood. “Those are really, really big markets with very little digital printing,” he stresses.
Whether it’s the new technologies, the tried-and-true technologies like Fiery the company continues to evolve and improve, or the latest push toward software suites geared toward very specific market niches to ensure every printer has exactly what they need, EFI remains passionate about print, and where print is going - even if what we define as “print” continues to evolve as well.
“Our messaging is that there is a lot of exciting growth opportunities in printing, but you have to have a broader definition of printing,” Gecht acknowledges. “And if you stick to where you are, and you use the same products, the same technology, the same value added, then you will see diminishing returns. You need to evolve yourself. It’s the only way.”