Ricoh Expands Wide-Format Portfolio with EFI VUTEk Hybrid Printers
Since 2004, when Ricoh acquired Hitachi Printing Systems, it has been on a mission to become a world leader in production printing. In a short period of time, it has built an impressive portfolio of high-speed rollfed inkjet presses and cut-sheet toner presses, software, (Web-to-Print, VDP, MIS, and workflow) plus a line of services that include color management and workflow analysis.
Ricoh continues to invest in this market. Just this year, it doubled the number of sales reps in the field selling to the production and wide-format markets. And of course new products are being continually added to the portfolio.
The newest additions to the wide-format portfolio are mid-level EFI H1625 and high-speed EFI Pro 16h wide-format LED printers. The portfolio now includes Ricoh latex roll-to-roll printers, Mimaki flatbed printers and the EFI hybrid printers.
The partnership with EFI goes well beyond a simple reseller’s agreement. It’s a worldwide alliance that Ricoh has with EFI that includes software, DFEs and now wide-format printers. On the software side it is a fully integrated partnership that covers just about all the devices offered. With regard to wide-format printing, this is a worldwide alliance as well. Ricoh is already selling and servicing EFI printers in Latin America and Europe.
Why partner with EFI? Well EFI is a market leader in the UV inkjet space and their hybrid technology which combines roll-to-roll and flatbed printing is compelling and fits a nice segment of the market.
What enables this partnership to work is the combined skills of both companies makes for a better experience for the customer. One of the key elements of any wide-format printer is the inkjet heads and EFI has adopted Ricoh Gen5 Printheads in this product. Thus the customer gets the advantage of Ricoh inkjet technology along with EFI’s expertise in imaging science, software science and substrate delivery. (The Ricoh inkjet printheads are also used in Ricoh’s Latex printers and Mimaki flatbed printers.)
In addition, since the hybrid printers are driven by Fiery, integration with Fiery cut-sheet presses is seamless making it easy for plant personnel to run these new hybrid printers and streamline workflow.
And finally, Ricoh will leverage its massive service organization to service these printers giving customers faster response times and more peace of mind.
Dave Erlandson is the GM of Caslon & Co. One of Caslon’s primary activities is to serve as the North American Affiliate for PODi, the Digital Print Initiative. PODi is a leading industry initiative focused on developing the market for digital printing through education and standards activities. Other key activities include digital printing market analysis and sales training.