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EFI Nozomi could replace litho-lam

EFI has reported strong interest in its giant Nozomi C18000 corrugated printing line from display graphics printers – with McGowans in Ireland set to become the first to install one in that market.

Left to right, EFI's Scott Schinlever, Mal McGowan, and Paul Cripps EFI vice president and managing director EMEA. Photo Credit: PrintWeek

“We have seen incredible uptake, not just from corrugated printers, also very large sign and display companies who want to get into a new industry. They can produce high-end display graphics on this platform as well as packaging,” said Scott Schinlever, senior vice president and general manager EFI Inkjet.

The first Nozomi has now been installed at packaging converter Hinojosa in Spain. “We are running test prints this week. This is a huge milestone for us and we are very excited about it,” Schinlever added.

“We're bringing some of the advantages of point-of-purchase ‘pop’ if you will, such as brilliant whites, to corrugated.”

The highly automated Nozomi has a 1.8x3m bed and can prints single-pass in up to seven colours, and has a top speed of 75 linear m/min. It handles board from 0.4mm up to the full range of corrugated flutes, including triple wall. It uses EFI’s cool-cure LED technology.

Point-of-purchase and digital print specialist McGowans Print in Ireland will install the second Nozomi in July. It will be the group’s first EFI machine, and the first to go into a PoP printer.

Chief executive Mal McGowan described the Nozomi as “a quantum leap” for large-format, single-pass printing, and said the firm would use it to enter a new market. He said: "This is almost disruptive in the marketplace. It's kind of frightening when you see it working, it works so fast, and the quality is unbelievable."

McGowans will use the Nozomi to produce FSDUs and the firm also plans to enter the packaging market. "A lot of packaging in Ireland is imported. We'd like to stop that and do it in Ireland," McGowan added.

"What the Agfa M-Press did to screen printing, this will do to large-format litho. There will be no need for litho-laminate in the next two-to-three years."

It will be installed in the second unit at McGowans' Dublin site. McGowan said it represented a circa €4m (£3.6m) investment for the business, with additional finishing kit part of the spend.

"My wife wanted me to retire but instead I've spent my pension on this," he quipped. 

The €20m turnover firm is an all-digital printing business. It employs 110 staff and has operations in Dublin and Belfast. 

The Nozomi is 37m-long and 8m-wide and is not on show at Fespa, although samples are available at the show.

(Original article appeared on PrintWeek, 10 May 2017)

11-05-2017