“The size of this printer, at 17 feet, opens up new markets for us where customers need larger graphics,” said Sean Sadhoo, General Manager of IAC, the Toronto, Ont., full-service visual communications company. “One of those markets is theatre companies that need theatrical backdrops, or curtains. They used banner vinyl until recently but are now switching to sublimated panels. These are very custom, one-off jobs. There are only five shops in North America that can do it, so the VUTEk FabriVU gives us a huge advantage.”
Other markets where IAC sees growth opportunities are large-scale events, such as music festivals and sporting events. The company serves clients looking to create brand experiences that resonate with audiences. Event companies also want compelling visual impact with high production values to distinguish their brands.
In addition to the potential for expanding in new markets, the VUTEk FabriVU line – which is also available in 5.8- and 11-foot widths – sets IAC apart with its current customers. IAC describes itself as an early adopter in Canada for dye-sublimation printing. Now, more than half of its sales volume is currently in dye-sub work for clients needing graphics for tradeshow and pop-up events, and corporate and retail environments.
“In the last six months or so it seems that retailers in Canada have caught on,” says Sadhoo. “There’s so much fabric going into retail stores now, especially silicone edge graphics, like light boxes. The cost savings in shipping when they’re rolling out national programs are significant, and the graphics are easy to install.”
For these clients, IAC’s new VUTEk FabriVU 520 printer will deliver faster and better quality than the shop previously could provide. The printer is a robust solution designed for 24/7 operation. Its aqueous inks deliver four-colour printing in a colour gamut with up to a resolution of 2,400 dpi.
“Being the first in Canada with a 17-foot device makes us unique and gives us an edge. For example, our clients can now have larger, continuous graphics instead of stitching panel graphics together. We can now give them backlits with seamless backs. There are no backlit boxes bigger than this printer, so this is a huge benefit,” Sadhoo says.
With this acquisition, IAC becomes a total EFI large-format shop. For several years now, the company has also used a 16-foot wide EFI VUTEk UV roll-to-roll printer, as well as a 10.5-foot wide EFI VUTEk UV hybrid flatbed/roll printer.