6750 Dumbarton Circle
Fremont, CA 94555
Sales: $728 million for EFI at the corporate level; Ink World estimates $100 million in ink and consumables.
Major Products: EFI has one of the graphic arts industry’s broadest inkjet portfolios with VUTEk, Jetrion and EFI wide format printers and presses. That portfolio has also made EFI the market leader in UV inkjet inks for the superwide-format, wide-format (e.g., billboards, signage, POP, etc.) and narrow-web label-printing markets. EFI offers a wide range of ink products for wide-/superwide-format and industrial inkjet markets, including UV, UV LED and solvent inks.
Key Personnel: Guy Gecht, CEO; Marc Olin, COO; David Reeder, CFO; Ghilad Dziesietnik, CTO; Frank Mallozzi, SVP, worldwide sales and marketing; Scott Schinlever, SVP/GM, EFI Inkjet Solutions.
Number of Employees: Approximately 2,500.
Operating Facilities: 23 worldwide offices.
Comments: A global leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation, Electronics For Imaging, Inc. (EFI) had an excellent year in 2013. The company’s sales rose 11.6% to $728 million, and on the ink side, EFI shipped out more than a million liters of ink for the second year in a row.
“EFI had a phenomenal 2013 – our second consecutive year of more than 1 million liters of ink sold,” said Stephen Emery, vice president, ink business and Jetrion Industrial Inkjet, EFI. “In addition to far exceeding the 1 million liter mark again in 2013, we brought several new inks to market that help our customers expand into new markets.
“The emphasis continues to be finding the key markets and applications in the print industry where digital inkjet enables short- to medium-runs with variable data and providing the absolute best products and services for those markets,” Emery added. “It is an approach that extends beyond the ink we sell, to the inkjet hardware we make, as well as to our print workflow and Fiery digital front end products.”
EFI has a number of leading product lines, including its VUTEk and Jetrion printers and Fiery front end products. The company’s increasing inkjet ink sales confirm that the digital printing market is growing into new fields, with LED one area of emphasis.
“We consider our increased ink volumes to be a leading indicator, and as a result, we experienced increased inkjet printer sales in 2013,” Emery said. “But it was also significant news for us that the number of LED placements keeps increasing. Our LED printers and inks showed the highest growth in the display and graphics markets. The strong growth in LED enables our customers to print a wider range of media and is spread across the markets we serve. EFI VUTEk LED printers tend to produce more square footage compared to UV machines of the same size and speed. LED lamps last significantly longer than UV arc lamps, and they don’t gradually degrade they way arc lamps do, so the printed output can be that much more consistent over the life of the lamp. Without the extra energy generated by UV arc lamp curing, VUTEk LED printers also handle a broader range of substrates. All of those advantages translate into more jobs per shift for our customers.
“Beyond LED, inkjet continues to improve on its essential value proposition as a digital production process that removes much of the waste and set-up of analog screen, offset and flexo print processes,” Emery added. “We are seeing more customers move into the analog replacement phase of inkjet with our highest-volume press, the VUTEk HS100 Pro. At 100 boards per hour, it has found its home into several screen-printing shops as a system that provides analog quality and the productivity to compete on longer-run jobs.”
EFI has developed a reputation for its R&D operations, and 2013 saw more new presses and inks come into the marketplace. One highlight is the new EFI VUTEk GS Pro-TF system, an ink and printer system that allows for inkjet printing on thermoformable media, which creates new opportunities in 3-D thermoformed product decoration. It was named Product of the Year for digital ink at last year’s SGIA tradeshow. EFI also continued expanding in LED, and Emery said it will be an important factor in the role digital plays in the packaging space.
“We launched the first all-LED EFI Jetrion narrow web press last year, and it provides customers a new opportunity to expand beyond digital inkjet label converting to include flexible packaging work,” Emery added. “Our growth in LED also included the launch of our first dedicated roll-to-roll LED printer, which extends our product line more into the vehicle and fleet wrap market. We also invested in the ink technology for the roll-to-roll LED printer to reach that market, developing a new, EFI VUTEk GSLXr 3M SuperFlex UV that can be used to create 3M MCS Warranty jobs.”
EFI had an excellent fourth quarter of 2013 in terms of sales, which bodes well for the company as it continues into 2014.
“In Q4 of 2013, EFI witnessed double-digit growth across every business and in every region so, more than anything, that indicates to me that we are focused more than ever before on catering to our customers’ needs,” Emery concluded. “Our outlook is for continued growth in a matter that reflects the industry-wide transition from analog to digital print. We are seeing it not only in signage, label and packaging markets, but also in industrial applications like ceramic tile decoration.”