Fremont, CA 94555
Sales: $1 billion for EFI at the corporate level (Ink World estimate); Ink World estimates $150 million in ink and consumables.
Major Products: EFI has one of the graphic arts industry’s broadest inkjet portfolios with VUTEk, EFI Wide Format, Reggiani, Nozomi, Cubik and Cretaprint printers and presses. The company is also a market leader in UV LED digital inkjet inks for the superwide- and, wide-format (e.g., billboards, signage, POP, etc.) printing markets. EFI offers a wide range of ink products for wide/superwide format and industrial inkjet printing, including UV and UV LED inks, ceramic inks and water-based inks for direct to textile and transfer printing. EFI also makes reactive, pigment and water-based acid inks for industrial textile printing.
Key Personnel: Jeff Jacobson, CEO; Marc Olin, COO; Doug Edwards, CTO; Frank Mallozzi, CRO.
Number of Employees: Approximately 3,300 (Ink World estimate).
Operating Facilities: 49 worldwide offices.
Comments: For Electronics For Imaging, Inc. (EFI), 2019 was a year of massive changes, beginning in April 2019 when EFI announced it entered into a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Siris Capital Group, LLC to be acquired for approximately $1.7 billion. The acquisition was completed in July.
“EFI’s portfolio of best-in-class solutions presents an exciting opportunity to drive further growth in high-quality inkjet and integrated, digital workflows,” said Jeff Jacobson, Siris executive partner and EFI executive chairman and CEO. “I look forward to working closely with management and know Siris is committed to providing the guidance and support needed to help EFI continue accelerating the transformation of industries where colorful images matter.”
“Last year was a year like no other at EFI – one of the most significant years in our three decades of existence,” said Mark Goodearl, senior ink product manager, EFI Display Graphics. “After over 25 years as a public company, EFI was acquired in July by an affiliate of the private equity company Siris Capital LLC. And in August 2019 we welcomed Jeff Jacobson – the former CEO of Xerox and one of the most experienced leaders in the digital print technology field – as our CEO and chairman.”
In terms of its global ink operations, EFI’s EFI Reggiani textile business made a significant move in May of last year, acquiring the Turkish company BDR Boya Kimya, a leading supplier of reactive inks for industrial textile printing.
Goodearl reported that in 2019, EFI continued to see steady, healthy volumes in ink across a wide variety of applications. He sees strong growth potential in display graphics, corrugated and textile printing.
“Display graphics continue to be a growth market and we are looking forward to the opportunities that come with the portfolio of solutions we will be sharing with the industry at drupa,” he said. “We are placing a lot of effort in helping display graphics customers be even more efficient and productive, not only with our inks and printers, but with the services and software workflows needed to help customers get the most out of their investments. We also are experiencing growth in demand for clear ink for a broader range of premium applications, including the wallcovering market.”
Outside of display graphics, EFI’s ink operations had some important growth trends.
“Our Nozomi C18000 LED inkjet digital corrugated printer established a leading share of the market for digital corrugated production, which led to high ink volumes,” Goodearl reported. “EFI is also a leader in digital inkjet decoration for the ceramic tile market. While it is a mature segment in terms of transformation from analog to digital production, it was once a market with lower attach rates for ink usage. For the past few years, including in 2019, those attach rates have continued to rise.”
“Corrugated and industrial textile printing continues to accelerate as well, remaining among the fastest-growing markets for EFI,” Goodearl added. “And, in 2020 and beyond, we also expect expansion – albeit from a smaller base – in a new building materials market segment we are addressing with an EFI Cubik series of inkjet printers that does printing and staining for wood, as well as printing for concrete and polymer materials such as shower panels.”
Goodearl noted that coronavirus is a challenge facing the industry.
“At the moment, coronavirus (COVID 19) is something that is essential for monitoring and action, for most industries, including ink,” Goodearl said. “EFI has increased inventory levels and we do not see an immediate impact on our operations or product availability.”
Overall, Goodearl is optimistic about further growth in EFI’s ink operations in the coming year.
“EFI expects to see a strong market for our inks in 2020,” Goodearl said. “We see a continuing trend where the business case and the sustainability case for adopting LED inkjet can support and enhance each other.
“Similarly, with soft signage display textile production on our FabriVU printers, we expect to continue seeing transformations in a market that is eager to adopt high-quality reusable graphics that require less expense, and fewer natural resources, to ship and store. In industrial textile printing, new EFI Reggiani TERRA pigment ink technologies eliminate washing and steaming steps – a welcome development in the textile industry,” Goodearl added.
“Single-pass is perhaps an even bigger contributor to a strong outlook for the future. Inkjet productivity has already taken a leap forward with a high-volume single pass on our new EFI Reggiani BOLT industrial textile printer and on our Nozomi C18000 corrugated printer – including some early applications in the field with Nozomi technology running on non-corrugated media. As single-pass proliferates in its capabilities and applications, inkjet will become an even more important technology platform for the future and an important driver in the global ink industry. Those trends are part of our positive outlook for 2020 and beyond, and we will continue to make our inks and processes greener, with greater versatility for production applications, in the future,” Goodearl concluded.