The Schiele Group, a Chicago-based commercial printer, has installed an EFI Vutek h5. The wide-format inkjet machine will help the company, which was founded in 1948, produce nearly one billion pieces of printed material each year.

The 3.2m wide device, The Schiele Group’s second EFI printer after a Vutek GS3250, is a hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll printer featuring EFI’s cool cure UV LED imaging. It prints at resolutions up to 1200dpi and in eight colours.

Executives at The Schiele Group considered other options, but decided that the production and reliability advantages of the Vutek made it the best choice. ‘We went with the Vutek because it’s fast, and more efficient,’ explained Patrick Page, vice president of The Schiele Group’s national sales team. ‘There’s never any downtime and the print quality is amazing.’

The flexibility of the printer was also considered key, as was its ability to offer premium-quality features, such as a clear ink spot gloss. ‘The spot gloss feature gives prints an extra pop,’ added Mr Page, adding that the small reversed-out text the printer can produce is ‘great as well.’

Where many print businesses struggled during the pandemic period, The Schiele Group experienced a boom in its wide-format work. ‘We pivoted to Covid-specific offerings, so a lot of things that we weren’t doing before there was a massive need for, like dividers and other safety-related products,’ said the company’s senior marketing manager, Shannon McNealy. ‘The increased demand for superwide-format digital printing has continued as event- and entertainment-related work returns.’

In conclusion Mr Page added, ‘Investing in large format was key to keep pushing the business and pushing boundaries. While the average run length for jobs is trending down at The Schiele Group, the overall number of orders continues to grow. The highly efficient Vutek h5 printer and its three-quarter automation feed and delivery features will help the company keep ahead of demand.’