At the Ceramics China tradeshow, EFI presented a complete ecosystem for tile printing including the new M4 platform alongside advanced Fiery DFE and Cretacolor inks
EFI launched two new digital inkjet printing technologies at the May 27-30 Ceramics China tradeshow in Guangzhou, the EFI Cretaprint M4 and EFI Cretaprint M4 SOL. The two launches aim to drive more value and efficiency for customers in the analogue-to-digital transition in ceramic tile decoration.
Along with the two new technologies, EFI also exhibited the full Cretaprint ecosystem for ceramic decoration printers, ink and colour management, which included advanced EFI Fiery digital front end (DFE) technologies and genuine EFI Cretacolor inks.
“China is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of ceramic tiles, and we were thrilled to showcase our portfolio to new and potential customers who are looking for new innovations that can help them earn more profit with efficient, high-quality digital print technologies,” said José Luis Ramon Moreno, vice president and general manager for EFI’s Cretaprint and Nozomi operations.
According to EFI, the new products are aimed at helping customers maximise production quality and ink savings, minimise production cost and expand chromatic richness so they can manufacture at the highest possible quality in the most efficient way possible.
The EFI Cretaprint M4 platform allows customers to print on popular, larger tile sizes up to 1180mm wide and offers enhanced imaging quality with variable-drop grayscale imaging. This gives users a cost-effective and efficient alternative to analog methods for vibrant full-colour decoration.
The printer includes eight bars for colour and special-effects inks, and features a new, automatic nozzle cleaning system that yields a much longer print head life compared to other ceramic tile printers.
The Cretaprint M4 SOL, on the other hand, is a soluble-salt digital print offering specifically designed for producing high-transit, porcelain-polished tiles. Users can jet soluble-salt inks and bring richer colours to their porcelain tile decorations with lapatto and polished finishes.
This combination of Cretaprint inkjet technology and a soluble salts application widens the possibilities of creative design of porcelain tiles. EFI Cretaprint digital inkjet technology also brings tighter control on process parameters for constant ink laydown and temperature, to allow for higher tone stability on finished porcelain jobs.
In addition, EFI exhibited the newly released EFI Fiery proServer for Cretaprint, version 2.0. The latest version is described to be a high-end DFE technology that help customers retain their competitive edge by producing superior-quality designs faster, with improved colour management and reduced ink costs.
A new and unique Smart Ink Saving feature on the Fiery proServer incorporates users’ actual ink costs to calculate the most affordable ink combination possible for each pixel of a design. The product also includes a CMYK+spot colour mode that simplifies editing tasks without limiting the product’s full technical capabilities.
To round off the EFI tile printing ecosystem are Cretacolor inks. Combined with Cretaprint printers and the Fiery proServer, the inks help users achieve maximum colour intensity and gamut, chromatic range and colour stability over time, and uniformity throughout the manufacturing line.
EFI’s Ceramics China exhibit followed the company’s successful exhibition earlier this year at the Cevisama International Show in Spain, where EFI Cretaprint received the prestigious Alfa De Oro prize.