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Sign and display specialist MediaCo has become the first company to take an EFI Vutek FabriVU 520 dye-sublimation printer as part of a plus – R17 investment.

The 5.2m-wide machine, MediaCo’s first at this width, was launched at EFI’s Connect user conference earlier this year along with a Vutek HS125 Pro.

At present it is only being used to print materials 3.2m-wide while a heat press is manufactured to work alongside it, which will be up-and-running by 1 September, at which point it will start taking jobs of up to 5.2m-wide.

EFI confirmed that MediaCo was the first to take the machine.

Operations director Stephen Arthur said the group was initially considering 3.2m-wide machines and underwent a significant period of testing before purchase.

“We did a lot of testing of competitor’s equipment and in this process you are looking for image quality, print speed, colour gamut, vibrancy and contrast,” he said.

“We were looking at the output from what works and what is the optimum quality that can be achieved and that’s what steered our decision.

“We’ve been involved in sublimation from the very early days of electrostatic through to the advent of the FabriVU and there are other technologies that have developed at 3.2m capability, some of them provide inline curing, but the one we’ve got is two separate operations, print and heat press. The reason for this was experience really.”