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EFI Cretaprint Hybrid ceramic tile printer wins Alfa de Oro prize

EFI’s Cretaprint Hybrid digital tile decoration printer gives tile manufacturers the unique ability to switch between eco-solvent inks and greener EFI Cretacolor aqueous inks using the same machine. Aqueous inkjet inks can eliminate more than 90% of volatile organic compound emissions that occur with eco-solvent ceramic inkjet inks.

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 EFI Cretaprint Hybrid eco-solvent/aqueous technology received a 2020 Alfa de Oro award during the Cevisama tradeshow

The Cretaprint Hybrid that EFI is showcasing at the Cevisama Expo tradeshow in Valencia, Spain (Feb 3-7) has earned the company one of the tile industry's most respected honours, a 2020 Alfa de Oro award from the Sociedad Española de Cerámica y Vidrio. The award recognises ceramics and glass manufacturing equipment that stimulates technological and artistic creativity.

“The award-winning Cretaprint Hybrid digital inkjet printer ecosystem gives tile manufacturers a long-term business advantage for current and future productivity, with the unique ability to work with eco-solvent inks now, and then move to aqueous inks using the same EFI Cretaprint printer,” says EFI. “This remarkable solution, which is making its European debut at Cevisama, facilitates the important future move to greener EFI Cretacolor aqueous inks, as well as the adoption of highly accurate, efficient digital glazing.”

José Luis Ramón Moreno, vice president and general manager, EFI Industrial Printing, said: "We are addressing our customers' key concerns for immediately adding eco-friendly processes - something that will eventually become standard for an industry looking to reduce its environmental footprint. We have already had several successful EFI Cretaprint Hybrid implementations and our users are able to achieve the same level of print quality and reliability that they have had previously, with improved sustainability."

The world's only hybrid eco-solvent/aqueous inkjet ceramic tile printer is available in widths from 700 mm to 1,400 mm. EFI Cretaprint Hybrid printers include 5th-generation printer software for Smart Printer capabilities, with enhanced connectivity and an intuitive user experience.

“Once Hybrid Cretaprint users switch to EFI Cretacolor aqueous inkjet inks, they can eliminate more than 90% of the volatile organic compound emissions - and 73% of the average carbon emissions - that occur with eco-solvent ceramic inkjet inks,” says EFI. “The aqueous inks also offer a short drying time, with higher print quality and image definition compared with eco-solvent inks.

“EFI Cretaprint Shield auxiliary modules for the Hybrid ecosystem include a digital glazing option that applies the right amount of glaze in a controlled manner, reducing the amount of waste that is typical in tile manufacturing. The EFI Cretaprint glaze formulation also has lower vapour emissions and requires less water consumption. 

“The EFI Fiery proServer digital front end (DFE) for Cretaprint, a dedicated colour management solution for digital ceramic tile decoration, features ColorWise separation technology for ceramics. ColorWise uses purpose-built colour management algorithms for sharper, more detailed output versus conventional ICC colour management methods. Combined with EFI Cretacolor inks, ColorWise separation technology reduces ink usage by up to 30% versus ICC colour management without affecting accuracy, gamut or definition. Plus, a Smart Ink Savings feature for the Fiery proServer can reduce ink costs further by calculating the most affordable ink combination needed to produce a design. These combined technologies can deliver a total ink cost savings of up to 40% versus other tile production methods.”