A proud EFI is celebrating the achievement of US customer, Hargrove, Inc., the official general contractor for the Presidential Inaugural.

Hargrove produced over 200,000 square feet of the 2009 inauguration graphics using an EFI VUTEk QS3200 3.2 meter superwide format printer.

Hargrove has been a major contractor for every US Presidential Inaugural since the 1949 inauguration of Harry Truman.   Earl C. Hargrove, company founder, says, “Preparations for every inaugural take place in a very short time frame, but the event takes place on the world stage. The products and services used at all levels must perform at 100%.  This unyielding schedule, coupled with extensive and tight security plans, really tested our VUTEk QS3200 and we discovered it runs better the harder you push it.”

eg_inauguration_carpet_1.jpgEFI’s VUTEk QS3200, first installed at Hargrove, Inc. in April 2008, was instrumental in producing this year’s historic signage.  “Our VUTEk was needed to produce presidential calibre graphics within a tight period of time,” said Fred Strickland, Hargrove Director of Productions.  “We supported a total of 44 events at 34 different venues.  The 200,000 square feet of graphics were produced in order to create over 25,000 inaugural items,” added Strickland.  Various media was used including fabric, vinyl, pressure sensitive and rigid boards to produce stage backdrops, wall murals, carpet, parade float graphics and hundreds of presidential seals. In addition, Pitman, the EFI channel sales partner who sold the unit, provided last minute media delivery throughout weekends, further assisting in this huge effort. 

“At the Neighborhood Ball, President and Mrs. Obama had their first dance on a custom-built circular stage with a faux finish applied by local artisans,” said Hargrove CEO, Tim McGill.  The company also produced its largest Presidential Inaugural Seal ever for the Neighborhood Ball. “Normally, we produce hundreds of inaugural seals ranging from 30 inches to 12 feet,” he said. “For the Neighborhood Ball, we produced a wooden, three-dimensional, seal 16-feet in diameter,” said McGill.

The VUTEk Q23200 produces exceptionally brilliant images and combines High-Definition Print (HDP) with high production speeds capable of producing 1080dpi images.  Four- or six-colour imaging and a special seventh channel with white ink offers unlimited applications and new revenue streams.  EFI complements this printer with the EFI’s Fiery ® XF RIP image processing and unique smoothing technologies to create breathtaking imagery.

This demanding output was enabled by the VUTEk QS3200’s ability to accommodate substrates up to 126” wide and 2” thick on rigid flatbed or roll-to-roll printing.  Tight deadlines are achieved through the less-than a minute changeover time from rigid to roll substrates.  This superior printer was awarded the prestigious European Digital Press (EDP) Association Award for Best Superwide Printer of the Year in 2007.

“EFI is proud that our powerful VUTEk UV printer played such a critical role in the inauguration events of President Obama. With EFI, our customers are achieving the highest quality, environmentally conscious print solutions and our robust portfolio of integrated products helps them streamline operations, reduce costs and increase profits,” said Chuck Dourlet, vice president of marketing, EFI VUTEk.

EFI (http://www.efi.com/) is the world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation. EFI's award-winning solutions, integrated from creation to print, deliver increased performance, cost savings and productivity. The company's robust product portfolio includes Fiery® digital colour print servers; VUTEk® superwide digital inkjet printers, UV and solvent inks; Rastek UV wide-format inkjet printers; Jetrion® industrial inkjet printing systems; print production workflow and management information software; and corporate printing solutions. EFI maintains 28 offices worldwide.

Hargrove Inc employs 200 full-time workers, a number that increased to more than 700 during the Presidential Inaugural preparations. The facility includes a 35,000-square-foot fabrication shop, 5,000-square-foot paint shop, 4,400-square-foot art shop, 24,000-square-foot computer graphics shop, 25 all-weather loading docks, 135,000-square-foot warehouse, and complete design studio.  The event, trade show and exhibit company provides nationwide service from its Lanham, Md. Headquarters. For more information about Hargrove, visit www.hargroveinc.com.

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