EFI Opens New Innovation Center for its U.S. Inkjet Business
During the ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, May 8, at EFI’s new facility near Manchester, N.H., EFI CEO Guy Gecht likened the area to the “Silicon Valley of New Hampshire,” as EFI joins a growing list of high-tech companies calling New Hampshire their home.
In August 2016, EFI announced plans to build its brand-new, 220,000-sq.-ft. facility in Londonderry, N.H., to house its U.S. Inkjet business. The facility, with plenty of room for further expansion, offers close proximity to the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and to a much larger pool of talent.
“We knew at some point we’ve got to move closer to where we can find the next generation of employees and we were looking around here,” Gecht said. “We didn’t want to leave New Hampshire.”
Since EFI purchased VUTEk in 2005, Meredith, N.H., served as its inkjet center, but the distance from Boston and Manchester airports put a strain on both employees and customers. During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Gecht commented that some employees were traveling up to two hours one way to get to the facility in Meredith. “The old place couldn’t accommodate what we have planned, and it is far more convenient for employees and customers. I am so glad we made this decision. This facility is far above our expectations,” he said.
The new center consolidates all of EFI’s inkjet operations into a single facility and includes research & development, manufacturing, warehousing, training and service for EFI VUTEk and EFI wide-format printers, along with worldwide sales and marketing management for EFI's portfolio of narrow, wide- and superwide-format industrial inkjet printers and presses. The customer briefing and demo center in the facility will house EFI’s inkjet production printers along with related EFI productivity software and EFI Fiery digital front-end workflow products.
EFI has several other Innovation Centers around the globe - including Italy, Spain and Israel - and, while employees may speak different languages, “we all share the same passion for inkjet. And this facility is the biggest center of innovation for inkjet,” Gecht noted.
New Hampshire state officials say the expansion of high-tech companies like EFI is part of a trend of growing manufacturing jobs in the Granite State.
Taylor Caswell, Commissioner of Business and Economic Affairs - after emphasizing how thrilled New Hampshire was to have EFI expand in New Hampshire - cited that the state has one of the fastest growing economies in New England, in part due to a favorable tax structure and a regional workforce.
“Now to see a company like EFI continue to expand here in an environment where we have heard for years about how manufacturing is dead in New Hampshire, that the textile mills are gone, the paper mills in the North Country are gone - that may be true, but we are seeing a huge resurgence in manufacturing in New Hampshire,” said Caswell. “This is just yet another example of that wonderful story.”
Although unable to attend in person due to prior engagements in Washington, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter did provide a letter of congratulations that was read by Patrick Carroll, district director for the Congresswoman. In her letter, Congresswoman Shea-Porter emphasized how the area has become a hub for manufacturing and high-tech companies.
“The Greater Manchester region, including Londonderry, is increasingly recognized as a hub for next-generation manufacturing and technology. EFI’s decision to invest in the region speaks to this recognition, and to the success of EFI. New Hampshire consistently rates as one of the best states in the nation to live, work and do business, and a big part of this distinction is due to the hardworking and skilled workers who call New Hampshire home … Today’s grand opening is a welcome and exciting event. EFI is a national leader in providing high-quality printing options, requiring a talented workforce to maintain and grow that leadership. So I am proud - but not surprised - that the good people of New Hampshire will be the source of that talent. I hope today’s grand opening reminds other employers around the country, and the world, that New Hampshire is open for business and our workers are ready to take on any challenge they are given. These are exciting times for New Hampshire’s strong economy!”
Michael Skelton, Greater Manchester Chamber President and CEO, also echoed the congratulations for EFI’s move to the region, indicating there was “a lot more good to come in the community” which is extremely “connected and willing to help.” He concluded his comments by emphasizing how the region was working hard to create opportunities for businesses. “Great things are happening in the community,” he concluded.
Denise Gustavson is the Editorial Director and Special Projects Editor for the Printing & Packaging, and Publishing Group, which includes Printing Impressions, packagePRINTING, In-plant Graphics andWide-Format Impressions magazines, among other brands. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Wide-Format Impressions.