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RIPs in Action

SGx2 Color Manages Efficiently

Part 2 of 3

By Kim Crowley

Spectrum Graphics SGx2, of Phoenix, AZ, began about two years ago, as a spin off from a print and manufacturing company called National Mall Front. SGx2 staff celebrates over 25 years of experience.

SGx2 produces everything from fine art to vehicle wraps, banners, and point of purchase displays, for prominent customers such as Disney and Honda. Their customers see a difference in the quality of their work. "The same elements apply from a quality standpoint when an Epson printer creates giclée reprints or a 16–foot print. The customers notice the time and effort we put into the color portion," states Jared Yoder, owner, SGx2. He says the company’s raster image processing (RIP) software from ONYX Graphics, Inc. allows them to meet client expectations effectively.

Color Spectrum
Color and quality are at the core of SGx2’s business. The company has a complete open system for managing color, from file submission to production. The ONYX RIP is essential to color success. "There is a whole system of processes and analytics to achieve final desired results. That’s what separates us from our competitors. We have a lot of passion for color. We wanted a RIP that would support that and push the envelope. As the needs change, you need to be able to adapt, and that’s what we feel ONYX RIP does for us," says Yoder.

Color changes based on atmospheric fluctuations and the environment. "You can spend a lot of money to control the temperature and humidity. Fluctuations in atmosphere of even one degree can affect your press. Presses must be brought back to their original measured state. ONYX does this efficiently, whereas other RIPs dance around it in a longer process," he notes.

RIP of Choice
Yoder says that the ONYX RIP is ideal for both entry-level and advanced users. SGx2 originally started with ONYX PosterShop RIP Version 4, and now uses ONYX ProductionHouse.

The shop has one print service station computer that handles all of the processing. The ONYX RIP is connected to ten printers. This includes two Epson Stylus Pro 11880s, an Epson Stylus Pro 9880, and an Epson Stylus Pro GS 6000 solvent printer; an Hewlett-Packard Designjet 5000; a Nur Temp flatbed and a Nur Expedio 5000 16-foot printer; and a Mutoh America, Inc. Falcon eco-solvent device. "With one RIP we control ten printers—water-based, UV, solvent—it doesn’t matter. That is a big asset," says Yoder.

There is no limit to the number of printers connected to the ONYX RIP at one time, but you do need to purchase extra package licensing. "You might expect to hear that having one computer manage 20 machines will create a bottleneck that will bog your computer down, but with today’s technology, computers are faster," he shares.

File Handling
SGx2 thoroughly analyzes new projects by considering the customer’s goals and intended audience. "It isn’t about just getting a file and printing it. It’s getting a file, taking a look at needs, and applying color management processes to generate an end result that surpasses what was originally envisioned," says Yoder.

File handling is a large part of this customer-centric workflow. Speed is a necessity, especially with large files. SGx2 once RIPped a 60x12-foot photograph for an interior museum mural. The file size was over 12G. According to Yoder, that is a lot of information that utilizes a lot of resources at one time. While the file bogged down a competitive RIP, the ONYX RIP handled the entire process well.

One RIP, Many Applications
SGx2’s RIP’s performance is a factor in helping them process a larger variety of projects with more precision. They are confident that they can process almost any application thanks to the speed and file handling capabilities of their RIP.

Next week the last part in our three-part series on RIPs focuses on a product roundup, detailing recent enhancements.

Click here to read Part 1 of this exclusive online series, At the Heart of a RIP.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Apr2010, Digital Output

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