RIP vendors continue to present enhanced solutions to the large format print market. Here, several vendors share information on the newest versions and upgrades.
AIT International manufactures Shiraz RIP Server Version 6.6, Shiraz Signature Version 7, and Shiraz Focus Version 2. Highlights of Shiraz RIP Server Version 6 include better PostScript and PDF file interpretation and color reproduction. The release includes a complete rewrite for transparency and blend handling, a feature requested by current users.
CADlink Technology offers Digital Factory Version 2 and FilmMaker Version 2. Digital Factory Version 2 is a complete RIP solution that features CADlink’s unique multi-queue, multi-printer system referred to as Visual Production Manager. FilmMaker Version 2 supports most Epson screenprint film printers. It utilizes patent pending variable dot screening and supports multi-channel black inks to increase density and speed.
Caldera Graphics’ products adapt to a company’s size and productivity requirements. This year Caldera plans to launch a new version of its current RIP software—CopyRIP, VisualRIP, and GrandRIP, along with a new business workflow solution, FLOW+.
Cibercat U.S.A.’s latest RIP release is CiberPrint Version 6.1. Highlights include automatic pagination and tiling when designs are too large and an automatic function that distributes designs, saving time and material. Cibercat is set to launch CiberPrint Version 7 in late 2009.
ColorBurst Systems’ X-Proof Version 6.1 for Mac offers new support for Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 printers. It also provides a new, simplified print workflow for applications using custom page size. ColorBurst Pro Version 9.1 for PC is an integration of X-Proof and Pro software products, providing a job queue manager and layout tool all in one.
ColorByte Software’s ImagePrint Version 8 removes color management from the equation, allowing users to focus on workflow and products. The newest version was released in April 2009.
DigiFab Systems, Inc.’s Evolution RIP Version 4.1 supports the latest version of ICC format and up to 12 color printers with a fully integrated PostScript interpreter. Evolution RIP comes standard with Evolution Layout, which provides unlimited access to a RIP queue, remote printing, and controls. Version 5.0 is due out in late 2009 and will feature new color editing tools for independent images. Version 5.0 will also include drivers for soon-to-be-released printers and variable data capabilities.
EFI’s Fiery XF handles high job volume and delivers exceptional color quality for environments with tight production schedules. It is a production RIP for EFI’s VUTEk superwide digital inkjet printers, Rastek wide format digital inkjet printers, Jetrion digital printing systems, and devices from other manufacturers. As companies grow, the multi-device RIP is scalable. The RIP’s interface and tutorial wizard are designed to shorten learning curves, regardless of operator skill level. Features such as a font checker are designed to decrease errors and save time.
PosterJet 8, from Eisfeld Datentechnik GmbH & Co. KG Köln, is a solution for Canon U.S.A, Inc., Epson, and Hewlett-Packard (HP) aqueous large format printers. PosterJet is available in three editions with different printing widths—24, 44, and 60 inches. Each edition supports optional PostScript/PDF functionality. PosterJet contains a linearization technology that is an integral part of the latest PosterJet Version 8.1 release.
Fusion Systems International’s newest release, ColorRay Version 8, is a high-speed Harlequin-based proofing RIP. It includes ICC-based color management tools, pre-configured color setups for a range of Epson Stylus Pro and HP Designjet wide format proofers, and the ability to run on Mac OS X 10.2 through 10.5.x.
Gerber Scientific Products, Inc. offers editions of ONYX RIP software including ONYX ProductionHouse Gerber Edition and ONYX PosterShop Gerber Edition. Version 7.3 supports new cutters, including the Gerber M Series. A PostScript/PFD RIP engine update improves PDF transparency support. Users can gain up to a 25 percent speed increase when ripping files and save media with the nesting feature that debuted in version 7.1.
Global Graphics Software Ltd. supplies Jaws and Harlequin RIPs through OEM partners. Jaws is a configurable, native PostScript Level 3 and PDF 1.7 compatible interpreter, designed to run on a variety of platforms and operating systems. Aimed at rendering applications, from file conversion to digital color printing, Jaws features a flexible API that allows OEMs to tailor products based on customer need.
ONYX Graphics, Inc.’s products help shops differentiate themselves from competitors. A proprietary technology, ONYX PosterColor makes color pop on solvent and UV inkjet printers while also matching Pantone spot colors. ONYX PrepEdge Pro software is designed to automate production and reduce the time required for large format job preparation. The ONYX PrepEdge suite works with all RIP software and offers a complete tool set for large format job preparation.
Polkadots Software’s Rasterize-it is a re-engineered Harlequin-based RIP used in newspaper, commercial, and digital print applications. In addition to native PostScript and PDF processing, Rasterize-it also supports native XPS—the XML paper specification—processing.
VersaWorks 3.1 is Roland DGA Corporation’s most recent entry. Based on the latest Adobe CPSI engine, VersaWorks 3.1 features advanced print server functions allowing users to manage up to four Roland inkjet devices simultaneously. VersaWorks 3.1 also offers support for Roland’s GX series cutters, which allows professionals to manage print and cut operations when paired with a VersaArt printer. VersaWorks includes productivity tools such as the Roland Color System for easy, precise spot color matching; a Max Impact Preset for richer color contrast; and variable data printing. VersaWorks updates and upgrades are provided online free of charge.
SA International, Inc.’s (SAi) latest software solutions are PhotoPRINT 6.1 Version 2 and FlexiSIGN-PRO 8.6 Version 2. With the launch of the newest upgrade, SAi introduced a newly designed SO Diffusion technology and a 16-bit workflow. Also, the Color Profiler is significantly improved, featuring enhancements to workflow and productivity.
Serendipity Software Pty. Ltd. recently released Megarip Version 5. It features an updated system architecture and support for the latest inkjet printers. The software is a client-server-based solution running on both Windows and Mac OSX. Users can now submit jobs to one page setup and then select the required media module. Once jobs are processed, they are held till the media is loaded, saving time and eliminating costly errors.
VALLOY Incorporation’s TOPAZ RIP Version 9.4 contains a new Layer Printing Option, which enables managing pre-separated and ripped data independent to the RIP. It is also possible to print different color or mixed color for a specific channel of separated data. TOPAZ RIP Version 10 includes a new nesting module—Imperial Nesting. Other new functions to come include annotation, marks, step and repeat, and image editing in the nesting module. A new engine will support 12-color separation and additional color management options, such as spot replacement and gray balancing tools.
Released in February, Wasatch Computer Technology, LLC’s SoftRIP Version 6.5 includes the new Wasatch Cost Estimator, designed to give an accurate estimate of jobs before the production process begins. It also provides the latest update to Wasatch Precision Stochastic Screens, expanded ICC Input Profiles, an improved Profile View to assist with visualizing color mapping, and a new performance mode for faster textile printing.
Xanté Corporation’s Symphony Workflow Version 3.0 is a comprehensive, turnkey PDF workflow featuring support for both the Adobe PDF Print Engine and Adobe PostScript 3. Symphony drives all output devices including large format CTP, laser printers, digital color presses, copiers, inkjet printers, and plotters from a single RIP. Symphony offers advanced color management and automates complex prepress tasks such as file setup, trapping, screening, imposition, and dot gain compensation.
Xitron, Inc. plans to announce a significant upgrade for the Navigator GPS workflow. This release offers new options such as ink re-mapping, workflow integrated imposition, and ink key settings for printing presses. Navigator GPS utilizes a Harlequin core technology RIP and a Xitron developed workflow solution called RIP Manager.
These are just a handful of available RIP solutions. Read more about these products and the features large format print providers should look for in a RIP in the May issue of Digital Output.