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Global Graphics: Harlequin RIP update

Friday, February 03, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

Centreville VA, and Cambridge UK; February 2, 2006: Additional new features, together with substantial improvements in performance to what is already a high-performance processor, underscore the Harlequin RIP’s workflow-like functionality ‘in a box’, according to Global Graphics’ senior technical consultant Martin Bailey speaking at the launch of the new release of the Harlequin RIP Genesis Release today. “The Harlequin RIP’s rich feature set includes many pre-press processes that normally run on separate applications such as color management, trapping and imposition”, he underlined. “Each release of the RIP is geared to providing print shops with increases in productivity and efficiency and we continuously monitor market place needs, together with our OEM and system integrator partners. With so many features and options now available with the Harlequin RIP, print shop operators just need to lift the lid of the box to find a workflow-like environment in one product.” Version 7.1 introduces native compatibility with PDF 1.6, simple in-RIP imposition for four-up as well as two-up conventional printing and digital print, and increased platform support up to Mac OS X (10.4). In testing, this new version of the RIP consistently showed a double-digit percentage improvement in performance in non-color managed set-ups over its predecessor, and, as much as a thirty percent performance improvement on average in color managed set-ups. Commenting on the addition of four-up imposition, Martin Bailey, Global Graphics’ senior technical consultant said, “The Harlequin RIP can now act as a true production server, accepting jobs straight from the prepress operator's desk and creating proofs and plates to order. Replacing the need for slow and error-prone manual imposition techniques in small print shops can have a major impact on productivity. Even in medium-size companies, avoiding the need for a technician to place pages in an imposition program and then print them out again can save significant time and money. “If the user needs more variable layouts, they can make use of the JDF Enabler with version 7.1 of the Harlequin RIP. That combination now supports the CIP4 "Layout Creation to Imposition" ICS, making the connection from a dedicated imposition program even more robust.” “A logical extension to the rich functionality of the RIP”, continued Mr Bailey, “is the optional Harlequin Print Production Manager (PPM) which allows small and medium sized print operations in particular to open up the box. It simplifies the management of a print job from the moment it is submitted to its progress through the Harlequin RIP and on to the output destination the proofer, platesetter, digital press or file. It makes it easy to keep work moving because its simple visual interface guides users through each step of the output process.” A rich feature set The Harlequin RIP Genesis Release brings increased efficiency and productivity to Harlequin RIP-based solutions used in a wide variety of prepress, printing and workflow applications. The new release builds on the full range of features previously available with the Genesis Release including: an advanced in-RIP font emulation capability for time critical applications such as newspapers and print-on-demand, support for PDF/X-1a:2003 and PDF/X-3:2003 and the JDF 1.2 specification; and, improved color management. PDF 1.6, PDF/X-1a:2003 and PDF/X-3:2003 support: In addition to handling most popular file formats version 7.1 provides full support for PDF 1.6. In line with Global Graphics’ commitment to open standards the Company was among the first to offer support for PDF/X-1a:2003 and PDF/X-3:2003. The Genesis Release maintains the Harlequin RIP’s ability to process PDF files natively without the need to convert to PostScript first, to ensure fast and accurate rendering. Simple in-RIP imposition: Version 7.1 introduces support for four page schemes in addition to the two-up support available in the previous version. It provides an easy-to-use and automatic imposition feature that is selected from the RIP’s page setup and has been introduced to enable those Harlequin RIP users who do not require complex imposition to increase efficiency. The in-RIP imposition in the Harlequin RIP is aimed at environments requiring only simple imposition, mainly but not exclusively CTP for offset litho and the digital print market. However, the tiling, scaling and step and repeat options will also ensure fast and high-quality results in wide-format printing and flexo work. In-RIP font emulation: This feature provides font emulation for time critical applications, such as Print on Demand (digital production print), newspapers, magazines, jobs where artwork or advertising is supplied independently of the paying customer, and other applications where output must leave on time. In what Global Graphics believes to be the most advanced in-RIP font emulation capability available, the Genesis Release will make a typographically acceptable match to missing fonts with no text overflow and with appropriate character spacing, weight and width. Improved color management: the Genesis Release introduces greatly improved color rendition in overprinting regions and blending. Color management can be applied at the end of the process, after composition, for greater fidelity. The Genesis Release also supports Version 4.0 of the ICC profiles. JDF Enabler Version 2.0: Version 2.0 of Global Graphics’ JDF Enabler for the Harlequin RIP is designed to be compliant with the published JDF 1.2 specification and with level 2 of CIP4’s Base Interoperability Conformance Specification. Global Graphics JDF development continues to be focussed on meeting the needs of both large customers with formal JDF workflow requirements and those that are looking to improve efficiency by adopting ad-hoc JDF workflows. The JDF Enabler Version 2.0 allows for the handling of TIFF files either as an input file format in its own right or as a reference file format within JDF to support TIFF shooter workflows. TIFF split workflows are supported - where the bulk of the processing overhead for a job takes place on a separate machine to that feeding the final output device.




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