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New Release of the Harlequin RIP Introduces Major Features

Press release from the issuing company

Cambridge, UK and Centreville US -- The latest evolution of the world-renowned Harlequin RIP – the Genesis Release - is announced today by Global Graphics, the technology experts for open document and print solutions. The Harlequin RIP Genesis Release will bring increased efficiency and productivity to Harlequin RIP-based solutions used in a wide variety of prepress, printing and workflow applications. Available immediately to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), the Genesis Release offers important new features for print operations of all sizes including: native compatibility with PDF 1.5; an advanced font emulation capability for time critical applications such as newspapers and print-on-demand; simple in-RIP imposition for two-up conventional printing and digital print; support for PDF/X-1a:2003 and PDF/X-3:2003 and the JDF 1.2 specification; and, improved color management. "The launch today of a new Harlequin release follows a sustained period of development which sees a new level of technology introduced into the product", says Adrian Ford, Chief Technology Officer. "The Harlequin RIP is a high-performance processor and all users are set to benefit from new enhancements. We have also introduced specific functionality aimed at the CtP, digital print and newspaper segments. We believe that the Genesis Release sets the standard once again for RIP technology in graphic arts applications. It offers the processing power that the industry needs, combined with flexibility, scaleability, and a vast number of options that allow our OEM customers to deploy tailored solutions with minimal time to market." Global Graphics has consulted widely with its customers to produce the latest evolution of the RIP and has simultaneously paved the way for future functionality that will be added incrementally. Paul Collins, Global Graphics' Harlequin RIP Product Manager points out, "We have focussed on developing features that will deliver efficiencies for all Harlequin RIP users, including support for the Page Description Language and file formats that our customers require. We have introduced what we believe is the most advanced font emulation feature available on the market today and an integrated imposition engine that will bring substantial benefits to users with small format devices. " The Harlequin RIP excels in production intense environments where it has established a reputation for speed, reliability and quality. Customers include ABDick, HP, Esko Graphics, PressTek, HighWater, Agfa, Compose, ECRM, Polkadots and Xitron. New features available in the Genesis Release include: PDF 1.5, PDF/X-1a:2003 and PDF/X-3:2003 support: In addition to handling all popular file formats the new RIP provides full support for PDF 1.5. In line with Global Graphics' commitment to open standards the Company is 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. Font emulation: The Genesis Release introduces 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 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. Simple in-RIP imposition: For environments requiring only simple imposition the Genesis Release introduces an easy-to-use and automatic imposition feature that is selected from the RIP's page setup. It has been introduced to enable those Harlequin RIP users who do not require complex imposition to increase efficiency, and is initially targeted at two-up conventional printing (mainly but not exclusively CTP for offset litho) and the digital print market. 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 (see White Paper "JDF in small pre-press sites"). The JDF Enabler Version 2.0 now 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. The Genesis Release has been in beta tests with many Global Graphics OEMs for some months, including global prepress system supplier Esko Graphics, RIP integrators and workflow specialists Xitron, and prepress workflow developers Polkadots Software. "JDF plays an important role for Esko Graphics", says Christian Erikstrup, International Sales Manager of the Commercial Print division. "Standardisation and automation of pre-press workflows, even for small offset printers, represents a large part of Esko Graphics future strategy for workflow. In fact, we believe that it will bring new life to small printshops. We are placing renewed focus on the two-up and four-up end of the offset market and on our RIPMate RIP and workflow solution, based on the Harlequin RIP. The Genesis Release will assist us in strengthening our offerings to RIPMate customers." Bill Owens, Product Manager-Navigator Solutions at Xitron said "The Simple Imposition feature will allow Xitron to meet a need for many of our OEM and end-user customers by offering a fast, reliable method of generating imposed layouts for printing without the need to invest in a full imposition solution. Judging by the number of requests we have from OEMs and end-users for a tool like this we predict that it will be very popular." Robert Dumas, Director of Sales and Marketing at Polkadots said, ""Implementing the JDF functionality available in this latest release of the Harlequin RIP has enabled Polkadots to fast track JDF development in PrePage-it. Thanks to Global Graphics' JDF enabler and our own integration efforts, PrePage-it can accept JDF imposition data as well as now read and modify the data for further processing. The ongoing JDF development by Global Graphics means that PrePage-it users with a Version 7 Harlequin RIP will be able to accept, modify and even generate JDF job tickets, specifying file processing parameters in the workflow, including trap parameters, color handling, resolution, screening, separation styles and more."