More than 40 front-end solutions for bettering your company’s bottom line.
Wasatch Computer Technology
Wasatch SoftRIP 6.9 includes the Wasatch Cost Estimator, designed to provide an accurate estimate of a job. Users can estimate costs for media, inks, and any additional post-production charges (media lamination, finishing sprays, grommets, etc.).
These tools are not traditional front-end business-and-management tools, but they can help you make your shop more efficient and, hence, profitable:
Express PrintShop from Compose Systems (www.composeusa.com) connects multiple printers in a mini-cluster; it also supports load balancing, advanced job queues, bi-directional communication to the printing device, and optional variable-data printing.
EskoArtwork’s (www.esko.com) i-cut Suite is a collection of pre-production software for users of large-format digital printers and/or digital finishing systems. The various i-cut Suite modules include: i-cut Preflight, which preflights incoming PDF data (corrections to the PDF file can be made without accessing the native design application); i-cut Layout, which builds and edits sheet layouts (for minimum waste, different jobs are grouped on one sheet for optimal material use); and i-cut Vision Pro, which ensures that die-less cutting contours match the printed images. Users can upgrade to advanced modules, including structural design, graphics preparation, and true-shape nesting.
The Inca Print Run Controller (PRC) software module from Inca Digital (www.incadigital.com), designed to run on a variety of Inca machines, lets users automate the scheduling and collation of versioned jobs in addition to reducing operator error and post-print collation requirements. PRC can assist in the production of orders incorporating different sizes, text variations, or languages. It can also be used when a large number of images need to be output in varying quantities with variable elements to a large number of recipients. The software can cut job changeover times with its ability to RIP once/output once or RIP once/output several times. Job scheduling can be managed in the studio before entering the shop. It’s fully compliant with PPML 2.10.
Onyx (www.onyxgfx.com) offers PrepEdge Pro and PrepEdge. Both addresses job-preparation issues prior to print processing and includes features such as: size/crop/positioning; grommet placement; contour-cut path generation; white ink; raster image to vector; and color-correction and management tools. The Pro version adds PDF/Postscript editing tools. Its SmartApps Sign&Banner plug-in tool for Adobe Illustrator software allows users to prepare all aspects of a sign or banner directly in Illustrator. Its SmartApps PitStop Pro plug-in for Adobe Acrobat is a wide-format PDF preflight, auto-correction, and editing tool within Acrobat. Both of the SmartApps tools are independent of the RIP and Onyx RIP software is not required to use them.
In addition, various RIPs also offer features that address production- and workflow-efficiencies, and even some front-end business modules. Here’s a quick list of RIP companies that do not also appear in the main text (you can also check out bigpicture.net for a list of 40 third-party RIPs with detailed specs in our current Printer Sourcebook):
• CadLink: www.cadlink.com
• Caldera: www.calderagraphics.com
• ColorBurst: www.colorburst.com
• ColorGate: www.colorgate.com
• DigiFab: www.digifab.com
• Eisfeld Datenechnik: www.posterjet.com
• Four Pees: www.proofmaster.net
• Fusion: www.fusionsystems.com
• Onyx: www.onyxgfx.com
• SA International: www.saintl.biz
• SCP Software: www.scp.de
• Valloy: www.topazrip.com