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Weighing in on the RIP

(April 2014) posted on Tue Apr 15, 2014

Six RIP companies address trends in workflow, scalability, the Cloud, integration with other tools, and much more.

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Xitron: In all the ways you would expect, and they’re all intertwined. First, reliability is increased through workflow steps like automated preflight checking and correction. Second, by standardizing the process, the outcome becomes more predictable – which translates into fewer errors. Third, less operator intervention results in faster throughput of jobs. And finally, when you combine these attributes you reduce your cost and improve your profitability.

SAi: Today’s RIP software has standardized on native PDF RIP engines, which increases speed and virtually eliminates the PDF transparency issues that plague older versions of RIP software. This alone justifies a print provider investing in the latest version of RIP software. Traditionally, RIP vendors have only focused on workflow productivity to help increase print provider profitably. But today’s Cloud-enabled RIP software plays a key role in actually bringing new customers to print providers over the Internet. From Web-to-print, job approval, and outsourcing, a RIP with Cloud capabilities enables a host of new business benefits.

Wasatch: Having a RIP is the perfect solution for printing reliably and achieving color consistency. Having the right controls saves time and money.

GMG: Of course, almost all RIPs have adopted the Adobe Print Engine to ensure that a PDF file is being reproduced reliably. However, this still does not guarantee that any file will be processed as viewed in the design application. We don’t really know how a PDF will be printed until the job is RIPed – and then it’s already too late if an error is spotted. With a complete workflow, however, there are some checks and balances. With preflighting, you know what’s going to print incorrectly, up front. And without unified color management, you cannot be assured that you can print a file consistently over time and multiple devices.

Onyx: Recent innovations in color management and workflow are allowing print shops to reduce material waste and increase operator productivity. RIPs that provide full color-managed previews are giving print operators the ability to print images right the first time.

Q: Are RIPs “playing better” with up-front business and management tools and solutions these days?

Caldera: Definitely. By having the capability to provide the information from the devices to the MIS, accounting tools, or other management software, the print shop is now able to monitor the real cost of every order and the status of its production workflow.