The Multi-Purpose RIP
Easy to integrate—and packed with JDF functionality—today's robust RIPs are tagged "revolutionary" and "central" for any workflow.
THE RIP OF of today is a master of all trades: color management, advanced screening, JDF-functionality, ticketed workflow, soft proofing finesse—a wide range of performance targets for a new era of prepress automation. Central RIP (raster image processor) for any workflow; revolutionary RIP architecture; JDF-enabled—and proud of it. These descriptions fit the latest trends in RIP technology targeting prepress environments today.
Xitron, for example, has been giving high emphasis to its Navigator Harlequin RIP, XiFlow workflow, and Xenith Extreme Adobe RIP—all of which introduced new functionalities at drupa earlier this year. These new products all include JDF functionality.
Key enhancements of Xitron Navigator RIP 6.4 include the JDF support and preflight checker. JDF support will allow handling of JDF-compatible files from other applications and devices through the RIP. The Preflight Checker allows an operator to verify that PDFs being sent to the RIP are certified PDFs.
A workflow solution for Navigator and other Harlequin-based RIPs, Xiflow 2.0 also made its international debut at drupa. Using a graphical Workflow Editor, operators define specific workflow needed to complete a job, including basic job management, preflighting, imposition, and output for both proofing and film or plate. Client software for both PC and Macs allow prepress operators to direct jobs through a workflow without leaving their workstations.
What do these RIP functionality boosts touted by Xitron mean to the larger graphic arts community collectively? In a word: synergy. The RIPs of today are armed with more robust architecture—giving them the ability to meet escalating prepress demands for multifunctional RIP support to deliver new levels of productivity and automation, reports Bill Owens, product manager of Navigator RIP Solutions, Xitron.
So, does this mean it is an exciting time to be in workflow development? "Absolutely," notes Owens. "JDF technology is creating new paths and connections for communicating between processes in print production. I am sure we have not begun to realize where it can take us."