How have these technological changes helped improve productivity and profitability for output providers?
Hanssens: The modular Caldera core structure is both simple highly scalable, meaning we have been able to fine tune the RIP to improve the print processes with better colors, increased speed and more complete features for the users. For the end user it also means reducing processing time, human time in heavy manipulations, as well as reactivity/traceability in improving Job tracking/reprint-ability.
Oransky: Particularly in the sign industry, the latest RIPs have added features that allow users to manipulate one file for a variety of applications, rather than having to redesign it in their image editing software every time something needs to be changed. By allowing color management, scaling, tiling, and variable data capabilities in the RIP, the same file can be easily repurposed for everything from banners to t-shirts without wasting time reopening it for editing in another program. Every step in a production process should be optimized to cut down on waste of both time and materials. With the right feature set, RIPs can actually help on both fronts.
Rickert: Automation features in RIP software have allowed shops to make cutbacks and still manage workload due to the reduced number of manual steps they must take to complete a job.
Derhak: The job preparation and PDF editing technologies we have introduced into our product line have dramatically reduced the time it takes to prepare wide-format jobs. For example, NC Pestill in Toronto cut days off of its lead time after it incorporated ONYX PrepEdge Pro software into its workflow. Other shops that have had cuts in production staff have been able to keep up with the workload because they used the automation features of our RIP software to reduce manual steps.
Kattner: Customer profitability gets increased by a reduced number of reprints, for example by eliminating time and material consuming trial and error prints just to fulfill the customer’s expectations in terms of color. Industry standards ensure data exchange intra- and extra-company, standardizing on Adobe PDF combined with the correct technology in the RIP product to reduce the number of misprints because of badly rendered data. JDF makes the connectivity and reporting to other systems easier and more automated.
Schaumburg: Saving time and money should be two of the biggest goals for print service providers in today’s economy.
Hutcheson: Technological advancements are helping output providers cut out time consuming steps and processes (such as mounting and in some cases certain types of finishing) as these advancements support printing directly onto a substrate. These advancements have lead to increased productivity, reduced labor and material costs.