A major new version of the Harlequin RIP has been released by Global Graphics Software, with even faster performance than its predecessors and a new range of productivity features for print shops. Version 9.0 of the Harlequin Server RIP introduces FOGRA certification (FograCert CPS), full support for the new PANTONE Plus library, accelerated live transparency processing and PDF/VT support. Platform support is updated to include Windows server 2008 R2. In addition, print shops can try the new version before they buy.
“We’ve included new features that respond to how print jobs are changing” says Martin Bailey, Global Graphics’ chief technology officer. “So although the Harlequin RIP has processed live transparency in PDF since 2002, we’re constantly working to accelerate it because graphic designers have vastly increased their use of transparency in print jobs– drop shadows being a prime example. There’s also a new feature that speeds up the processing of variable data jobs for digital production presses. Version 9.0 includes support for PDF/VT when used in a digital production DFE, but our emphasis is on processing all variable data printing jobs that are submitted as PDF at maximum performance, instead of concentrating exclusively on PDF/VT.
“And then you have extended color support that improves color accuracy even further – the Harlequin RIP was one of the first to have in-RIP color management. We decided to get independent verification of that color quality by signing up for a FograCert Contract Proofing System certification from FOGRA using the new plugin for the Epson Stylus Pro 7890 proofer; we’re one of the first to achieve this using off-the-shelf proofing materials from Epson. These, together with a further impressive set of features, such as a new option for using cross-modulated screening on lower resolution devices, are all reasons why we decided to give users the opportunity to try the new RIP for a trial period before they upgrade to experience the benefits themselves. They just need to contact their supplier to arrange.”
New features for increased performance and flexibility
The Harlequin RIP gives print shops one interface through which they can drive their offset, proofing and digital presses and offers many workflow options that usually run on separate applications. New in Version 9.0 are:
Extended color support
- Color accuracy: improvements for proofing, making CtP plates or driving a digital press across any given printer, ink, media, screening and resolution combination and making optimum use of the printer’s gamut.
- FOGRA certified using the new plugin for the Epson Stylus Pro 7890 proofer, including validation of PDF/X conformance by correctly rendering the FograCert PDF/X-Output testform (based on the GWG patches)
- full support for the new PANTONE Plus library
- a new API that allows vendors of press color control solutions to directly submit plate calibration sets into the RIP without manual intervention.
Newly supported platform
- Windows Server 2008 R2
Optimization for PDF files with live transparency
- Significantly accelerates the speed of processing transparent pages. The Harlequin RIP has rendered live PDF natively since 2002.
Variable data print
- PDF/VT support: provides the technology required to build a Digital Front End (DFE) that is fully compliant with the PDF/VT standard ( ISO 16612-2:2010). All VDP jobs submitted as PDF are processed at maximum performance.
- External PDF retained Raster: a new external mode for this existing feature that accelerates VDP jobs for digital production presses. It allows the RIP to deliver page foregrounds and backgrounds as rasters for management and aggregation outside the RIP to give additional speed increase.
Roaming negative pages
- Faster, easier and less error prone inspection by allowing the operator to view negatives in positive mode.
HXM light option
- A new option for HXM ( Harlequin Cross- Modulated Screening) geared explicitly towards use on lower resolution devices between 900 and 1500 dpi.
PDF standards support
- Extended PDF/X support: the RIP will apply color management and overprint control as required by PDF/X-4p:2008; PDF/X-4:2010; PDF/X-4p:2010; PDF/X-5g and PDF/X5-pg. It can also be configured to reject jobs that do not conform to a specific standard. PDF update after ISO 32000-1: Version 9.0 uses the corrected equations for calculating ColorDodge and ColorBurn transparency blend modes in the ISO 32000-2 expected in 2012.
- Japan 1-6: support for those cases where the required font is pre-installed in the RIP as well as being embedded within the PDF.
The Harlequin Server RIP Version 9.0 is available from Global Graphics’ network of OEMs and system integrators. These include Xitron, HighWater, ECRM, Presstek, and Compose.