The Need for Speed

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

During a demo last week, I was genuinely surprised when a customer mentioned that his RIP could take up to an hour and a half to RIP and trap a particular job. Apparently it’s a recurring publication of about 160 pages. I thought to myself, “Well . . .there’s still a lot of old RIPs out there, which means a lot of pain and suffering.” By pure coincidence (which is often the case) I was working with another customer on an upgrade a couple of days later and he mentioned a similar issue.

“Will the trapping be any faster with the upgrade?” he said. “I’ve got this one job that comes in every month and it takes FOREVER.”

“Can you send me the file?” I asked. A few minutes later I’ve downloaded a 56 MB PDF of a 40-page magazine; CMYK with several spot colors. It’s imposed 8-up on five sigs and a total of 36 seps. I called him back and asked him about resolution and trapping parameters, then set my Navigator for 2400 dpi along with his requested trap settings. “Have you got a couple minutes to jump on Team Viewer with me?” I asked. He seemed a little surprised by the question so I said, “I can call you back with the results if you like but it will probably be better if you can watch it yourself.”

I sent him the login info but I could hear the uncertainty in his voice. Sort of an unspoken, “I really don’t want to watch this RIP chug along for the next hour because I have real work to do.” As he watched me drop the job into the workflow we spoke briefly about the weather before I called his attention to the monitor at one minute and 45 seconds into the job. “It’s done.” I said.


“It’s done. Here, let’s look at the seps,” I said.

We previewed some of the plates and checked a few traps before we hung up. Afterward I started thinking about what I take for granted. Because I work with new versions of software every day, I’m not dealing with the same issues many of my customers are. While I wasn’t surprised at the speed with which Navigator processed his job, he was . . . because it has great impact on his daily production.

He got to see something I already knew but hadn’t emphasized. The trapping functionality in the 64-bit, version 12 Navigator RIP is far superior than any prior implementation. If you are running a version 10 or older 32-bit RIP and trapping is EVER an issue, it’s time you solve it. Throw your jobs at a Navigator 12 and find out how much time you can recover from a production day.

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Xitron is the leading developer of the Harlequin RIP, Harlequin RIP based workflow, and TIFF Catcher software designed for computer-to-plate (CTP), digital output, high-speed inkjet, and direct-to-press systems. The Navigator RIP has long been recognized around the world as a best in class implementation of software RIP technology with over 35,000 installations worldwide in commercial offset, web offset, flexo, packaging, screen printing, and transactional data applications. Offering "prepress independence®," Xitron systems are compatible with virtually every output system available today. Solutions include Screen PTR RIP kits, Agfa RIP kits, Scitex RIP Kits, ECRM RIP Kits, Creo RIP Kits, QMDI RIPs and many others.

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