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RIP and Pre-Flight Software

One of the most crucial investments in print production, RIP and pre-flight software plays a key role in the success of jobs. Rob Fletcher gets the inside track on the latest solutions on the market

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Setting up for success

Software is now an integral part of any modern print business. Whether this is management information systems helping users to keep track of their processes, or colour management software running the rule over colours, these products are crucial to print production.

The same can be said for RIP (raster image processor) and pre-flight software products, which play a major role in the success of print jobs of all shapes and sizes. Quality investment in these solutions is critical if you are to achieve high quality and accurate results time after time.

O Factoid: RIP translates computer vector files such as PDF, JPG, InDesign and Photoshop to a raster image composed out of a matrix of dots that a printer can understand and print O

Here, we speak with providers of this software technology and find out more about their latest products and how these solutions can help improve printed output further.
Reliable and compliant

First up is Enfocus, which develops software for PDF pre-flight and editing, print automation workflow and job file onboarding. Piet De Pauw, head of marketing at Enfocus, argues that quality RIP software is arguably the most important investment in print production.

Enfocus describes its Switch product as the most open workflow development platform available on the market

“The RIP absolutely must be reliable, industry standard compliant, and nearly infallible,” De Pauw explains, adding: “This software converts digital files into dots on paper, so no matter what variation of files comes in, expected results must come out. In order to ensure that RIP can maintain expected results, high quality pre-flight software needs to be in place.

“You get what you pay for. RIPs and pre-flight software are simply not the place to pinch pennies. A business will end up paying far more in rework, waste and angry customers than they will have saved by skimping on key software.

Enfocus counts Enfocus PitStop, which De Pauw bills as an industry standard prepress tool for PDF validation and repair, among its products. De Pauw says this solution gives pre-press the ability to quickly pre-flight and comprehensively correct PDF files, helping save time and money when it comes to producing work.

The company also offers Enfocus Switch, which he describes as the most open workflow development platform available on the market.

“Switch allows workflow developers to connect everything with everything,” De Pauw says, adding: “What we mean by that is Switch is an open platform with Node.js scripting built on. This gives users the ability to bring all of their subsystems into one unified workflow.”

Enfocus also offers Enfocus BoardingPass, a PDF job file checker for customer service agents, as well as Enfocus Connect, a PDF pre-flight and delivery tool aimed at both designers and agencies and helping make the whole process easier.

Improving print efficiency

Elsewhere and Solimar Systems provides software to the print and digital communication delivery industries. Jonathan Malone-McGrew, senior director of engagement at Solimar, says the importance of pre-flight and RIP software is based on the need for efficient processes that allow for work to flow into the organisation and production environment, progressing through delivery to the intended destination and recipient.