Category Archives: Vendor News

Standard Horizon Spring 2019 FinishLine NewsLetter

The Spring 2019 Issue of the Standard Newsletter is Now Available!

We are excited to share this edition which includes four brand new customer success stories, industry event highlights, and more.

Inside this issue…

  • Bringing it all in-house: BIP Printing Solutions in Beachwood, OH increases capacity with an in-line Hunkeler system for book block production paired with near-line Horizon perfect binding and trimming.  Read This Story

  • Addressing labor concerns in the bindery: Based in Easthampton, MA, Gazette Printing adds the Horizon B1 Pallet-Feed Folder to its bindery and triples productivity. Read This Story

  • Hunkeler Generation 8: Darwill, headquartered in Hillside, IL, employs the newest Hunkeler finishing technology to tackle heavier stock requirements and higher press speeds.  Read This Story

  • 20 million folds and still going strong: Puerto Rico-based 3A Press achieves success with the short learning curves and easy operation offered by Standard Horizon folding and perfect binding. Read This Story

  • Innovationdays wrap-up:  New technology was unveiled in Lucerne, Switzerland at the 13th Hunkeler Innovationdays, drawing 6,500 attendees from 100 nations.  Read More

Enjoy this issue, and we welcome your feedback! Download a copy of the FinishLine Catalog by clicking here. Please contact us at 810.238.7370 if you have any questions.

Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Road
Flint, MI 48507

The Top Ten RIP Upgrade Related Questions

Article Provided By Xitron

When discussing upgrade options with RIP owners, there are a few questions that come up in every conversation. I thought it might be helpful to go through them here:

1. What’s different in the new RIP?

The answer to this question varies depending on the current RIP version and the manufacturer. However there are a few common denominators such as faster RIP speeds, better memory management, improved interpretive accuracy (especially when dealing with transparency), faster trapping, and of course, bug fixes.

2. Can I run the new RIP on my old platform?

If it is on a relatively new PC running at least Windows 7 64-bit. Version 12, which is the currently shipping release will only run on a 64-bit OS. That being the case, you should take a look at the RAM population in the PC and consider moving it up to at least 8GB since the RIP can actually address all the RAM available now.

3. My old RIP had some options like CIP3 and trapping. Do I have to pay for those again?

No. All options currently assigned to your license transfer to the new installation.

4. Can I install the upgrade myself?

Perhaps. It really depends on your skill level and knowledge of the RIP. However, it might be to your advantage to have a Xitron Support Specialist handle it for you over Team Viewer. The cost is negligible and the installation success is guaranteed. Plus, they’ll migrate all your old settings into the new RIP so configurations don’t have to be rebuilt.

5. My old RIP was an RTI (or Compose, ECRM, or HighWater) brand. What’s the difference and why will you be installing a Navigator RIP?

The only real difference is the brand name in the splash screen shown when launching the RIP. They are all based on the Harlequin core, and function in exactly the same way with the same menus. Because Xitron negotiated for the rights to these licenses, we can now consolidate all these brands to Navigator, the most popular and well known brand among Harlequin software RIPs.

6. Are there any other advantages to changing brands during the upgrade?

Many. Xitron supplied the output interfaces to RTI, Compose, and HighWater for many years. In essence, you are now working with the manufacturer of the hardware instead of an OEM. Also, Xitron (at your discretion) can add functionality through the optional Navigator workflow module, which offers many time-saving and productive features to enhance your prepress throughput.

7. Will I have to replace my current CTP interface?

Not if you are already using the USB (blue box) interface. However, if your current interface is a PCI card installed within the computer, you will. This is because most RIP manufacturers eliminated support for PCI cards years ago. There are no PCI drivers available for the 64-bit OS.

8. I’m thinking about changing my CTP also. What kind of problems will that cause?

Probably none at all. If the new CTP is coming from the same manufacturer of the old engine, the USB interface will probably drive the new one. If the new engine is from a different manufacturer, a replacement interface is likely available for a small additional charge. If the new engine comes with its own TIFF catcher, then we’ll simply need to verify that the TIFF out option is enabled in the current RIP license.

9. I’ve heard that the latest version doesn’t use a dongle. Is that true?

Partially. Dongles were eliminated and replaced with “soft locks,” or codes beginning with version 10 of the RIP. However, many users prefer having a dongle so that the software can be moved and loaded on other platforms for back up. If you prefer a dongle, you can still get one for a small fee.

10. I’d like to make this as seamless as possible. How can Xitron assist me?

Investigate the bundle upgrade package. It includes the platform, software pre-installed, a new interface if necessary, remote installation support from a Xitron specialist, three-year computer warranty, and 90 days of technical support. We migrate all your settings and help get you up and going in the shortest time possible.

Mid-State Litho (MSL) is an authorized distributor of Xitron Workflow and RIP solutions. Learn more about Xitron Software here.

Click here to view original article!

Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
PH: 810.238.7370

Xitron – My Favorite Feature

By Pat French

Anyone who has operated a Harlequin RIP during the past 15 years is very familiar with the interface and functionality. It has barely changed at all during that time. Some affectionately refer to as “utilitarian;” nothing fancy. Nothing flashy. For many users, this is fine. It means that they can quickly and efficiently make changes as necessary and understand how the RIP is performing.

For others, it might be a little too simple. Especially when you think about things like job submission, job previewing, and multiple operator access. These are often identified as “under-performing.” When users mention them, I get to talk about my favorite features in Navigator Server, Xitron’s economical Harlequin workflow module.

Navigator Server takes a fast, accurate, Harlequin RIP and makes it better by addressing basic shortcomings like these. Instead of having to use spool folders, NT pipes, or the print dialog in the RIP, Navigator Server provides operators with simple, network-based drag & drop functionality. It provides visual feedback of job progress and allows re-ordering of jobs based on priority, as well as easy re-submission with alternate settings.

Instead of users having only two preview magnifications, which is what the RIP provides, Navigator Server offers more than 20. Operators have full zoom control with the ability to check traps, verify densities, and examine dot and separation accuracy before committing jobs to metal or film. Perhaps most importantly though, Navigator Server provides this functionality to as many operators as needed . . .concurrently. Instead of only one person having access at a time (and having to physically go to the RIP platform in order to interact with it), Navigator Server provides client software that allows them to control all RIP functionality right from their own desktop.

The increase in usability and productivity is measurable. If you haven’t looked at Navigator’s workflow module, take a few minutes to check it out. It’s available for almost any Harlequin RIP and is easily installed and configured.

This article was written by Pat French at Xitron. MSL is an authorized distributor of Xitron software. Visit Xitron’s blog by clicking here!

Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

Is your punch from the stone age? Introducing the Sterling Digipunch.

Is your punch from the stone age?

sterling-digipunchStep into the digital age with the Sterling Digipunch!

The Sterling Digipunch is an economical, high-speed automatic paper punching machine designed for short run binderies as well as digital and commercial printers. The Sterling Digipunch allows for punching up to 72,000 sheets per hour! That’s a big pile of paper for a small machine and a half-million sheets per shift.

The Sterling Digipunch features a variable pile lift, which allows for slowing the machine down for difficult jobs, such as stock that is curled, stock with static, or acetate. Punch sheets with covers or tabs intermixed.

A touch screen offers complete automatic set up and automatic changeovers. The touch screen takes the guesswork out of the maintenance cycle by prompting operators when it is time to lubricate or sharpen the die.

Punch sheets from 4.25 x 5.5 inches to 12 x 14 inches for Plastic Coil, Double Loop Wire, Plastic Comb, Three Hole– or any hole pattern. The optional Drum Bypass is a belt changeover system for heavy board. This will enable the sheet to be delivered without having to bend by traveling around the drum.

The Sterling Digipunch offers the latest development in paper punching equipment to make swift set up and changeovers. Embrace the latest in digital technology with the Sterling Digipunch!

For additional information, please contact us at 810.238.7370.

Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

Xitron Navigator Digital Front End Makes DuraLink Debut

xitron-navigator-digital-front-end-duralink-debutXitron Navigator Digital Front End Makes DuraLink Debut

Paired with Shanghai Dragon Printing Machinery’s Dumax-330 Label Press at All in Print

Ann Arbor, MI – November 13, 2018 – Xitron, the leading independent developer of RIP and workflow products for commercial, digital, and high-speed inkjet printing has partnered with China’s Dragon Printing Machinery, launching a DFE developed specifically for presses using Memjet DuraLink technology. Dragon, a member of UP Group introduced their Dumax-330 label press at All in Print, China. Revealed first to a select group of industry dignitaries and the media, the Dumax-330 with Xitron’s DFE was one of the most popular exhibits at the show.

Able to print at 100 meters per minute, the Dumax-330 is a high-speed roll-to-roll inkjet press designed for labels, custom packaging, and variable data applications. It features a maximum printing width of 222 mm and can handle a 600 mm diameter roll of coated, uncoated, glossy, matte, synthetic stock, or plastic film. The new Memjet Duralink printhead carries a 1600 dpi resolution with 70,400 nozzles and five times nozzle redundancy. This means five nozzles address each pixel on the page for truly sustainable quality.

Xitron’s Navigator DFE controls job queuing, imaging, and color management, and includes an innovative spot color matching capability that is important for brand owners. RIP speed is among the fastest in the industry, even when incorporating variable data options for custom applications. Because of this, Navigator is able to drive the Dumax-330 at full rated speed. Built around the industry standard Harlequin platform, Navigator’s command and control of jobs allows operators to maintain complete production visibility throughout each print run.

“We’re extremely honored to be working with UP Group and Memjet on this important launch,” said Karen Crews, president of Xitron. “The interest at the exhibition was high and the press performed flawlessly through the entire show schedule.” Willie Huang, Chairman of UP Group added, “Our teams have kept in close contact throughout this development process and the result is a tightly integrated system that is producing superior results. The product launch at the exhibition was very well attended and I anticipate much future success due to our intense collaborative efforts.”

Caption for attached photo:
Willie Huang, President and CEO of Shanghai UP Group presents the Dumax-330 inkjet label press to printing industry dignitaries and the media at All in Print China. The high-speed label press – configured with Memjet Duralink heads – is being driven with the Xitron Navigator Digital Front End.

Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

Xitron Awarded Patent for Innovative USB-SCSI Interface

Xitron Awarded Patent for Innovative USB-SCSI InterfaceXitron Awarded Patent for Innovative USB-SCSI Interface

Ann Arbor, MI – November 5, 2018 | by Pat French

Xitron, the leading independent developer of RIP and workflow products for commercial, digital, and high-speed inkjet printing has been awarded US Patent Number 10108559 for their USB interface designed to drive SCSI CTP and CTF engines. The nearly two-year process culminated in the award on October 23rd.

Initially designed to replace aging and outdated SCSI cards driving Kodak Trendsetter CTP engines, the project quickly grew to enable owners of many other SCSI-based CTP and CTF engines to continue their use. “There are literally thousands of expensive imaging engines using SCSI technology in production around the world,” said Karen Crews, president of Xitron. “The overwhelming majority of them are driven by RIPs and TIFF Catchers on older, un-protected computers that cannot be upgraded due to compatibility issues with newer operating systems. Our interface eliminates these issues, extending their useful lives and saving the owners significant replacement costs.” For additional information or to download the full article from Xitron, click here!

About Xitron:

Xitron develops advanced workflow systems and interfaces to drive the prepress industry’s most popular new, and legacy output devices, prolonging our customers’ investments. In addition, Xitron’s pressroom workflow solutions extend the functionality of press consoles from a number of industry-leading press manufacturers. Xitron’s Navigator RIP, Raster Blaster TIFF Catcher, and Sierra Workflow solutions are recognized as prepress standards. Built around the Harlequin RIP core technology from Global Graphics and the Adobe PDF Print Engine from Adobe Systems, Xitron engineers continue to develop solutions for the graphic arts market, driving hundreds of different models of imagesetters, proofers, platesetters, inkjet printers, and digital presses. With shipments of more than 35,000 RIPs, Xitron is the largest independent provider in the market.

Mid-State Litho
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

Xitron – A RIP Too Many


A RIP Too Many

By Xitron – October 10th, 2018

When speaking with prospects and customers about their RIP and workflow needs, I’m often surprised to find out just how many different RIPs are in use at their shops. I usually find this out when asking about other output devices if other output devices are running alongside their computer-to-plate imager. Their responses run the gamut from old HP and Epson proofers to DI style presses, to brand new digital inkjet presses. In almost every case, there are dedicated RIPs in front of each unit, which means there’s a lot of software that gets neglected when new versions are released. It also means there is plenty of room for problems.

Why? Interpretive differences, additional upgrade expense, and separate maintenance costs, to name a few. Plus, it can be a burden on prepress operators when they have to learn and remember how various settings are applied in five or six different pieces of software. Honestly, I have to give them credit for keeping it all straight.

The silly part is, it doesn’t necessarily have to work this way. One of the advantages of working in a Harlequin RIP environment is that the same RIP can often drive several devices at once thanks to “plug-in” technology. Using the Navigator RIP as an example, you can drive your CTP engine through a USB interface or by delivering one-bit TIFF files to the CTP’s TIFF catcher and at the same time use an Epson “plug-in” to drive a proofing device.

Further, there is a plug-in to drive OKI engines for short run color applications, a DI plug-in that will drive almost all of the direct imaging presses available, and plug-ins to drive virtually all of the Memjet-based inkjet printers based on the popular AstroJet M1. There’s even a way to drive devices for which a direct plug-in isn’t available. It’s called Raster PDF and it allows you to RIP jobs into a PDF file that doesn’t need to be re-interpreted by whatever device you’re printing to.

The bottom line is, if you can feed all your work through a single RIP/workflow then you only have one that you need to keep current. Interpretive differences disappear, maintenance costs are reduced, and the training curve for prepress employees is greatly lessened.

>>Click to VIew Original Article Here

Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

NEW Xitron Navigator Northstar Videos

Navigator Northstar Videos

NEW Xitron Navigator Northstar Videos

9 NEW Navigator Northstar videos have been added to our YouTube channel. These videos include:

For additional information on Xitron’s Navigator workflow, click here for more information!

5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

Xitron Navigator – “This Workflow Has Exceeded All Our Expectations”

Xitron Navigator Workflow

Xitron Navigator – “This Workflow Has Exceeded All Our Expectations”

In 1996, John and Christy Zell purchased Camera Graphics in Portland Oregon. Established as the first pre-press house in Portland, CG had been in operation since 1967. The Zells turned it into a full-featured shop specializing in film output; a somewhat rare specialty given the industry’s move to CTP over the last few years.

Specialize, they do, however. They are currently running three Linotronic imagesetters and an Agfa Avantra 44. One of the main reasons is a niche service providing custom dry transfers, which is a way to apply graphics to just about any item, large or small. “Think old school Chartpak or Letraset,” John explains. Their regular customers for these “rub on” graphics are industrial model shops that produce prototypes of new products, which help the prototypes more closely resemble their intended final appearance.

In 2002 John and Christy purchased their first RIP and workflow from Xitron, the Xenith Extreme based on an Adobe core. It served dutifully for a full fourteen years before the Windows NT computer became unsupportable. At that point they made the decision to investigate Xitron’s Navigator Workflow, based on the popular and speedy Harlequin RIP platform.

>> Click here to read the full article

Xitron Navigator Harlequin RIP

Xitron’s Navigator Harlequin RIP is a best-in-class implementation of Global Graphic’s Harlequin RIP technology. Providing prepress environments with fast, predictable, and reliable interpretation of PostScript, PDF, and EPS format files, Navigator is the most trusted name in RIP architecture with over 35,000 installations worldwide.

>> Learn more here

5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

Why Should I Upgrade My RIP?

Why Should I Upgrade My RIP?

Why Should I Upgrade My RIP?

Article provided by: Xitron, September 2018

It should come as no surprise that this is the most often-asked question when it comes to prepress RIPs and workflows. Given a couple of minutes, prepress managers, printing company owners, and even prepress operators can come up with a list of reasons/clichés against upgrading. By far, the most popular is, “There’s nothing really wrong with my current RIP.”

Depending on the kind of work you do, that may actually be true. If you’re running relatively simple jobs that are light on complexity or color content, a RIP upgrade may not pass the price/performance ratio test. But, if you handle a lot of jobs submitted from outside sources, you never really know what you’re going to get and that could spell trouble with a large dollar sign.

I recently heard from a user whose RIP software was several years old. His dealer had tried to convince him that he was overdue for an upgrade but he resisted spending the money to bring it current. Shortly thereafter he found himself eating a $6,000 print job because elements were missing and nobody noticed until the job was delivered. The PDF submitted for printing contained multiple transparency layers and his old RIP was not able to interpret it properly.

In this particular example you could fault the shop’s quality control as much as the RIP. After all, there are many prepress tools to help operators catch mistakes before its too late, not the least of which is good proofing method. But the fact remains, if your RIP is current, you eliminate the lion’s share of issues caused by inaccurate interpretation.

5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
PH: 810.238.7370