Tag Archives: Xitron

Xitron – A RIP Too Many

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
www.midstatelitho.net

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!


MSL
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
www.midstatelitho.net

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


MSL
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
www.midstatelitho.net

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.


MSL
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
PH: 810.238.7370
www.midstatelitho.net

Perrin Resort and Collegiate Apparel calls Xitron’s Navigator Workflow a “very good investment.”

Xitron's Navigator Workflow

Perrin Resort and Collegiate Apparel calls Xitron’s Navigator Workflow a “very good investment.”

Xitron’s Navigator Workflow

What do you call a project where saving about 37 hours of labor each day is an unexpected side benefit? Robert Kern, Illustrator and Designer at Perrin Resort and Collegiate Apparel calls Xitron’s Navigator Workflow a “very good investment.”

Perrin is an employee-owned screen printer, located in Comstock, Michigan, with over 200 employees. Perrin’s customers include theme parks, museums, airports, sports teams and resorts worldwide. To meet the demand, twenty M&R screen printing presses are fed by three M&R i-Image ST computer-to-screen imaging units that produce up to 900 screens a day.

Prior to the Xitron system being installed, color transitions (gradients) were a problem, according to Kern. “It wasn’t smooth transitioning between, for example, 10% and 40%.” The need for improved quality sent Perrin looking for solutions that would complement the built-in software on their CTS systems. Industry consultant Lon Winters of Print This, Inc, recommended the Navigator workflow.

After a six-month evaluation and study, Perrin determined the Navigator workflow greatly exceeded expectations.

>> Click here to read the full article


About 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.

>> Click here to learn more


MSL
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
www.midstatelitho.net

Get spot color matching right with Navigator Northstar

navigator-northstar-bannerGet spot color matching right with Navigator Northstar


Navigator Northstar is a Harlequin RIP and workflow package designed to “bolt on” to color printers lacking workflow tools and robust color correction capabilities. An alternative to print drivers or down-market RIPs, Navigator Northstar brings the professional level of color adjustment and control necessary to use these printers in a production environment where the final product (printed material) is sold.

What is Navigator Northstar?

Navigator Northstar combines a Navigator RIP, a two-client/one RIP workflow license, and a plug-in that will drive many Memjet-based printers, or the OKI 931/941 models.

The Navigator RIP communicates with the output device through a network connection, which means the printer can be physically located anywhere it’s convenient to the user. Since the workflow client software is compatible Mac or PC, the printer can be controlled from anywhere on the network.

Jobs are submitted to the RIP through the workflow’s drag-and-drop interface where the operator has an opportunity to select standard printing options such as rotation, copy count, halftone screening, and calibration.

However, Northstar deviates from the standard printer driver control by incorporating a professional color management tool which allows the operator to visually match spot colors on each individual job and adjust the color based on a series of printable swatches. The adjustments can be added to a library and used later (should the job repeat), or even on new jobs containing that particular color. Color accuracy can be achieved through built-in paper profiles, custom color profiles generated by the user, a global color change tool, or through a unique spot color matching routine that allows the user to visually adjust color accuracy on a job-by-job basis.

Integration:

Navigator Northstar supports a number of printers that incorporate Memjet’s Northstar print head. A separate plug-in will also support the OKI 931/941 series of toner-based printers.

Printers who have already purchased an OKI 931/941 can add Navigator Northstar to instantly improve color accuracy and fidelity.


MSL
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
midstatelitho.net

Save Ink, Save Paper…Save Trees with KeySetter

Xitron KeySetter

Save Ink, Save Paper…Save Trees with KeySetter

In many printing companies, the digital workflow stops with plate imaging and in most shops, there is still a gap between the prepress workflow and the controls in the pressroom. Unfortunately, this means that the valuable capability to leverage prepress output data in order
to preset ink keys on-press remains unused. Existing proprietary connections often come with high investment costs so there is little incentive for many small to mid-sized companies to invest in the opportunity to achieve significant savings, better efficiency and greater quality. And because it minimizes waste… it saves trees!

The objective of the ink presetting system is to achieve uniform target density across the print as quickly as possible after startup. Xitron offers 3 different options, independent of the press manufacturer, for your customer:

  • CIP3 is a great addition to any prepress environment. CIP3 saves time and money by presetting the ink keys on press. Save labor, ink and paper all through one software solution. CIP3 saves wasted time by analyzing the same data used for printing plates and then shares that information with the press control system. (Requires a Xitron RIP or Workflow)
  • Automate ink key settings. Xitron’s KeySetter line has two product versions that are both designed to provide improvements to the pressroom’s efficiency by communicating ink coverage data directly to the press, reducing make-ready time and materials waste. Less time is spent getting up to color, which means more time printing. Available as a direct connection to the press, a console-compatible data file or a printed graphic chart, KeySetter can reduce your make-ready an average of 20-50% which increases your operating profit.
  • Xitron’s Ryobi Ink Saver package is designed to replace Ryobi’s Ink Volume Setter software, which reached end-of-life status several years ago. A low cost replacement for IVS users, Xitron’s Ryobi Ink Saver (RIS) creates ink key data in the format required by Ryobi presses. Similar in functionality to the industry standard CIP 3 PPF (print production file) format, RIS creates .DEM files that the Ryobi console understands and uses to preset ink keys prior to a press run. RIS is based on the Keysetter Pro platform and supports output to supported presses through a network connection or floppy disk exchange. Along with the .DEM files, a job thumbnail (preview) is also created and supplied to the press.

Click here to learn more about Xitron’s workflow and RIP solutions >>>


MSL
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
midstatelitho.net

Xitron Celebrates 40th Year

Xitron Celebrates 40th AnniversaryXitron Celebrates 40th Year as Provider of Prepress Independence

RIP, workflow, and interface developer reflects on history while charting future contributions to printing industry

Xitron, the leading independent developer of RIP and workflow products for commercial, digital, and high-speed inkjet printing has passed a milestone, now celebrating 40 years as a provider of prepress hardware and software to the printing industry. Xitron’s first products were “blue box” interfaces between newspaper editorial systems and high-speed laser imagesetters, first brought to market in 1977.

“Back then, our job was to provide technological independence to newspapers, allowing them to choose their editorial systems separately from their output systems,” said Karen Crews, President of Xitron. “As we mark our 40th year in the print industry, we continue to develop RIPs, workflow software, and hardware interfaces for commercial, newspaper, in-plant, flexo, screen printing, and high-speed digital output devices without binding our customers to any single vendor.”

Xitron’s business model has allowed them to place nearly 35,000 RIPs and over 20,000 CTP and imagesetter interfaces in printing companies on every continent. From Papua, New Guinea to Plainview, New York; Anchorage, Alaska to Cape Town, South Africa; Xitron continues to drive almost every output device used in print production today.

“This achievement really speaks to Xitron’s commitment of independence when it comes to a user’s prepress choices,” said Gary Fry, CEO of Global Graphics, authors of the Harlequin RIP. “Xitron has been a development partner since 1992, and, coincidentally, our anniversary with Xitron is a milestone in and of itself,” he continued. “We plan to honor our 25 year association with Xitron by presenting them with a special Silver Partner award at Print 2017 later this year.”

In advance of Print’s return to Chicago this September, several new products that build on Xitron’s commercial catalog are slated for release. Included in the line-up are Raster Blaster 4.0, which is an intelligent TIFF catcher for all supported CTP devices; B3, a new network-based interface that doesn’t require a computer platform; and a very economical USB/SCSI interface for legacy Fujifilm platesetters that (until now) could not be upgraded beyond Windows XP operating systems.

An upgrade to Xitron’s Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE)-based Sierra workflow is also planned, in cooperation with their Adobe development partner, FFEI, Ltd. “Xitron and FFEI have a relationship that began in 1999 with the Xenith workflow,” said Andy Cook, Managing Director of FFEI. “We’ve continued to work together through the introduction of Sierra using the Mercury RIP architecture introduced in APPE 3, with which Xitron has significantly impacted the high-end workflow market in the US.”

While continuing their successful approach of delivering alternative RIP and interface strategies to the commercial market, recent innovation in print technology has required Ms. Crews to keep one eye focused beyond traditional printing. This has fostered the development of color matching workflow software designed specifically for the needs of high-speed inkjet press manufacturers around the world.

“Staying relevant in a market whose technology moves as quickly as ours is not easy,” said Len Lauer, President and CEO of Xitron’s inkjet technology partner Memjet. “And yet, here they are, developing remarkable color RIP and workflow software for over half of Memjet’s OEMs. We’re looking forward to sustained expansion of this market with Xitron.”

“This is a very exciting time for Xitron and I have to thank our worldwide dealer organization and OEM customers for their contributions.” said Crews. “While being firmly entrenched in the traditional print landscape, we also have clear vision of the technological future of our products. Forty years of development have provided us with an excellent foundation to move forward with this industry.”

Driving CTP devices from Agfa, ECRM, Creo, Kodak, Presstek, Heidelberg, Fuji, and Screen, Xitron helps customers who want to maximize their investments by extending the life of their prepress systems. View Xitron products here!

Xitron Media Contact
Brett Farrah
xitron.com


MSL
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
midstatelitho.net

Label Expo 2014

Labelexpo Americas is the continent’s largest event for label, product decoration, web printing and converting industry.

With more products, more launches and more live demonstrations than any other event in our industry, there is no better place to see the latest technology in action.

Stop by and visit our vendors at Labelexpo Americas! Event will be held in Rosemont Illinois through September 9th and 11th. Located at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

Top Reasons to Visit the Label Expo

  • See live demonstrations of the latest machinery and materials.
  • Learn about global label trends and technologies.
  • Meet the world’s leading suppliers and network with industry experts

Xitron Booth #3823

Xitron products will be on display in no less than four booths when the show starts September 9th. Navigator F/P will make its North American debut in Xitron’s booth #3823, while Navigator Workflow will be shown as part of digital label systems manufactured by IPT Digital in booth #5611, Super Web Digital booth #1649, and Printware A&V booth #929. The widespread acceptance of Navigator Workflow reinforces its standing as an ideal product for this market segment.

Label Expo is a great opportunity to get a thorough demonstration of label and flexo prepress tools that match high end systems in features and functionality.


Colordyne Technologies Booth #6455

Visit Colordyne in booth #6455 as they introduce the 2600 Production Class series and unveil the 3600 Series press. The CDT-3600 Series joins the Production Class family of digital print systems solutions as a full-featured process color digital label and tag production system with an enhanced precision web handling system, powered by Memjet technology.


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