Version 8.1 of the Harlequin PLUS Server RIP includes “substantial enhancements” to trapping and transparency functions, as well as spot-colour processing. According to Global Graphics, improvements to the software’s TrapPro tool result in an increased trapping performance of up to eight times the speed of previous Harlequin versions, due to more efficient use of memory.

While all Harlequin RIPs since Version 6.0 are engineered to recognize when PDF files contain live transparency, version 8.1 now includes further functions to deal with “complex live transparency jobs.” (The ability to properly flatten or render jobs containing transparent pieces of design was a major advantage of Adobe introducing its PDF Print Engine.) Spot-colour conversion in Harlequin ColorPro, according to Global Graphics, has also been fine-tuned to give increased accuracy. ColorPro supports RGB, CMYK, n-colour and grey ICC 4.0 profiles. 

Harlequin Version 8.0 was first introduced in 2008 at drupa and included for the first time multi-threaded rendering – well suited for variable data applications – to take advantage of Duo and Quad core processing technologies. Global Graphics OEM partners including Agfa, ECRM, Xitron, RTI, Polkadots, Screen, Fusion Systems, Compose and Presstek.

Kodak unveiled its new Prinergy PDF File Editor software, which is engineered for users to edit files through Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. This in turn enables an operator to perform late-stage modification of production jobs, while also maintaining a history of any changes, preserving all file metadata, and exporting the elements back to the Prinergy system after the editing process.
Kodak’s new PDF File Editor is available as an application option for the company’s Prinergy Connect, Prinergy Powerpack and Prinergy Digital Workflow and

The European arm of Fujifilm made the new XMF Remote application commercially available, while North America will see the Web portal and soft-proofing module come online in mid-September at PRINT 09 in Chicago. XMF Remote, as a piece of the XMF workflow, allows printing clients to preflight and submit jobs online and, once in production, to review, annotate and approve jobs and receive real-time notification of the job status.

Significant features, according to the company, include the ability to customize the portal with client branding, while users can upload their production jobs as single or multiple files. Preflighting commences when the files are received, and the client can view both a detailed preflight report and a production-ready version of the actual job. Any errors listed in the preflight report can then be corrected by the originator and new versions uploaded.

Annotation tools are provided in the web portal window. Multiple reviewers can comment on jobs and see comments by others, with the option to automate the notification of approval status and set reminders by email. Once a job is approved, XMF Remote can be configured to directly notify prepress operators or to automatically add the job to the appropriate queue for hardcopy proofing or final output.

California-based Electronics for Imaging obtained what it calls a “sweeping victory” in a long patent dispute with Leggett & Platt Inc., over UV-curing technologies within EFI’s VUTEk division, which builds large-format, inkjet machines.

A federal judge in St. Louis, Missouri held on July 14 that all of the claims in Leggett & Platt's (L&P) U.S. Patent No. 7,290,874 were invalid in relation to EFI’s own patent and printer design technology. Since the legal dispute began in May 2005, EFI has maintained that it was the first to invent and patent the technologies in question. The court agreed, concluding that EFI's UV curing methods were invented and patented (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,457,823 and 6,616,355) before any of L&P's patents. As a result, the court invalidated L&P's patent.

The court's decision is the third in a series of victories surrounding EFI's UV curing technology. The court previously invalidated L&P's U.S. Patent No. 6,755,518, and the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed that decision.

A division of Bitstream Inc., Pageflex releases a $695 plug-in, called Studio ID, for Adobe InDesign CS4 working in both Macintosh and Windows platforms. With drivers for PostScript, PDF, and PPML output, Studio ID enables users to design, setup, and run variable-data projects directly in InDesign CS4 – meaning there is no need to convert files into a Pageflex format.

Studio ID includes a point-and-click business rule editor for creating if-then-else rules, and support for Adobe ExtendScript when a project requires more complex rules. “Along with basic variable data features for changing text and images, we’ve incorporated some of the more advanced functionality… [including] our extensive scripting API called Pageflex Actions, which can be used to dynamically manipulate every aspect of an InDesign document on-the-fly,” explained Jeff Perk, Director of Product Management at Bitstream.

With Studio ID, users can prepare variable-data templates and projects for use in Pageflex Storefront, a Web-to-print application. These templates then can be packaged and uploaded to Pageflex Storefront, while files remain in the native InDesign format throughout the Pageflex Storefront workflow. Pageflex Storefront 7.0 now includes integration with Adobe InDesign CS4 Server so that native InDesign documents can be selected, customized, and ordered through a Web browser.

Driven by new Harlequin RIP technology, ECRM’s RIPMate 8.1 includes enhancements for rendering and trapping complex transparencies, as well as new features for processing PDFs in production workflows. The software specifically now includes support for PDF version 1.7 and PDF/X-4, while also supporting JPEG2000, optional content, cross-reference streams, compressed object streams and 16-bit images. Users process their PDFs directly on the RIP through hot folders or the print file menu, while they can can also pull files directly from the latest version of Acrobat or drop PDFs into design applications and RIP.
In addition, RIPMate is now able to capture rasterized files, which helps when working with redundant images, particularly when processing PDF files with pages that share a non-variant background and have text varying from page to page. RIPMate is able to scan the PDF for repeating-image pages, and then RIPs the invariant background once, while retaining it for use on the subsequent pages.
The new PDF Raster option offers users the ability to create a PDF of the actual rasterized file. Using the in-RIP trapping option, TrapMate, the PDF raster output plug-in can be used to image a composite (halftone) PDF with traps. Users can also turn on the highlight traps feature to output a composite PDF with the traps highlighted in either red or green. This feature, according to ECRM, gives users the ability to output a composite screened CMYK PDF file directly from their RIP or workflow.

A new multi-threading feature allows RIPMate to leverage hyper-threading and multi-core CPU architectures, as well as multiple processors. Multi-threading is now available as a standard RIP feature in most applications. The new Migrate Feature makes allows users to migrate page setups, and input channels and calibrations into the latest version of their RIP.

Planned for release in the third quarter, Montreal-based Dynagram introduces a new feature called Layout Re-flow to version 6.0 of its flagship DynaStrip 6.0 software. In addition, the company states its work-styles functionality has been completely reworked to the advantage of work-and-turn jobs.

On the light table, when adding a sheet with a work-and-turn – or work-and-tumble – attribute, a symmetry axis line will be drawn in the middle of the surface to split it in two halves, simulating the front and the back. When placing objects, such as pages or marks, on the front half of a sheet, the back-half is automatically mirrored for alignment and visual confirmations. This feature, according to the company, eases the creation of multi-sheet jobs when using work-and-turn work-styles and in gang-run production.

The all-new Layout Re-flow feature allows users to modify layout attributes, page and sheet marks on the first signature or modify the document list and then, by clicking the Re-Flow button, the entire job is re-flowed based on all the new changes.

An upgrade to its MIS platform from Prism, WIN 2009 integrates Metrix-based planning with job-ganging tools, as well as enhanced data collection. Based on the preexisting PRISM WIN architecture, the 2009 version also includes a software featured called KPI Dashboard, which enables browser-based access to what the company calls Key Performance Indicator (KPI) information.

KPI Dashboard consists of several online pages, each containing a number of widgets. According to the company, widgets can be configured to personal graphical preferences, as well as added, removed, moved or renamed. Information pertaining to the widget can be displayed with the mouse pointer. For example, hovering over the Quote Conversion Rate opens a hover window showing the actual number of quotes raised and the actual number of quotes converted.

Prism, which operates in 15 countries worldwide, supporting more than 5,000 end-users, also introduced the WIN 2009 Virtual Time Manager 2 (VTM2). This is a client-based application for recording operator activity either on the shop floor or during preproduction

Montreal-based Dynagram today announced the availability of its Automation Module for the inpO2 PDF imposition software for Adobe Acrobat. In addition, a 3.5.2 update for the inpO2 product family was also released with enhancements.

The new Automation module allows Wizard-designed pages to be saved as a layout profile and assigned to Hot Folders, along with specific profiles for drag and drop production. Bascially, when inpO2 Automation is activated, the automated imposition process will be triggered by placing a source PDF document in one of the active hot folders.

Although the plate/sheet size and layouts are fixed, Dynagram states functions like page sized, marks, and page counts are dynamic on a job-by-job basis, which can include saddle-stitch, perfect-bound, step-&-repeat, cut-&-stack, or N-Up work.

The Automation module is the sixth inpO2 module to the added to the inpO2 line along with other modules such as the Optimization module for gang work, and the Assembly Planner module for sheetfed- and web-press layouts. 
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