THE Ev lving RIP
RIPs are taking on more of the task in creating truly effi cient workfl ows.
By Jeffrey Steele
Not too long ago, a RIP was little more than what its
name – raster image processor – implied. It was
essentially a processor. But as the saying goes, that
was then and this is now.
Th ese days, RIPs have been transformed from basic translators
into comprehensive control centers that govern beginning
to-end production workfl ow, overseeing such widely
varied functions as page layout, color management, prefl ighting,
automation, and much more.
Whereas once the wide-format RIP might have enabled
such basic functions as tiling, today, it is to a much
greater extent a workflow and communication tool.
RIP manufacturers have found themselves having to
continually up their games to ensure their products keep
pace with the evolution of other facets of the wide-format
Th ese days, print providers are increasingly demanding faster
workfl ows, the ability to automate more processes, and the
opportunity to take on more and more innovative print projects
in an eff ort to diff erentiate themselves from competitors.
As their reach grows longer, RIPs will be asked to shoulder
more of the task in making workfl ows more effi cient.
and new opportunities
When it comes to the trends in the RIP marketplace and in RIP
technology, few are more important than the desire of print
providers to increase the speed of the production process.
So says Bryan Manwaring, director of product marketing for
Onyx Graphics. “Th e best solutions today are driving print
shops to greater profi ts with print production tools customers
can rely on,” he says.
“The best RIP solutions are driving print shops to greater profi ts with
print production tools customers can rely on,” says Onyx Graphics’ Bryan
Manwaring. The company previewed ONYX 12.2, the latest iteration of its
workfl ow software, at this spring’s ISA Sign Expo; 12.2 is expected to be
available in late May 2017.
“We have found what customers are asking for is the ability
to get through production quicker. Th is means RIP providers
need to really understand the products shops are selling and
provide tools that make them easy to produce. Anywhere in
the process that can be sped up or automated is going to drop
immediately to the bottom line for businesses.”
At SA International (SAi), product director Dean Derhak
and colleagues have been saying for years that value-added
applications and production data are important to print providers.
“And now we see our competition following us in that
direction,” Derhak reports. ”For example, business owners use
our Flexi RIP’s mobile apps to see their production trends and
create quick job quotes while on the go.”
SAi is also witnessing demand for subscription-based RIP
soft ware, Derhak says. Th is trend provides the astute print
provider top-tier RIP soft ware and phone support without a
huge upfront cost or service contract. “Demand is also
increasing,” he notes.
“In just three years since we introduced the industry’s
fi rst subscription based RIP soft ware, our
subscribers have reached more than 7,500.”
SAi’s Flexi RIP includes a web window that connects PSPs to the
company’s SIGN.COM network as well as other value-added tools.
“PSPs want more business insights that help them understand
their production trends and costs, which is why we have invested
heavily into data analytics and reporting,” says Dean Derhak
PrintingNewscom June 2017 Wide-Format & Signage 17