RIP software: more than just image handling

Rasterizing, ripping and rendering

A RIP for previewing textile inkjet printing Photo Onyx
A RIP for previewing textile inkjet printing Photo Onyx

A traditional raster image processor or RIP software takes the ‘code’ from a design file and renders the information contained within it into dots of ink to be printed. However, world-class RIP software products today do so much more than basic image handling. RIP software can take design and pre-press steps and make them automatic and repeatable. What this means for a print shop is with the right solution, Print Service Providers (PSPs) can trust that what will print matches their customer’s expectations for quality and color.

Color management tools are part of modern RIPs Photo Onyx Graphics
Color management tools are part of modern RIPs Photo Onyx Graphics

For PSPs in the apparel print industry, for example, RIP software with automation, nesting, and color management tools can make production a much easier process. Automation helps remove manual errors and speeds up production capacity; nesting features such as automatic nests, image tracing, double-sided printing, large previews or ways to conserve media help speed production while reducing waste; and color management tools help optimize output to meet customer brand color needs so the design matches the printed product. Add in the ability to meet color standards or synchronize color output across devices and that ‘RIP’ solution starts doing the multiple tasks above and beyond rasterizing the image.

Automation and color management are two areas that have seen a lot of interest from Print Service Providers in recent years and so RIP software that doesn’t offer these functionalities may fall short of meeting the needs of modern print shops.

QuickSet workflow tool part of the Onyx RIP Photo Onyx
QuickSet workflow tool part of the Onyx RIP Photo Onyx

RIP Software for automating print and cut workflows

The importance of automation and more importantly, implementing automated print processes upfront, helps PSPs be equipped to provide their customers with cost-effective and quality output that meets their needs in a timely manner. PSPs tend to think big when it comes to automation, but a better trend is to think lean. Automating tasks such as image scaling, rotation, bleed, grommets, sewing marks, tiles, and cut paths saves valuable print production time across entire print and cut workflows as well as long term operating costs.

Similarly, with color management, if a printed product doesn’t look like the provided artwork it can be costly to a PSP, both in wasted ink and media for reprints as well as the potential loss of repeat business. Color management controls within RIP software helps bring together what colors are being asked in the design file against what is available from the printer. Without this capability, it is impossible to compare what is wanted with what can be produced, creating wrong color output.

These are just two examples of how RIP software does more than just RIP an image. These tasks or capabilities are also necessary for today’s’ RIP software. As more verticals are afforded to the digital inkjet print industry, RIP software is likely to evolve to meet the needs of PSPs and their print buyer customers with new and diverse feature functionalities outside of the traditional RIP.

This article is written by Jonathan Rogers, International Marketing Manager of Onyx Graphics

Jonathan Rogers, International Marketing Manager of Onyx Graphics Photo Onyx
Jonathan Rogers, International Marketing Manager of Onyx Graphics Photo Onyx

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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