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

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here