The Big Picture - April 2014 - (Page 27)

keyword RIP Chord: Creating a Harmonious Workflow Nearly 50 RIP and workflow solutions for your shop. Few things are more harmful to a print operation than having a production workflow that's consistently out of kilter. The typical diagram of a job's path becomes not so much a straight line but rather an erratic zigzag you might encounter in a maze. Jobs might indeed get done, but they typically stagger in getting to the finish line. As a result of all this disharmony, your overall production suffers - you're churning out fewer jobs than you know you're capable of. Stress on the shop floor turns into a palpable thing. Profit margins fall. Integrating a RIP and/or workflow solution for your shop - or simply updating your current workflow - can help solve all that. Your job paths straighten out. More work is completed each day. Your production floor now hums with work, and it does so in a glorious harmony. This year's special report on RIPs comprises two sections: The first section is our annual look at RIP specs and features; more info on the charts below. The second part of our report is a newly added Q&A section - "Weighing in on the RIP," page 34 - which features comments from some of the RIP companies whose products appear in the charts. The contributing companies touch on a range of topics, from workflow trends and scalability to the Cloud, integration with finishing tools, and much more. We think you'll find their responses not only interesting but also beneficial to your business as you look about the marketplace for a RIP and workflow solution. Onto the charts, which begin on the next page: To help you in selecting your best RIP, we asked RIP suppliers to provide us with information on each RIP model and its features. For purposes of the charts on the pages that follow, we've limited this group to "third-party" RIPs - those RIPs typically purchased from a non-printer OEM and generally engineered for more than one manufacturer's printers. Of course, various printer OEMs also produce (or have produced for them) RIPs for their own machine models or utilize machine-/company-specific editions of a RIP. Although we're not listing these here, we certainly encourage shops to investigate all options when it comes to RIPs. Keep these points in mind as you study the charts: * We have only included RIP models that were geared toward or could handle wide-format output, according to manufacturer specs. * We list more than two dozen RIP features, and indicate if each feature is standard (S) or optional (O) on that particular RIP. If a cell is left blank, you can assume that the feature is not offered, as per the company. * Printers and file formats supported: In the interest of space, we list only the number of printers the RIP supports; see the company's website for complete information. This is also true for file formats. * We list a price when provided by the RIP supplier. * The "Notes" section contains additional information not included elsewhere in the charts. Finally, note that these charts are designed to be a staging area for your RIP research. Your next best step is to contact the RIP manufacturer/supplier to see how a specific RIP might best suit your individual operation and needs. 27

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Big Picture - April 2014

The Big Picture - April 2014
Wide Angle
Up Front
Graphics on the Go
Dynamic Signage
Go Big or Go Home
RIP Chord: Creating a Harmonious Workflow
Weighing in on the RIP
The Ups and Downs of an Escalator Wrap

The Big Picture - April 2014