The software behind perfect printed and digital communication
Perfect printed and digital communication

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High speed at the right price

In recent years the amount of data consumed by the raster image processors (RIPs) that drive digital presses has increased significantly. Graphic design jobs are more complex because of the use of transparency, which increases the amount of processing a RIP has to do. The trend toward expanded use of personalization of direct marketing pieces, as well as transpromo jobs, has also increased the load on the RIP, as has the sharp rise in demand for image-heavy jobs such as photo books.

So the RIP, often the unsung hero of the printing process, has to be more intelligent and considerably faster than it used to be. When deployed in the RIP farms or DFEs that are driving state of the art digital presses the data rate out of the DFE has to be fast enough to drive the press at rated speed. And digital presses themselves are getting faster and faster.

It’s not enough just to be fast

The challenge isn’t just to be fast enough, it’s to achieve that goal without incurring an uneconomically high cost for the bill of materials to build the DFE. By making the Harlequin RIP exceptionally fast and efficient Global Graphics has allowed HP Indigo to achieve engine speed with fewer copies of the RIP, with a concomitant reduction in the costs for hardware, operating systems and other associated software. And that makes it greener too, because you need fewer computers and less power for the DFE.

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Digital Production Printing


Digital Front Ends (DFEs) for digital presses need to cope with rapidly increasing data processing requirements as print jobs become more complex. At the same time the need for speed is an on-going challenge for press manufacturers: the DFE must process data quickly enough to keep up with the press and to drive it at full rated speed. If you’re a press manufacturer how do you minimize the costs of your DFE compared with the cost of the press?


Harlequin RIP®: processes PostScript®, PDF and XPS natively in one RIP engine.


Global Graphics has worked with HP to minimize the total costs of the DFE through optimization of the RIP software. A close, collaborative development partnership, whereby each party shares product roadmaps early, plays a crucial part in the success of projects.


The presses that can be driven using the Harlequin RIP powered DFE are:

  • HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press
  • HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press
  • HP Indigo W7200 Digital Press
  • HP Indigo press 5500
  • HP Indigo press 5000
  • HP Indigo press ws4500
  • HP Indigo press ws4050
  • HP Indigo 3550 Digital Press
  • HP Indigo press 3500
  • HP Indigo press 3050
  • HP Indigo press w3250
  • HP Indigo press w3200
  • HP Indigo press 3000
  • Indigo Ultrastream
  • HP Indigo WS6000p Digital Press
  • HP Indigo press s2000

Variations on the HP DFEs are also used to drive the inkjet web presses such as the T400 from the PageWide Web Press division of HP.

You can’t just throw a finished RIP over the wall and hope it works with your customer’s hardware.