Global Graphics Software
Innovative core technology for digital print

ScreenPro Direct

Already have a RIP or are your customers' print jobs already in an image format? ScreenPro Direct gives you everything you need to take continuous tone rasters (images) from any RIP and then screen and stream them at maximum physical print speed directly to the head driver electronics. ScreenPro Direct includes our award-winning PrintFlat technology to help take your device's quality to the next level.

Features and benefits

  • Multi-core and multiple PC, ultra-high-speed, massively parallelized halftone screening solution.
  • Stream output direct to your head driver electronics and start printing as soon as you have input images.
  • Not based on a RIP, but developed specifically to screen images.
  • Works with any RIP, and perfect if your print jobs are already image formats (e.g. Tiff).
  • Get to market rapidly without huge software development expenses.
  • Retain your integration with head driver electronics if you move to Harlequin Direct.
  • Accelerate to market with our free BreakThrough service (cost 100% recoverable against licenses).
  • Fast product updates with bulletproof reliability.
  • Can work with any head driver electronics.
  • No dependency on a third-party core RIP; we have our own.
  • Includes brandable Job Cost Estimator.
  • Includes PrintFlat and custom screen design service, raising inkjet quality to the next level.
  • Cross platform, supporting Windows and Linux (Ubuntu and CentOS).
  • Optimized for Intel i9, Xeon and AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPUs.
  • Specialized plugins for specific printer features (e.g. bar-splitting, inspection system).
  • Can be used with Meteor Mixed Mode to reduce the hardware costs for markets that mix static and variable data (Zoned Variable Data).
  • Can be used with Meteor NozzleFix™ technology.

“ScreenPro Direct is a key development to provide streaming full color VDP options to meet the print speed requirements of today’s “next-generation” UV Inkjet production presses.”

Ray Dickinson, Vice President for Mark Andy
Multi-core and Multiple PC

ScreenPro Direct can be configured in many ways: You can run all colors on a single PC, one color per PC, or group colors across on any arrangement of PCs. The ScreenPro Direct pipeline is also very configurable, allowing you to tune how many threads each plugin in the pipeline is allowed. ScreenPro Direct is also cross-platform with Windows 10 IOT and Linux (Ubuntu and CentOS currently supported). Configuring the number of threads allocated to ScreenPro Direct can also allow multiple programs to run on the same PC simultaneously (e.g. drivers for electronics or third Party RIPs).

Ultra-high-speed halftone screening solution

A key part of the software required to drive a digital printer is the halftone screening module. This takes continuous tone (contone) images (e.g. 24 bit RGB with 255 shades of red, green and blue) and converts them to images that can be outputted with drops of ink. For each ink color (e.g. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black), the printer can only output a single shade. The drop of ink is either fully there or it's not (binary). There are classes of printers that can vary the size of the drop (e.g. 1 - 8 drop sizes). All the shades you see printed are created by special patterns of ink drops and these are combined with media in the human vision system to create shades. ScreenPro Direct does this magic conversion at the ultra-high speeds required for direct driving of print electronics. It also uses the screening patterns and the technologies behind PrintFlat to give you exceptional quality.

Begin printing as soon as you have finished RIPping

Start printing as soon as you have continuous tone images from your RIP of choice. Configure your RIP to output continuous tone pre-separated images to disk. Once you have created all the images you need for a print run you can complete the screening and streaming on the fly whilst the printer is running. The speed at which the rasters can be screened is predictable and deterministic. It doesn't matter what content the image files contain, ScreenPro will process them all at the same speed.

Integration with any RIP and electronics

Whilst we can drive Meteor Inkjet electronics out-of-the-box, ScreenPro Direct has been designed to drive any electronics. We have already built plugins for a number of other industry standard electronics. Our Technical Services team can link to new hardware very quickly and it typically requires a 20-Day BreakThrough service. Our BreakThrough projects are recoverable against licenses as soon as you start shipping and are therefore effectively free.

Reuse your integration with electronics if you move to Harlequin Direct

Adding ScreenPro Direct into a solution is an ideal stepping stone to Harlequin Direct. Once you have connected your printer electronics to ScreenPro Direct, it will work with Harlequin Direct.

No dependency on a third-party technology

We uniquely own all the source code in ScreenPro Direct and Harlequin Direct, which includes the fastest core RIP in the world (Harlequin®). When you need to get the maximum performance out of any system, you must integrate all the components together tightly. You also need to have full access to knowledge about how each component works and how to get the best performance. You don't want a black box at your core; you want a transparent box where you can instantly open the lid and tune. No third-party components also means you only have one roadmap to influence; we won't ever say to you that we are waiting on a supplier of third-party components.

Brandable Job Cost Estimator

screenpro-job-cost-estimator.png

The Job Cost Estimator is an application that uses the same setup that drives your printer and calculates a very accurate estimate of the ink cost for a specific job. It has been designed to be extensible so that it could include other typical job costs in future (e.g. media, staff and maintenance). Job Cost Estimator is self-contained and doesn't require any connection to your printer, which makes it ideal when you want to give a job cost indication away from the print shop.

PrintFlat™ and custom screen design service
Kangaroo-banding_without_PrintFlat.jpg
Before PrintFlat is applied.
Print showing PrintFlat™ applied
After PrintFlat is applied.

PrintFlat is our award-winning technology that corrects digital inkjet quality issues like head-to-head density variations and inkjet head smile. These attributes result in banding on the printed output which is very difficult to correct for in hardware (e.g. by tuning voltages). We also have a PrintFlat screen design service, which can be used to create custom screens to deal with other quality issues like mottling, chaining, noise in highlights, etc. The PrintFlat technology is applied at runtime and can enhance the quality of the output without slowing down your device.

Meteor Mixed Mode technology

Both ScreenPro Direct and Harlequin Direct normally use the FIFO mode in Meteor electronics. This allows the printer to process fully personalized content at full speed with suitable PC hardware. However, in the case where the printer is only ever going to print zoned variable data in one channel, ScreenPro Direct can use Meteor Mixed Mode. Mixed Mode can send static data to the preload buffers for each of the static print bars at the beginning of the run (e.g. Cyan, Yellow and Magenta). It can then send just the variable data regions to the channel driving the variable data print bar (e.g. black). In many cases, this will reduce the PC part of the bill of materials for the printer whilst still driving at full speed.

Meteor NozzleFix™ technology

NozzleFix nozzle-out compensation for single-pass or scanning systems eliminates single pixel streaks from clogged or failed nozzles by using good nozzles to counteract poorly performing adjacent nozzles. Deviated or missing nozzles are identified to the Meteor datapath and switched off while nearby nozzles apply compensating fluid in the same or different color planes resulting in seamless correction. NozzleFix is only available when ScreenPro Direct is used with Meteor electronics.

Accelerate to market with our free BreakThrough service

Getting a new printer to market is a huge engineering challenge, and you can always do with more help. Our business model is that we sell licenses of ScreenPro Direct with each printer you sell. We share in your success, but that can only start happening when you get the printer finished and in the market. We therefore want you to get to market as quickly as possible. With our BreakThrough service you can add our engineers and scientists to your engineering team to get you shipping sooner. They can help break through any barrier slowing your route to market. You buy a block of days which is 100% recoverable against licenses as soon as you ship, making the service effectively free.

Streamline Direct

Will your customers' print jobs arrive from many PDF sources and creators? Do you need to support non-PDF formats? Not all PDFs are created the same. Streamline Direct will check each PDF, allowing your customer to reject any that are likely to slow your device down. Streamline Direct can also be used to streamline any problem PDF to achieve the same output quality whilst maximizing your device speed. If your market requires non-PDF formats, Streamline Direct can be used to convert many formats to print-ready PDFs.

Read more

Are your customers' jobs submitted as print-ready streamlined PDFs? Harlequin Direct gives you everything you need to take print-ready PDFs and then RIP, screen and stream them at maximum physical print speed directly to the head driver electronics. Harlequin Direct includes our award-winning PrintFlat technology to help take your device's quality to the next level.

Read more

Already have a RIP or are your customers' print jobs already in an image format? ScreenPro Direct gives you everything you need to take continuous tone rasters (images) from any RIP and then screen and stream them at maximum physical print speed directly to the head driver electronics. ScreenPro Direct includes our award-winning PrintFlat technology to help take your device's quality to the next level.

Read more

Working with you
Every customer is unique

Global Graphics is not just a RIP supplier - a close development partnership is critical to achieve your goals and we engage early with you in the pre-planning process and work with you to optimize performance within your environment. If you need help to get your press to market or have a technical issue that's stopping you from reaching that market, our dedicated experts can help you to break through any barriers. Read about our Technical Services team. Support is important to us and we closely integrate our support teams with yours to fine-tune the RIP to particular use cases.