Changing workflows. Rampage -> Xitron Sierra?

Northern_Prepress

Registered Users
About our company:
Presses: We have two offset sheetfed presses: Roland 202 (28") and Roland 606 (40")
HP Indigo 7600 5-color 13x19

CTP: Screen Plate Right 8000

Proofers: Epson StylusPro 9800 44" (used for high-res single sided proofs on Epson Semi-Matte paper roll) & Epson StylusPro 10000 44" (used for 2-sided proofs on 42" 2-sided proofing sheets)
-The Epson 9800 is ripped/driven directly from Rampage via its Shooter.
-The Epson 10000 is ripped/driven from Colorburst RIP via a 300 dpi PDF produced from Rampage (not good enough for a high-res proof because of how it rasterizes everything including text when the PDF is made)

Workflow: Rampage v12

We recently upgraded from Rampage v10 to v12/13 almost a year ago. We found out that Rampage is no more and v13.xx will be the last they will produce and support.

We have also hit a wall with our Epson 10000 proofer because ink is hard to come by these days and it's also not supported by the current operating systems.

So we are looking to get a new proofer, maybe one that can do both our high-res proofs and the 2-sided folded proofs. We know our 9800 can handle both, but really don't want to waste time changing rolls to sheets. Unfortunately, whatever new proofer we consider getting will not be supported by Rampage or able to drive the proofer directly via its Shooter.

This is why we are considering changing our entire workflow system to Xitron Sierra. I've seen demos, had a webinar with some of the reps from Xitron, and tested out the 2D/3D soft proofs.

We have a few questions about the Sierra system and hope some of you can help us with.
  1. We like how Rampage can edit trap manually; can you do that in the Sierra system too?
  2. Can trap be modified to handle metallic inks?
  3. Do clients need to install a program to view soft proofs?
  4. Can the Sierra system run our Epson 9800, CTP, Indigo, and a new proofer as is or will additional licenses/options need to be purchased?
  5. How is the learning curve compared to Rampage?
  6. Can the Sierra system handle complex impositions that Preps could? I.e. multiple 16/32 pg impositions on the same sheet.
  7. We currently use Preps v5.2. Can impositions be imported into the Sierra system or will we need to upgrade to the latest version of preps?
  8. How does the Sierra system handle/convert the new PANTONE+ color builds?
  9. In Rampage, I can easily set up things like bump/kicker plates. Can the Sierra system do that too?
  10. Will the Sierra system require 3rd party programs like Colorburst or RasterBlaster to output to devices?
  11. Is the service contract a lot more expensive than Rampage? Are updates/upgrades included in the service contract?
  12. Can the Sierra system archive jobs and then de-archived for a reprint, no change?

We like the versatility of the Sierra system, but we are hoping it will be a standalone system.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Also, if there are other workflows we should check out, please feel free to let us know. Thanks!
 
The answer to #1 & 2 is yes. #3 no, #4check with Xitron but should not be a problem, #5 much faster learning curve, #6 yes #7 no, #8 handles ALL Pantones well, #9 yes
#10 no,
11 Ours were
#12 yes
I have used the Sierra System for over a year and prefer it to any I have ever used (covers 25 years).
 

Northern_Prepress

Registered Users
Thank you so much for your feedback! That helped answer a lot of concerns we had.

I think we are putting in the order for the new Xitron system and a brand new Epson SureColor T7270 44" proofer today. Not sure how the install/training will go because of the holidays approaching and we're located up here in Alaska.
 
We are having Alaskan temperatures here in Alabama, but hopefully Xitron can get you up and running soon, or the vendor you are purchasing it through.
I just got out of a meeting with our head programmer and will also be using one of the functions of Sierra to archive transactional data and to also fix files run through Rubica software that needs further conversion.
 

Northern_Prepress

Registered Users
Funny thing is, here in Anchorage, we're warmer then most places in the lower 48. We don't even have snow on the ground yet and it's suppose to be a high of 40º F today. ;)
 

semi-tech

Well-known member
The answer to #1 & 2 is yes. #3 no, #4check with Xitron but should not be a problem, #5 much faster learning curve, #6 yes #7 no, #8 handles ALL Pantones well, #9 yes
#10 no,
11 Ours were
#12 yes
I have used the Sierra System for over a year and prefer it to any I have ever used (covers 25 years).

Hello,

On #12, are you simply leaving jobs in the Sierra Client or is there some other procedure?
 

semi-tech

Well-known member
About our company:
Presses: We have two offset sheetfed presses: Roland 202 (28") and Roland 606 (40")
HP Indigo 7600 5-color 13x19

CTP: Screen Plate Right 8000

Proofers: Epson StylusPro 9800 44" (used for high-res single sided proofs on Epson Semi-Matte paper roll) & Epson StylusPro 10000 44" (used for 2-sided proofs on 42" 2-sided proofing sheets)
-The Epson 9800 is ripped/driven directly from Rampage via its Shooter.
-The Epson 10000 is ripped/driven from Colorburst RIP via a 300 dpi PDF produced from Rampage (not good enough for a high-res proof because of how it rasterizes everything including text when the PDF is made)

Workflow: Rampage v12

We recently upgraded from Rampage v10 to v12/13 almost a year ago. We found out that Rampage is no more and v13.xx will be the last they will produce and support.

We have also hit a wall with our Epson 10000 proofer because ink is hard to come by these days and it's also not supported by the current operating systems.

So we are looking to get a new proofer, maybe one that can do both our high-res proofs and the 2-sided folded proofs. We know our 9800 can handle both, but really don't want to waste time changing rolls to sheets. Unfortunately, whatever new proofer we consider getting will not be supported by Rampage or able to drive the proofer directly via its Shooter.

This is why we are considering changing our entire workflow system to Xitron Sierra. I've seen demos, had a webinar with some of the reps from Xitron, and tested out the 2D/3D soft proofs.

We have a few questions about the Sierra system and hope some of you can help us with.
  1. We like how Rampage can edit trap manually; can you do that in the Sierra system too?
  2. Can trap be modified to handle metallic inks?
  3. Do clients need to install a program to view soft proofs?
  4. Can the Sierra system run our Epson 9800, CTP, Indigo, and a new proofer as is or will additional licenses/options need to be purchased?
  5. How is the learning curve compared to Rampage?
  6. Can the Sierra system handle complex impositions that Preps could? I.e. multiple 16/32 pg impositions on the same sheet.
  7. We currently use Preps v5.2. Can impositions be imported into the Sierra system or will we need to upgrade to the latest version of preps?
  8. How does the Sierra system handle/convert the new PANTONE+ color builds?
  9. In Rampage, I can easily set up things like bump/kicker plates. Can the Sierra system do that too?
  10. Will the Sierra system require 3rd party programs like Colorburst or RasterBlaster to output to devices?
  11. Is the service contract a lot more expensive than Rampage? Are updates/upgrades included in the service contract?
  12. Can the Sierra system archive jobs and then de-archived for a reprint, no change?

We like the versatility of the Sierra system, but we are hoping it will be a standalone system.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Also, if there are other workflows we should check out, please feel free to let us know. Thanks!

On #7, what we did sometimes was to print to PDF from Preps, then drop the PDF into Sierra as is. But no, I don't think you can import the impositions themselves either. Not sure you could even with Preps 7, but don't quote me. You can build templates in Sierra and modify when needed, though.
 
We leave active jobs on the client. For instance, pressmen can come into Prepress on weekends and replace a damaged plate with the current one in the que on Magnus or resend from Client without requiring prepress to be here. This facet alone has saved the company a great deal of OT. ….and eliminated my OT :(
 

Lester

Member
Hi mnorman,
We are also a Rampage shop looking for a new workflow. We have had a demo of Sierra - they told us we could not trap edit manually nor could we apply a different trap width to a metallic ink without using their packaging software. Maybe I'm getting bad information. Can you select an object and specify a different trap method (choke, spread, etc…) or width?
Thanks!
 
Lester,
Yes you can select and object but without testing it, I am not sure if it does not apply to all of the signature or piece depending on if you what type product you are using.
The only negative thing I can say about Xitron is that there is a difference in knowledge among their techs.
 

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