EQUIOS vs Xmf

Duncan Hyde

Well-known member
Hi Forum,

I have to decide which way to go but also save some money for the company. We currently use Trueflow 7.3 our dealer is pushing us to go with xmf over screen equios. We had a demo done on xmf, seems cool but more expensive and the hardware requirements too. Would it be a natural progression to go with Equios over xmf since we have been using trueflow all along??

Equios is less expensive, and seems to do everything I need and i like the auto ganging of jobs, but how good is it with managing all our digital devices since we are expanding that side of our company more now than offset??

Also what are the key options to look for in the details of the quotation e.g. screening support for digital devices and hidden yearly subscriptions and server requirements.

Regards,

Duncan
 

kantblue

Active member
Hi Duncan,

​I'm in the same boat here - just had a demo of XMF and as you say it looks good, but am waiting to get prices - we are currently on Trueflow 7.3 and are now in the process of evaluating workflows - going to look at Equios (though we didn't like the early Pre4M version that came with TF7.3.). Going to look at Agfa Apogee and maybe Prinergy (though its likely to be too expensive for us!). One of the things that put us off the move to Equios was the major changes to the imposition side of the software, but XMF uses very similar layouts to Equios so that seems to be the way that workflows are going.

​We have found Trueflow 7.3 to be pretty stable, but the differences between this version and Equios are so great that, to us, it might as well be another product entirely - hence our decision to check out other workflows - if there had been a Trueflow 8 we would most likely have gone that route, but Equios looks so different.

We are viewing the latest version of Equios next (though not till the 29th April) so will have a clearer idea of the way forward by then.

There are one or two fairly negative comments about XMF on this forum with a few users giving in after a few months of trying to fix problems - its hard to tell how this might pan out for us or yourselves.

Going to have a look at Esko Automation Engine as well.

Keith
 
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Duncan Hyde

Well-known member
Hi Keith, I agree the impo. is nothing like flatworker it seems though to be the way the other workflows intergrate it. I still have no real issues with trueflow its simple! but does the job and with the advanced PDF workflow i've had no issues ripping PDF X 4a PDF's. I'm trying to setup a demo of Equios. So I hope we both can keep in touch about our transition phase

Regards

Duncan
 

kansasquaker

Well-known member
Hi Duncan,
There are one or two fairly negative comments about XMF on this forum with a few users giving in after a few months of trying to fix problems - its hard to tell how this might pan out for us or yourselves.

One of the comments your referring to is probably mine. Like some others, we had to return XMF. (And Fuji threatened to sue us for doing so. They later changed their minds.) However, that was all mostly due to it's pathetic integration with EFI Metrix (which Fuji knew was a requirement for our plant). If you intend to use the impo tool in XMF I think you will have much better luck. We used Rampage - XMF - Prinergy in that order. The XMF UI is inferior to Prinergy and Rampage. Some of it seems downright non-sensical. But it does work and I expect it will get better as Fuji develops it further. It's still a very new product in terms of RIP system lifecycles. I know nothing about Equios so I can't offer an opinion there.

Picking a RIP is really flipping hard . . . I hope that all helps somehow lol!
 

kantblue

Active member
Hi Kansasquaker
​Thanks for reply - it all helps (I think !) - the trouble is, as both of us have found out, the manufacturers will bend the truth about what their software works with - its only when you actually come to use it that the problems emerge.

I really like Trueflow, as Duncan says it's almost bulletproof with files (I may regret saying that!) and once you get round some of the peculiar Japanese logic its a very flexible system. We originally used it for litho only but as we went into the digital work it has still been a great tool for online proofing and imposing of both types of work.

I have been told (though I'm waiting for confirmation) that the latest version of Equios can import Trueflow jobs which would be a huge plus for us. I'm also going to look at RealPro which is from the developers of the XMF software on the 14th - the guy doing the demo is familiar with both TF and Equios and is going to show us the differences between all three which should be useful. I have a demonstration of Apogee and the full Equios coming up too - what joy!

"Picking a RIP is really flipping hard" - I think I might have to go for the Tea and Biscuits option that I have sucessfully used in the past - the company that offers the most hospitality gets the gig!

Will keep you posted.....

keith
 

bfarrah

Member
Alternatively, you could check out Xitron's Sierra. Same functionality as XMF and RealPro but typically less expensive with three years of support and upgrades included.
 

Johu

Well-known member
Hi guys,
first of all if you do already have Trueflow 7.x you have the possibilty to use Equios Pre4m which is basically a hybrid of Trueflow and Equios but when it comes to imposition it is currently something like 80% the same as in Equios. Obviously Equios is evolving in every version where as Pre4m is not furher developed. Equios Pre4m and Trueflow can mutually exist so you have no problems running the two at the same time. Actually the process window in both systems actually show works been processed in both systems. So they are actually just two different UIs to one core. The difference being that Pre4m only uses the APPE core (advanced) where as in Truelflow you can use both the old and the advanced core.
When it comes to tickets they are almost identical to what you have in Trueflow but as stated the big difference is in the imposition. Version 4 Equios can also import jobs from Trueflow and I think you can almost import any job in the latest version. But you have to keep in mind that imported jobs are migrated not just restored as the old system worked internally in a different way.
There are lots of automated things in the imposition of Equios compared to Flatworker and as you most likely have already noticed in the demos you had that the imposition is in every client and as in Trueflow client has no usage restriction so you can use it in as many workstations as you like.
But take my info with a grain of salt as I work for a Screen dealer.
 

Duncan Hyde

Well-known member
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the input im waiting on a Equios Demo yes i agree with 'Kansasquaker' the impo was weird in xmf, I used preps 5.0 in the past on our old Creo system and moving to flatworker was hard at first but the xmf just seems like a whole lot of double steps and things to do.

I will update after Equios Demo's done

Regards

Duncan
 

kantblue

Active member
Hi Guys

We have just had the Equios demo and it went well, I think a lot has to do with the person doing the demonstrating - the first thing the demonstrator showed us was the things that were the same or similar in Trueflow and there is more than I realised. The imposition is different, but then it is in XMF as well - my overall impression is that XMF had a slicker interface, but there is nothing I saw in the XMF demo that you can't do in Equios as far as I can tell. Going to have another look at XMF again tomorrow so might have a better impression then. We have also looked at Agfa Apogee which had some nice features - the ability to output flatplans with all of the dimensions marked up is a nice touch, but overall it just seemed overly complex, and the online proofing didn't have many features.

kantblue
 

Duncan Hyde

Well-known member
Hi All, our Equios demo went well. Im sold on it! but the upgrade got bumped "damn" until we also upgrade our MIS software which will be done by July 1st. We are implementing EFI print smith, then i'll get my upgrade to Equios and also im told i would need a newer server to run it on so more money again.. it never ends 'lol'

Regards - Duncan
 

kantblue

Active member
Hi Duncan, its been a while since your last message - did you upgrade in the end.

We have taken the upgrade a few months back (good job too - the old Trueflow Server has finally given up the ghost).

We are managing to get all of our work (both digital and litho) through the Equios system - but we still struggle with the imposition side of things and there are some 'bugs' which need ironing out - the trouble is the system is almost too flexible - we haven't even started to cover the additional things we could do (such as auto-ganging up etc). The system works well with the Equios Online proofing and this particular function is faster and more reliable than the Trueflow 7.3>Equios Online links.

The bugs we have found mainly revolve around putting crop marks onto pages which seems overly complex for a relatively simple function - more to the point sometimes it works fine other times the crop marks appear in odd places or not at all. At the moment this means that we preview all of our flats before outputting plates (just in case).

We had three days of onsite training and have one follow up day remaining - but I don't think this is anything like enough to get the best out of this system.

Keith
 

Duncan Hyde

Well-known member
Hi Kantblue, I'm jealous now, lol, my upgrade mission of workflow has now evolved into too dealers wanting to sell me A new CTP and workflow as one package, So I have now have my SCREEN dealer offering me Equios or (Xmf for a little more cash) and a 4600S CTP for a great price, and my previous Kodak dealer offering me a CTP and workflow at a great price too. so the plot thickens Lol.

Stay tuned for the next episode.

Regards

Duncan

P.s. I like the fact your running Offset and Digital from one workflow that's were i wanna be at, because were now investing more in digital now.
 

kantblue

Active member
Hi Duncan

Our decision to go with Equios was mostly financial (the move from Trueflow to Equios is counted as an 'upgrade'), but also because we already had our Trueflow system linked to Equios Online (for online proofing). We purchased a second user platesetter separately so our decisions are different from yours. We did look into new CTP and platesetter from the same suppliers but the quotes were considerably more.

If I were starting from scratch I would most likely have gone for XMF - the interface seems quite intuitive and elegant, but the online proofing seemed a bit poor - and you had to buy licences in blocks to enable clients to use it. We use the Equios Online proofing extensively and I doubt if our clients would accept being told to wait because too many others were accessing the system !

Equios is very powerful, but in my opinion the interface is confusing and there are some bugs - not showstoppers and some of the things you would expect to be simple - such as placing crop marks seem overly complex We had three days training but this is nowhere near enough to get the most out of the system.

One other reason we purchased Equios was the fact we could pull in old Trueflow jobs from backups, but this is a somewhat flaky process (to say the least) so I wouldn't factor this into your purchase if this is important to you. To be fair its just as easy to start again with the original files and re-impose them.

Imposition is the one area we still struggle with - I understand why everything is now based on the 'Fold Catalog' (JDF etc) but I do miss being able to assign random page numbers to my flatworker impositions. This would have been the same with the other systems though and its the one area where I think this is a backward step - though I appreciate others would differ.

We are still in the process of setting up the system in many ways - the trouble is there are so many ways to achieve the same goal - in our old Trueflow system we had something like 800 preset imposition templates - none of which we had to think about - we just applied them - whilst you can use Equios this way it's not really the way its mean't to be used and it will take a long time to setup as you can't transfer these impositions into Equios (again this would be the same with any other system).

Keith
 

spoocobra

Active member
Hi Kansasquaker
​Thanks for reply - it all helps (I think !) - the trouble is, as both of us have found out, the manufacturers will bend the truth about what their software works with - its only when you actually come to use it that the problems emerge.

I really like Trueflow, as Duncan says it's almost bulletproof with files (I may regret saying that!) and once you get round some of the peculiar Japanese logic its a very flexible system. We originally used it for litho only but as we went into the digital work it has still been a great tool for online proofing and imposing of both types of work.

I have been told (though I'm waiting for confirmation) that the latest version of Equios can import Trueflow jobs which would be a huge plus for us. I'm also going to look at RealPro which is from the developers of the XMF software on the 14th - the guy doing the demo is familiar with both TF and Equios and is going to show us the differences between all three which should be useful. I have a demonstration of Apogee and the full Equios coming up too - what joy!

"Picking a RIP is really flipping hard" - I think I might have to go for the Tea and Biscuits option that I have sucessfully used in the past - the company that offers the most hospitality gets the gig!

Will keep you posted.....

keith

I'm curious about this "RealPro" you speak of. Any update?
 

kantblue

Active member
Hi spoocobra

Sure the website (which is not very good imho) is at http://www.ffei.co.uk/realpro-workflow/ but this is a bit confusing - if I click on the brochure it brings up their Graphium label product. I'm in the UK where Apex are the distributors, we were quite impressed with the product but it all looks to have changed - it's hard to tell from the website!

Keith
 

Gianni_S

Well-known member
Beware, XMF, Real Pro and Xitron Sierra are the same product.
As I know, FFEI it's the inventor and developer of that workflow, they are financed by Fuji that optimize and rebrand the software.
Xitron resell it as an OEM.
On the battlefield they perform equal, they act equal and the look equal… only the price it seems to be a little bit different with Fuji being more expensive than the other two (I have no reason why).

Greetings

G:
 

Johu

Well-known member
Imposition is the one area we still struggle with - I understand why everything is now based on the 'Fold Catalog' (JDF etc) but I do miss being able to assign random page numbers to my flatworker impositions. This would have been the same with the other systems though and its the one area where I think this is a backward step - though I appreciate others would differ.

Keith
Hi Keith,
it is possible to use random page numbering in Equios as well. It is different from how it was done in Trueflow but it's definitely there.
 

kantblue

Active member
Hi Johu, thanks for your reply - you are quite right about the page numbering!

We held one of our four days training back so we could ask this question (as well as many others). We had this last week and we are much more confident about the system now - it's just a case of finding where things are - the trouble with flexibility is that it also leads to complexity.

Keith
 

eyezikkim

Member
Beware, XMF, Real Pro and Xitron Sierra are the same product.
As I know, FFEI it's the inventor and developer of that workflow, they are financed by Fuji that optimize and rebrand the software.
Xitron resell it as an OEM.
On the battlefield they perform equal, they act equal and the look equal… only the price it seems to be a little bit different with Fuji being more expensive than the other two (I have no reason why).

Greetings

G:

How sure are you about this? We switched over to XMF a while ago (over PRINERGY due to costs). We do a LOT of business with Fuji (~$30,000 a month), so I doubt they would price gouge but I can't help but wonder if we've paid a premium price for nothing.
 

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