Fiery EX J75 RIP problems (Xerox j75 press)

jotterpinky

Well-known member
We just purchased a J75 machine about a month ago with an external Fiery EX J75 RIP running FS100. So far I've been pretty disappointed with the RIP end of the equation. I've used Fiery RIPs in the past (about 5 years ago on a Docucolor 250) but all of our more recent machines have been purchased with Creo RIPs until Creo no longer was an option. I'm having several problems that I'm hoping someone might be able to help with.

1. We're seeing a fair number of transparency issues that I thought were long gone (and were with our Creo RIPs) with the advent of APPE. I'm seeing transparency issues on drop shadows and the like that RIP fine on our older hardware. I'm also getting random lines (artifacts) on a few jobs. I've attached a photo showing a job that we just printed that has some problems. If I print this using the print driver on the computer, i.e. Postscript (not APPE) then there seem to be no problems. If I drop the pdf in the hot folder I get a strange series of lines running through the image. These are randomly placed so if I have this card imposed on a sheet with 4 per 12x18 sheet the lines appear in different locations on each of the four pieces. The file is a jpeg image (transparent) dropped on a black vector square. Very strange. I have the option on the RIP checked to "use APPE" and it seems as though I still get a number of transparency issues. From the experience I've had over the last week the best way to get rid of the transparency problems is to print using the old method of printing directly from the computer using Postscript 3. So much for the lastest APPE engines.

2. The RIP itself seems to be very slow compared to the Creo RIPs we've used on our Xerox 700 machines. I realize that this machine prints much more quickly on cardstock than our 700's but I'm having problems with the RIP keeping pace with the machine. A job we printed today that was what I would consider of medium complexity (84 pages) would print two pages, then pause for 30-75 SECONDS then print two more pages before pausing again waiting for the next two pages to RIP. I finally got sick of it and processed the entire job first, then printed. I've noticed that using the APPE option slows this thing down in comparison to processing it to Postscript.
We've mentioned this to our sales monkey who also thought it was quite slow and had a technician come in and entirely reformat the RIP and install everything fresh. It runs at exactly the same speed: slow. For the money I would expect this new updated RIP to run faster than something that's 5 years old (our old CREO RIPs). But it definitely not any faster and in some cases it's slower based on tests we've run sending the same file to both RIPs (CREO vs Fiery)

3. Grayscale / color mixed jobs. This is a biggie for us since we have several clients that we print large orders for with color on the front and black and white on the back of the sheet. We obviously only want to pay for a color click on the front and a black click on the back. The prior Fiery I used had an option labeled "black detection" or something of the sort that recognized when there were no color elements (separations) on the page and printed black only. I could not find anything like that on this RIP and after playing with "pure black" / "rich black" on/off settings in the color processing I gave up and called technical support. They said the way to do this was to print the job using "mixed media" and to specify which pages were black and white and which were color using the "mixed media" option. So I thought, Great! this is a big improvement over running a Pitstop action list to change certain pages, now it's possible on the RIP itself. Unfortunately it has not turned out to be that easy....impossible as near as I can tell. I've played with different settings in the "mixed-media" area of the settings and have been unable to print pages with color on one side and black on the back. What happens is it wants to print both pages (front / back pages) single sided and I have not figured out how to get them to run front and back. I'm really scratching my head on this one and am hoping someone knows some way to do this with mixed media or some other way on this RIP. In the meantime we're happily running these jobs on our our older 700 machines and hoping for some work-around.

I hope I havent' given the impression that I'm completely biased towards the CREO RIPs but any change is likely to bring a learning curve and I'm hopeful that I'll get familiar enough with this RIP to learn it's nuances, they all have them and the CREO was no different. There were plenty of things I didn't like about it that I was excited to see on the Fiery but overall this thing has been a disappointment. In future I might consider moving to the Xerox Free Flow RIP instead since it seems to be about the only other option any-more.
 

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We just purchased a J75 machine about a month ago with an external Fiery EX J75 RIP running FS100. So far I've been pretty disappointed with the RIP end of the equation. I've used Fiery RIPs in the past (about 5 years ago on a Docucolor 250) but all of our more recent machines have been purchased with Creo RIPs until Creo no longer was an option. I'm having several problems that I'm hoping someone might be able to help with.

1. We're seeing a fair number of transparency issues that I thought were long gone (and were with our Creo RIPs) with the advent of APPE. I'm seeing transparency issues on drop shadows and the like that RIP fine on our older hardware. I'm also getting random lines (artifacts) on a few jobs. I've attached a photo showing a job that we just printed that has some problems. If I print this using the print driver on the computer, i.e. Postscript (not APPE) then there seem to be no problems. If I drop the pdf in the hot folder I get a strange series of lines running through the image. These are randomly placed so if I have this card imposed on a sheet with 4 per 12x18 sheet the lines appear in different locations on each of the four pieces. The file is a jpeg image (transparent) dropped on a black vector square. Very strange. I have the option on the RIP checked to "use APPE" and it seems as though I still get a number of transparency issues. From the experience I've had over the last week the best way to get rid of the transparency problems is to print using the old method of printing directly from the computer using Postscript 3. So much for the lastest APPE engines.

2. The RIP itself seems to be very slow compared to the Creo RIPs we've used on our Xerox 700 machines. I realize that this machine prints much more quickly on cardstock than our 700's but I'm having problems with the RIP keeping pace with the machine. A job we printed today that was what I would consider of medium complexity (84 pages) would print two pages, then pause for 30-75 SECONDS then print two more pages before pausing again waiting for the next two pages to RIP. I finally got sick of it and processed the entire job first, then printed. I've noticed that using the APPE option slows this thing down in comparison to processing it to Postscript.
We've mentioned this to our sales monkey who also thought it was quite slow and had a technician come in and entirely reformat the RIP and install everything fresh. It runs at exactly the same speed: slow. For the money I would expect this new updated RIP to run faster than something that's 5 years old (our old CREO RIPs). But it definitely not any faster and in some cases it's slower based on tests we've run sending the same file to both RIPs (CREO vs Fiery)

3. Grayscale / color mixed jobs. This is a biggie for us since we have several clients that we print large orders for with color on the front and black and white on the back of the sheet. We obviously only want to pay for a color click on the front and a black click on the back. The prior Fiery I used had an option labeled "black detection" or something of the sort that recognized when there were no color elements (separations) on the page and printed black only. I could not find anything like that on this RIP and after playing with "pure black" / "rich black" on/off settings in the color processing I gave up and called technical support. They said the way to do this was to print the job using "mixed media" and to specify which pages were black and white and which were color using the "mixed media" option. So I thought, Great! this is a big improvement over running a Pitstop action list to change certain pages, now it's possible on the RIP itself. Unfortunately it has not turned out to be that easy....impossible as near as I can tell. I've played with different settings in the "mixed-media" area of the settings and have been unable to print pages with color on one side and black on the back. What happens is it wants to print both pages (front / back pages) single sided and I have not figured out how to get them to run front and back. I'm really scratching my head on this one and am hoping someone knows some way to do this with mixed media or some other way on this RIP. In the meantime we're happily running these jobs on our our older 700 machines and hoping for some work-around.

I hope I havent' given the impression that I'm completely biased towards the CREO RIPs but any change is likely to bring a learning curve and I'm hopeful that I'll get familiar enough with this RIP to learn it's nuances, they all have them and the CREO was no different. There were plenty of things I didn't like about it that I was excited to see on the Fiery but overall this thing has been a disappointment. In future I might consider moving to the Xerox Free Flow RIP instead since it seems to be about the only other option any-more.

We have a C75 with the internal Fiery and it was installed a month ago as well. We don't seem to be having any issues with transparencies because we have to flatten them all in Acrobat first since we don't have APPE. We had been talking about upgrading to the external RIP, but with your comments we may not.

Our RIP seems plenty fast, but the print engine doesn't seem to be able to get the data from the RIP at a reasonable speed. We currently have calls in to advanced support. Most files run fine, but others will be sent over and the machine will RIP through the VD quickly, but then after it has been RIPed the machine will run a sheet and then shut down for about 45 seconds, before running another single sheet. Someone suggested our printer may need more RAM. I had a 4K page files to run and had to leave the machine running over night because of the long delays between each sheet. The RIP time, using freeflow though, was only about 60 seconds.

Our old 560 had the option you mention about auto detecting black sheets. This new one does not, but it seems to automatically do it. We run newsletters with black and white pages sprinkled throughout and it does count the B&W pages as B&W clicks. In order to make sure there isn't any color I will have two PDFs of the booklet, one color and one B&W and then place the B&W file for the B&W pages and the color file for pages I want in color.
 
I found that simply converting the art in the problem job from .jpg to .tif format seems to have drastically sped up the printing. Seems .jpg format is causing huge slowdowns for some reason.
 
After some light reading I decided to turn off APPE and guess what? 1 page 12x18 job that was taking nearly 4 minutes to process using APPE, changed to 15 seconds of RIP time using traditional CPSI. Go figure. I'll play around some more with the settings but I would still like to know what others are doing to avoid the color clicks on black and white sheets. kdw75, we are currently doing something similar with our other print engines to print color and black and white mixed documents, rather though we are taking the same file in acrobat and using Pitstop action lists converting the entire 2nd page to black and white. This has always worked on other RIPs including prior EFI RIPs, just not this one.
 
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You say that you liked the Creo RIP and that makes me wonder if you ever considered the Xerox Freeflow RIP. From what I have read it isn't as color oriented as the Fiery, but I don't know much about it.
 
On the black pages make sure the colors are device gray. If the colors are K of CMYK then it may be counted as color. I've run across a few devices that could correctly differentiate. Someone explained to me once that what dictates color vs black click is something in the in parameters of the job when it hits the rip. They said that you could have 7pp that were black and white but 1pp that was color. Because the 1pp had color the whole job was counted as color. Best to check with your service/tech rep.

My trick was to always map black to device gray so there couldn't by any confusion.
 
We have a 770 with an external Fiery DFE. The hardware is ridiculously underspecified with an old i5 processor and 4gigs of RAM. We were promised by xerox that it was possible to upgrade, but once we tried with extra memory and SSD, we were told that the software was written for the delivered hardware only, and changes could not be made after delivery. However, i am still very pleased with the fiery front end. It is, as far as i know, a xerox decision that you pay for colour on both sides of the sheet - we have the black detection feature, but it only works on a sheet level, not on a page level. No problems with transparencies here - ever. Loved prinergy when i worked with offset, but as i see it, Fiery is the best RIP by far when it comes to digital. We also have a Fiery workflow for our large format - it just works like a charm.
 
Trim and Registration marks are notorious to be 4 color black. For transparencies make sue composite overprint is checked. We have found it is about 50/50 on working.
 
RE: No. 3, are you kidding??!! Why would they take out that black detection option and make it much harder? No sense at all. We've got the built-in Fiery on a lesser machine, and when you watch the Job Status screen, you can see it change from color to black and white and back while it's printing.

Sounds like they got something more new and improved than they know what to do with. If the older settings work, just go with what works. I'd also second kdw75 on converting the JPEGs to TIFFs. I don't use JPEGs on printing jobs just because you never know what they'll mess up.
 
Ah lads, you have me worried now. We are about to get a J75 and this black thing would be a major pain given some of the work we do.

According to http://swdownload.efi.com/ftpvefigs/9019710383/8506885892/9432346727/7701324904/Color.pdf


There should be a black detection.

Can anyone who currently has one confirm whether the machine differentiates between black and colour clicks while printing a single file?

Black detection is always on. That is why there is no option. We use it daily on our C75.
 
Have you checked with service to make sure all the patches are on the Fiery? EFI does fix stuff sometimes :)
 
FYI it does appear that our ex75 does detect black only pages, there is not an explicit option to check like on prior rips I have used but it does pick up that pages are black only (assuming NO color elements exist). To ensure the page contains only black we use enfocus pitstop to convert applicable pages to black. It appears some sort of update has fixed the issue we were having with black detection.

However overall we are still having problems. I'm on my fourth or fifth iteration of re-imaging the drive to a clean installation state. We've only owned this for six months. As you use it more I.e. Process more jobs, it appears to gradually slow. I have had to wait nearly TWO minutes to open job properties (no exaggeration). Just prior to re-imaging I plan my workday so I can click a job to open job properties then while waiting to open I go cut a job before coming back to make the job changes. I've been back and forth with xerox second level support and their recommendation is to re-install everything including the print engine (IOT). We've done this several times. We've tried it with updating everything, we've tried it with no updates, we've tried it with just service pack 1. Inevitably though it always follows the same path, gradually getting slower until it's nearly unusable and we re-install the operating system and software again fresh. We're at the point that we have tried all suggestions from xerox and are going to escalate the problem so we can get some sort of resolution.
 
Some answers to EXC75/EXJ75/EX770 questions I see in this thread.

Some answers to EXC75/EXJ75/EX770 questions I see in this thread.

black detection: I'm not quite sure what this setting is, so if someone could tell me exactly what the name of the feature is, and where it can be found in Fiery Job Properties that would help me understand what its intention is.
When you have a single color pixel on a page, regardless what it appear like to the eye, that page gets a color click. The Fiery offers the Grayscale radio button in the Color tab of Job Properties which ensures that the entire job is treated as B&W. If you wish to selectively turn pages to Grayscale you can do so by going into the Media tab, scroll to the bottom and in the Mixed Media section click New Page Range... In that window you can define a page range using commas, and/or "-" to select as many as you like, then go into Color mode and select Grayscale.

Transparency Problems: If you are using either the APPE or the PostScript interpreters you should select Color Tab, and check the "Composite Overprint" check box. If your Fiery has it, also select the "Optimize RGB Transparency" This may have a performance hit but it should resolve white knock outs and other transparency related issues. If you are printing from a Print Driver you do not need these setting because the print driver flattens all transparency.

Performance: APPE and PS are two completely different interpreters inside the Fiery. There is no standard as to which will be faster than the other. Since PS is a very mature interpreter it still has some advantages. APPE is still a developing standard and the Fiery is adopting the newer versions with newer products. A tip that may help is try going into the VDP tab, and checking Cache PDF and PS objects. That setting can have a dramatic effect on performance.

Artifacts in images: If you experience artifacting in images (TIFF or JPEG) go into the Quality tab and select Best for Image quality. In most cases the artifacting will disapear.

I hope these tips help.
 
We run Fiery on J75 and 2 Igens, we have no problems with APPE, speed is just fine aswell we never have an issue. Must be your settings get Xerox in and sort it out. Did you go through a customer expectation document with Xerox??

AjR
 
Trim and Registration marks are notorious to be 4 color black. For transparencies make sue composite overprint is checked. We have found it is about 50/50 on working.

We've had the exact same problem- made everything greyscale or 100% K and it still registered as a color click. After giving up and running it as a color click (it was a small job) we figured out it was the trim marks set by our imposition software.

As for the Black Detection, we found our C75 with internal RIP does pretty good at detecting black. It's like they took away the black detection button and made it permanently on by default. When we send the job, click on Job Status on the panel, click the job and select Job Progress and in the lower left hand corner where it tells you the drawer and paper size; you can watch it switch between 'color' and 'black & white'. If that isn't enough of a guarantee, just write down the meter count for color and black impressions and see what number it gives you.

We call the Composite Overprint button the 'magic fixer button'.
 
For many things I impose right in indesign with a imposition plugin called croptima. What I do when it comes to a black only job is just change the crop marks to black, as they are 100% CMYK by default. Most likely imposition programs are thinking press and not digital. When using the imposition in the fiery for our J75, the marks are just black.
 

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