Migrating from Xerox Freeflow to Ricoh Fiery...need advice and tips


Well-known member
Greetings all!

My shop is transitioning away from Xerox and the clunky freeflow RIP. We are almost done having our BW Ricoh 8320 and Color Ricoh C7200X installed.

We will be transitioning over to a Fiery RIP after using Freeflow for the past 25+ years. I am a newby to Fiery, but did use it at another shop years ago when the latest Command Workstation version was 5.0.

I am interested in learning from the experiences of other shop gurus on this tech, both Ricoh machines and Fiery RIPs. I'm currently on learning.fiery.com and youtube attempting to get educated, but I know the lived experience of this tech is always wildly different than what you see put out by the companies. If you have any tips, tricks, problems, or other experiences please share! I'm excited to use 5th color, our GBC perfect binder addon, and the other features of these machines...but I'm willing to bet there's a lot of downsides that I won't learn from the company. :)

I'm also interested in experiences with apps like RSA RDOprint, which I'm considering purchasing since we have a bunch of legacy jobs set up in that propietary Xerox format.

Have the installer teach you how to use the built in color calibration tool on the 7200. I use the heck out of Impose/Compose on the fiery and VDP. Just depends on what you will be doing. Ricoh should have assigned a solutions engineer to help train you, they will be able to get you up to speed in person on the Fiery.

The Auto Adjust is amazing, yes it eats sheets to do its job but its near perfect registration after running it:

We just got a new machine with a Fiery after not using it for 12 or so years and I forgot how clunky Fiery is.

I'd suggest setting up the "quick access" tab with your most common settings. Also, make HotFolders to simplify your workflow as much as possible.
Fiery RIPs are easy, in my opinion. Currently we use a Heidelberg Prinect for our Versafire EP, but I used to work with one that used the Fiery, and to be honest the Fiery is easier to navigate. The most important area is the "Spot On" tab, so that you can properly mix CMYK output to match a PANTONE book. Other than that, the Impose/Compose feature is pretty straightforward.

Good luck on your training. You won't regret the change to Ricoh, they make awesome equipment.
We just got a new machine with a Fiery after not using it for 12 or so years and I forgot how clunky Fiery is.

I'd suggest setting up the "quick access" tab with your most common settings. Also, make HotFolders to simplify your workflow as much as possible. View attachment 292423
While this is certainly a good idea, I recommend doing this only after you have become accustomed to the various settings you use. It may not be apparent immediately whether or not some settings are going to be used frequently or sparingly.

However I will also say that if you employ Hot Folders effectively you may not need to open the properties window. Only to indicate quantity needed from the hold screen.
  1. This may seem obvious, but use a PDF workflow and just drag the PDF's into CWS. I've seen so many operators still open the PDF in Acrobat to print to the Fiery controller and this can have undesired results. I believe you also miss out on the chance to use APPE to fix transparency issues if you do that.

  2. Check out Image Enhance Visual Editor. This is a really useful tool for last-minute changes of a single photo within a page of a document when you don't want to send it back to your designers or the customer to color correct.

  3. Hot Folders are awesome, but so are "workflows". These allow you to just right-click on a PDF to quickly apply common presets. I find them useful when the tasks aren’t used enough to justify making a hot folder for but I still want to create a shortcut for occasionally repeated processes. Like hot folders, workflows can combine the print settings with imposition templates.

  4. The built-in VDP is a really powerful tool and offers really fast ripping of large lists once you learn how to use it in combination with Impose templates. Fiery makes a free stand-alone VDP software that works in conjunction with CWS called FreeForm Create.

  5. Hopefully you purchased a license(s) of Impose/Compose along with your Fiery. Impose is an excellent WYSIWYG imposition software. Compose allows you to combine multiple documents together, rearrange pages, add divider tabs and more.
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Thanks so much everyone! Sorry for the late reply - got COVID a little bit after posting this and it dang near killed me! Doing better now but that was a rough time haha.

We're adjusting fairly well to our new Ricoh's and learning all the ins and outs. Thanks so much for these tips.

One quick Q for any Ricoh users - I'm curious if your hold queues work the same way as ours are being set up.

When we send a job to the HOLD queue, then print it, it moves to the PRINTING QUEUE while processing/printing but goes right back to the HOLD queue after. This makes it hard for multiple operators to see if the other already printed something. On our previous machines, a job in the hold queue would move to processing/printing, then to completed. We can't seem to set that functionality up with our Fiery frontend. Any tips?
This page might address your question @ReproElectroProspero :

Completed view
The Completed view lists all jobs in the server which have been printed, regardless of the location of the job. For example, a job sent to ‘print and hold’ will be displayed in the Hold queue and the Completed view. After the job is deleted from the held queue, it will also disappear from Completed view, and vice versa.
This view (not a queue) is added by default for all Fiery servers, but can be hidden by selecting the Completed view, and then clicking the Hide button above the toolbar. After the completed view has been hidden, it can be reenabled by selecting Server > Show Completed View.
The Completed view is located below the default queues (Hold, Printed, etc.) and above any custom views created by the user.
This view acts like other user created views, in that you cannot save an advanced search from within a view.

Jobs shown in Completed view
The Completed view displays only jobs that are currently in the Fiery server and have the ‘printed’ attribute. Jobs that are canceled while printing, or errored will not show in Completed view. Jobs submitted to the Direct queue will also not be displayed in the Completed view.
Note: Jobs which are archived by Archive manager will retain their ‘completed’ attribute, and will still show in the completed view.


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