Multiple RIPs within workflow

ChrisWorks

Active member
Hey Everyone,

I'm sure this topic has been approached in the past and I'm curious if there's any new information/feelings on best practices/workflows for shops that handle multiple types of printing. Our shop does Offset, Wide Format, and Small Format Digital printing. We currently use Prinergy as our primary RIP. All of our jobs go through Prinergy, are softproofed out of Prinergy, and then are output to their respective departments. In wide format, those files get picked up and put into a Agfa Asanti RIP. In digital, those files get picked up and put into a Heidelberg Versafire RIP.

We are using Prinergy to convert colors, apply color profiles, normalize, and trap where necessary. And we have some of these features turned off in the other RIPs since they don't need to be done twice. But I'm getting some pushback from my digital and wide format departments as to why we even have to run their files through Prinergy. This topic has come up many times over the years. It usually starts because one file has an issue, and then someone wants to change the entire process based on that issue.

My question is, should I just bypass Prinergy all together for digital & wide format? Or should I continue running everything through Prinergy first? One of my biggest concerns with bypassing Prinergy is color management. I'm applying a color profile to my digital & wide format files so that they match our offset press as closely as possible. The reason I'm doing this is because it's common for us to have jobs that print in all areas and get displayed together.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Thanks!
 

ikim86

Active member
It seems redundant to run files through two RIPs unless there is a specific reason for it. Does the second RIP have integrated imposition that is being used? If not, is Prinergy able to output directly to your digital devices?

What are the specific reasons the digital and wide format departments are pushing back on Prinergy as a RIP?

I'm no whiz but these questions came to mind when reading your post.
 

Puch

Well-known member
Your production policy seems to be a most reasonable one. After letting it go, all the departments will start to tinker with setting - maybe on a job-by-job base. At the end, there will be multi-media jobs which have the same intention but different results. The only way to do it IMHO is to build up syncronized settings in all the RIPs (eg.: similar color conversion policies, similar flattening parameters), and stick to them. This may spare some time for the company and might open up some new possibilities for the departments; on the other hand, it might introduce new problems.
 

cementary

Well-known member
My question is, should I just bypass Prinergy all together for digital & wide format? Or should I continue running everything through Prinergy first?
You should run everything through Prinergy and get rid of all other RIPs. Having three workflows instead of one gives you x3 problems with everything.
I am pretty sure that Prinergy can replace both those RIPs.
 

Magnus59

Well-known member
We run almost everything through Prinergy. Once the files have been refined, they go through other rips without any nasty surprises, we proof either through Insite or hard proofs on the devices that will produce the final product or via KPS for offset jobs. We expose plates through Xpo via 1 bit Tiff from Prinergy. Digital jobs go either to Indigo (Harlequin Rip) or Ricoh (Fiery) as imposed PDFs from Prinergy.
Variable jobs bypass Prinergy and are processed either through HP Smartstream or XMPie.
We have found that the Fiery can incorrectly render Prinergy's traps on some jobs, so we use a process plan that deletes traps if sending to the Ricoh and one that retains them when sending to the Indigo. Yes, we could simply refine without trapping for jobs destined for the Ricoh, but jobs do get moved from one machine to another frequently including digital to offset of vice versa.
In 9 years of Brisque and 11 years of Prinergy, I don't recall having any major issue following this process, you just need to understand your workflow and be aware of any potential unexpected behaviour from any of the Rips being used, one issue to be cautious with is deciding where to convert spot colours as each Rip will have its own libraries. If you use Colorflow and have it correctly set up you shouldn't have any problems with colour management.
 

Magnus59

Well-known member
You should run everything through Prinergy and get rid of all other RIPs. Having three workflows instead of one gives you x3 problems with everything.
I am pretty sure that Prinergy can replace both those RIPs.
Getting rid of all the other rips is not as easy as it sounds, it's generally not possible to send a ripped file from Prinergy to a digital machine (eg as 1 bit tiffs) because the rip is usually closely tied to the print engine, and Prinergy is a NORM workflow not a ROOM workflow. Multiple rips do not necessitate multiple workflows, just one workflow sending refined, imposed output to multiple devices.
 

cementary

Well-known member
it's generally not possible to send a ripped file from Prinergy to a digital machine (eg as 1 bit tiffs)
Why would someone want to send 1 bit tiffs to digital machine? Prinergy has digital connectivity via JDF to some presses. And with 9.0.1 one should have 31 free licenses for digital press connections
 

Magnus59

Well-known member
Why would someone want to send 1 bit tiffs to digital machine? Prinergy has digital connectivity via JDF to some presses. And with 9.0.1 one should have 31 free licenses for digital press connections
I mentioned 1 bit Tiff, because that's the only way you'll get a ripped file out of a NORM workflow, back in the Brisque days you could use PDF2Go which gave you a CT/LW file in a PDF wrapper
JDF is still not a ripped file, it's a refined file and still needs to be ripped on the digital machine.
Neither of our digital machines are supported by Digital Direct
 

ChrisWorks

Active member
It seems redundant to run files through two RIPs unless there is a specific reason for it. Does the second RIP have integrated imposition that is being used? If not, is Prinergy able to output directly to your digital devices?

What are the specific reasons the digital and wide format departments are pushing back on Prinergy as a RIP?

I'm no whiz but these questions came to mind when reading your post.
The only reason I need to use the other rips is because they drive their respective machines directly which Prinergy can't do unfortunately. I have as many actual refine settings turned off as I can in the other RIPs. And yes, those other RIPs have special imposition software for each respective department.

The specific reasons they're pushing back are varied. Some involve color, some involve not being able to edit files after they've been refined. Which, in my opinion, at that point they should be coming back to prepress to make changes anyway. I'm just trying to explore the topic to see how everyone else is handling this issue.
 

ChrisWorks

Active member
Your production policy seems to be a most reasonable one. After letting it go, all the departments will start to tinker with setting - maybe on a job-by-job base. At the end, there will be multi-media jobs which have the same intention but different results. The only way to do it IMHO is to build up syncronized settings in all the RIPs (eg.: similar color conversion policies, similar flattening parameters), and stick to them. This may spare some time for the company and might open up some new possibilities for the departments; on the other hand, it might introduce new problems.
I agree. I need to double-check the other RIP settings. But I'm pretty sure I had as many refine / color settings turned off as I could so they would function more like a passthrough.
 

ChrisWorks

Active member
We run almost everything through Prinergy. Once the files have been refined, they go through other rips without any nasty surprises, we proof either through Insite or hard proofs on the devices that will produce the final product or via KPS for offset jobs. We expose plates through Xpo via 1 bit Tiff from Prinergy. Digital jobs go either to Indigo (Harlequin Rip) or Ricoh (Fiery) as imposed PDFs from Prinergy.
Variable jobs bypass Prinergy and are processed either through HP Smartstream or XMPie.
We have found that the Fiery can incorrectly render Prinergy's traps on some jobs, so we use a process plan that deletes traps if sending to the Ricoh and one that retains them when sending to the Indigo. Yes, we could simply refine without trapping for jobs destined for the Ricoh, but jobs do get moved from one machine to another frequently including digital to offset of vice versa.
In 9 years of Brisque and 11 years of Prinergy, I don't recall having any major issue following this process, you just need to understand your workflow and be aware of any potential unexpected behaviour from any of the Rips being used, one issue to be cautious with is deciding where to convert spot colours as each Rip will have its own libraries. If you use Colorflow and have it correctly set up you shouldn't have any problems with colour management.
Magnus, sounds like you have a very similar setup to us. I'm curious if you apply a color profile to the wide-format & small-format digital files you sent back? I currently apply a gracol 2006 profile to help us match the offset better. I'm not sure if this is the best idea honestly, but it seems to make sense and has worked for the most part. Typically we keep spot colors in our digital files intact so that they render more accurately on their respective machines and bypass the gamut limitations of a color profile. We are not currently using Color Flow. I'm curious how that much help us.
 

Magnus59

Well-known member
Magnus, sounds like you have a very similar setup to us. I'm curious if you apply a color profile to the wide-format & small-format digital files you sent back? I currently apply a gracol 2006 profile to help us match the offset better. I'm not sure if this is the best idea honestly, but it seems to make sense and has worked for the most part. Typically we keep spot colors in our digital files intact so that they render more accurately on their respective machines and bypass the gamut limitations of a color profile. We are not currently using Color Flow. I'm curious how that much help us.
We apply the FOGRA39 colour profile during refine on Prinergy. In a perfect world Colorflow would be set up with a profile for every stock on every machine, but in the real world that's impractical, also the version of Colorflow that comes with Prinergy is quite limited, to use it to it's full potential you need to purchase the license for the full version.
We have the Ricoh with Fiery set up to use FOGRA 39, and our plotters which are driven by KPS were set up by Kodak's colour specialist and we have custom profiles for them. The Heidelberg 74-8 with Axis control along with plate curves has been set up to correct densities to match the same spec. We used to build custom profiles for the press using Profile Wizard, but current wisdom is to set up the press to ISO standard and proof to the same standard. The Indigo is too old to use current colour management, so it's calibrated by the operators for a close match to offset.
Our methods may not be the gold standard, but we achieve an acceptable match between all devices and our customers are happy which is the most important thing.
 

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