Ugh! I'm still using Rampage. Make it stop!

rgraybeal

New member
My shop is currently using Rampage. Yep, I said it.
We will eventually be an all digital print shop. In the meantime, we have 2 offset presses we have to continue to support along with a large array of digital presses.
We use Pitstop and Pitstop server to edit and manage color in our files now but, if you've been there, you know it requires too many manual touches.

We are looking into replacing Rampage. I've used Prinergy in the past and Kodak will be stopping by soon to evalutate my companies workflow. The big advantage I see that Prinergy has over Agfa and Fuji is the flexibility in it's automation tool which is very attractive to my company.

I know there are some new players in this arena but I have no idea who they are and would any of them be worthwhile in investing in.

We are not a copyshop so the low end of these prepress workflows aren't worth my time.

Any suggestions?
Anyone happy with something other than the big 3?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,

Ryan Graybeal
 

cementary

Well-known member
rgraybeal , well I would like to comment on automation Kodak's tool which is RBA obviously
First
It is indeed very powerful and flexible app, but be ready to see literally zero help from Kodak, especially if you want true flexibility with RBA. Moreover they will often tell you that smth is impossible with RBA, while truly it is not.
See gua forums for confirmation.
And second
Without Kodak InSite Prepress Portal, Preflight+ and Buisness link options you will be very limited with "automation ways".

But if you're ready to dig deeper yourself, and kinda sorta familiar with Visual Basic — you're good to go. You will be able to create very automated workflow
 

Magnus59

Well-known member
Even without Ibsite Business Link and Preflight+ you can use RBA in conjunction with Smarthotfolders and APA to automate a lot of your processes. It's really just a matter of looking at what you are doing repeatedly and find a way to automate those tasks.
If you want end to end lights out automation then yes the other modules are invaluable.
 

Joe

Well-known member
Just to chime in here on automation with Prinergy....your biggest obstacles with be with your customers. Input files have to be named in an exact manner and you need info up front before you get the files such as number of pages because if you need to automate impositions you need to know how many pages you are dealing with. Like the others have said it can be automated but it isn't without its flaws and limits.
 

OffsetStorefront

Well-known member
We use Prinergy here and I've never heard any complaints about it. I do find their other software packages that enable "automation" to be a bit pricey, especially RBA and InSite. When we looked into purchasing Switch it seemed like it could interface with Prinergy just fine and was a lot cheaper than RBA. If the same compatibility can be said of Fuji and Agfa, then you can go back to evaluating them based on their primary function without thinking you'd be stuck with that same company's other "automation" offerings.
 

rgraybeal

New member
Thanks for everyone's input.
The Fuji automation, from the demo I saw, doesn't really compare to the flexibility of Prinergy RBA. I don't really remember much from the Agfa demo but I don't remember being impressed. Of course, it isn't easy to demostrate a prepress workflow in 30 minutes.

My company is a bit crazy, maybe yours are too, but we specialize in variable print. Prepress workflows are built around the static offset world. I recently took a class on G7 and if you took one thing from the class it was to standardize \ stablize the system. Is this all that a prepress workflow can do for me?
One question I have about Prinergy RBA, can you setup an automation that at the end will trigger a batch file?
We use batch files to automate our VPD software so you can see why I want that.

Also, in your opinions, what are the must have Prinergy components and which ones can you do without?
 

jotterpinky

Well-known member
I agree that many prepress workflows are built around static products produced via offset. I have seen two options that are not the traditional models with some digital capability bolted on.

1st option would be to utilize enfocus switch and add the additional features you want by adding applications that integrate in switch such as “Imp” for imposition. Ive seen some really powerful automation with this product.

2nd option that looked pretty flexible is Xerox Freeflow Core. I did a demo on it about 18 months ago and it also looked pretty powerful.

We have yet to implement a solution ourselves but are leaning towards the Switch option. There are so many layers to these products that its hard to evaluate any sort of demo - its almost better to see it in action at another shop, but again we are wanting different things from it than what others are doing so its hard to see how it can all work together, especially since everyone is using different apps that integrate with Switch than what we want/need
 

zoran

Well-known member
Hi Ryan,
There are some good advices here already.
I can speak from my experience only, in hope it helps you decide, but whatever anybody tells you, take it with a grain of salt and make up your own mind.
Do demos (hands on, with your own files and make sure to choose the most challenging and crappy files you can find).
Read on specs and ask users, both here and other forums.
I see that you mention "big 3" but in my opinion there are "big 4", including Heidelberg Prinect. You might think that you must have Heidelberg presses to use their workflow, but that is far from truth. Added advantage if you have Heidelberg presses is that you can actually enable Pressman to pull directly plates from Press console without Prepress, in fully automated fashion, but everything else in workflow works great for any press or digital device.
Heidelberg started original Prinergy with Creo, than took that experience and put it into building modern JDF based workflow. We run both Prinergy and Printready latest versions for couple of years in parallel and Prinergy could not come close to Printready in speed, efficiency, accuracy, etc.. Also every year new version brings improvements and new features where Kodak is barely trying to keep up with compatibility of Prinergy with lates OS's, no new features, almost like abandoned software.
We are small to medium commercial printer and we do everything from Digital, commercial to large webs, all powered by Heidelberg Printready.

That being said, automation in workflow is fairly good in all of the workflows, but what is important to acknowledge is that you are tied to that particular workflow for everything.
If you want power of real automation that is so flexible and works and integrates with pretty much everything, don't look far from Enfocus Switch.
You already have first piece of puzzle, Pitstop Server, all you need is Switch to take that to another level and automate your Pitstop server and integrate with anything.

Considering you are very familiar with Pitstop, that is another reason to consider Printready, you can use all your pitstop actions directly in Printready workflow, nice bonus.

I hope this helps.
 
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abc

Well-known member
Nice to see some people mentioning Switch as a solution to investigate.
If you'd like to talk to someone Ryan and have a webinar to explain the (almost unlimited) possibilities, just drop me a PM.

I describe Switch as a lego box without a picture on the box. No two installations are the same, because companies have different production automation requirements and needs.
 

Chasfinch

Well-known member
believe it or not I miss RAMpage. We are quite happy with our XMF workflow. Our shop evaluated everything when we went to EFI Pace and what workflow to get. We ended up with FUJI XMF. Its pretty cool though some of the features that where in RAMpage ( like editing traps making a spot varnish) are no longer done in XMF. But you can easily deal with those issues. and Fuji updates and fixes issues.
 

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