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Sep 27, 2010 12:00 AM
Acton, MA-based Global Graphics has added new prepress features to the latest release of the Harlequin PLUS Server RIP. Version 8.3, available via Global Graphics’ network of Harlequin RIP OEMs, introduces extended support for hybrid and digitally modulated screens and expands the number of devices across which PDF retained raster can be deployed, a feature that speeds up variable data processing. Platform support is updated to include Windows 7 and Mac Snow Leopard.
Martin Bailey, Global Graphics’ chief technology officer says, “Our development roadmap for the Harlequin RIP is focused on introducing incremental benefits that will have an immediate impact on the productivity of print shops. So in this release we build on the performance enhancements we introduced last year. For example, in response to the increase in demand to process variable data, [this] launch increases the number of devices that can run PDF retained raster. This feature speeds up the processing of variable data in PDF files even if they weren’t created using specific variable data tools by only RIPping new content on multi-page jobs so that the same areas are not processed repeatedly. When it comes to screening, this new version of the RIP extends support for Harlequin Cross-Modulated Screening (HXM) that addresses the issue of printing on lower quality papers while meeting higher customer expectations.”
Harlequin Cross Modulated Screening, or HXM, is a combination of AM and FM screening that allows higher screen rulings than is provided by AM screens alone. It results in smoother flesh tones, flat tints and gradients. With Version 8.3 of the Harlequin RIP, the range of screen sets increases to include 1,270 dpi and 2,540 dpi for easy use on a wider range of CTP solutions. Third party screening solutions such as Auraia from Hamillroad Software can also be used with the Harlequin RIP.
The Harlequin RIP processes PostScript, PDF and XPS natively in one RIP engine. Harlequin RIP users have never needed to flatten transparent artwork because all Harlequin RIPs since Version 6.0 have automatically recognized when PDF files contain live transparency and generated the correct result. Recent releases of the Harlequin RIP have seen notable accelerations in performance, with, for example, the introduction of multi-threaded rendering taking full advantage of Duo and Quad core technologies.