Harlequin Introduces New RIP Version For Print Service Providers


Version 13 of the Harlequin Host Renderer adds automatic tiling to maximise the throughput of huge PDF, TIFF and JPEG files such as those generated in the corrugated packaging, wide and grand format, décor and textile markets.

Harlequin 13 automatically tiles these large pages – some can be up to 200 metres/650 feet long – to split them across multiple RIPs for increased speed and improved load balancing. Innovative new features, including automatic tiling for processing large-scale output at high speed, and extended Advanced Inkjet Screens, for enhanced image quality, are introduced in the major new release of the Harlequin RIP. Harlequin Host Renderer 13 raises the bar in terms of productivity features for print service providers and provides new options to press manufacturers for scaling multiple RIPs for high performance digital front ends.

Output is continuously streamed to the printer so that print service providers don’t have to wait for the entire page to be RIPped before printing can begin. This new feature minimises RAM requirements and costs for a digital front end (DFE) processing very large output.

‘The new tiling feature is specifically for high-speed digital printing,’ said Martin Bailey, Global Graphics Software’s CTO. ‘Automatic tiling helps in maximising throughput by splitting the output across several RIPs. It also reduces the cost for a digital front end (DFE) built to handle huge PDF pages, either every day or as an occasional occurrence, because the peak memory usage for a tile can be much lower than that for the whole page.

‘Speed continues to be a key focus of Harlequin development, because a faster RIP enables presses with very high data rates to be driven at engine speed and reduces the bill of materials for a DFE or controller.’

Version 13 also introduces many other features, including:

– Direct printing of PNG files, an important file type in some sectors of wide format and product decoration, in addition to PDF, PostScript, EPS, TIFF, JPEG etc. Consistent colour management and halftone screening can be added for all input formats using a common API.
– Enhanced controls over sizing of output from image file formats such as TIFF, JPEG and PNG where the image does not specify a size.
– Extended Advanced Inkjet Screens (AIS) with the introduction of Opal; especially good at mitigating artifacts when inkjet printing on absorbent substrates at higher resolutions. AIS increase the perceived quality, and therefore saleability, of inkjet prints, and can enable the use of lower cost substrates.
– Extended support for larger DFEs, scaling from a single RIP instance, through multiple RIPs on the same server, to multiple RIPs on each of multiple servers.

The Harlequin Host Renderer (HHR) is supplied as a component or pre-packaged with a parallel processing pipeline as Harlequin Direct to enable OEMs to achieve the fastest possible time to market and to revenue while building a highly sophisticated and high-quality DFE for a high-speed digital press.

It’s the print engine at the heart of the industry’s highest performing digital presses in products from vendors including Roland DG, Durst, HP Indigo and HP PageWide, powering their entire fleet. Harlequin Host Renderer is supported on 32- and 64-bit Microsoft Windows, 64-bit Linux and Mac OS.


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