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Ink Optimization Plugin for the Harlequin RIP

Supported Operating Systems
Windows Version
Windows XP

Windows 2003
Windows Vista
Windows 2008
Windows 7
Windows 8.1
Windows 10
Macintosh Version
Macintosh OS 10.4 (Tiger)

Macintosh OS 10.5 (Leopard)
Macintosh OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
Macintosh OS 10.7 (Lion)
Macintosh OS 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

Maintain an Identical Color Reproduction while Saving Ink

Ink Optimization uses sophisticated color reduction algorithms to replace Cyan, Magenta and Yellow primary colors with Black, maintaining sharpness, reducing ink volumes and improving print quality. Automatically and dynamically render each job with ink savings of up to 25%. The Ink Optimization Plugin will work with any Harlequin RIP v.8 or later.

Using the color recognition technology and special creation of ICC Profiles, the plugin calculates color transformations while the RIP is processing the file. The quantity of CMY inks used is reduced, and the proportion of black ink increased while maintaining an identical color reproduction. Even though images remain identical to both the human eye and when analyzed by a spectrophotometer, the amount of color inks used is significantly reduced.

For production according to the tolerances of international standards, use can be made of existing standard profiles like ISOcoated, ISOwebcoated, ISOuncoated and others. Ink volume reductions of between 20% and 25% are typical when using the software. Due to the comparatively high cost of the primary color inks (CMY), there is an immediate and continuing cost savings. This means that the software can pay for itself in a very short time. In addition to reduced ink volumes, workflows are optimized and the entire print process is stabilized.

Without Ink Optimization

Cyan, Magenta and Yellow Ink Usage without Ink Optmization

Black Ink Usage without Ink Optmization

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black Ink Usage without Ink Optmization

With Ink Optimization

Cyan, Magenta and Yellow Ink Usage with Ink Optmization

Black Ink Usage with Ink Optmization

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black Ink Usage with Ink Optmization

Reduces Waste and Make-Ready Times

Press make-ready is faster and make-ready waste is reduced. In addition, drying times and run performance are also improved, often allowing faster press speeds with certain paper types. Due to lower ink coverage drying times are shortened allowing for faster output times and job transitions. Whether your design files come from a variety of sources or one source, they contain elements having different color spaces and separation options. These files need to be adapted to better suit actual printing conditions and ensure accurate rendering according to printing standards of ISO 12647. The Ink Optimization Plugin allows a printer to automatically and dynamically check and correct the colors and ink weight characteristics of incoming files before sending them out to the press. This software can be used with any four color process regardless of the output technology. This makes the software suitable for offset, flexo, gravure, digital or screen printing. The software plugin integrates into the Harlequin RIP and offers automatic and dynamic dot gain compensation, maximum ink coverage limitation and black generation for optimal printing.

In everyday production printers have to deal with files obtained from different sources that often do not print well on the press. This may be due to a variety of reasons such as a mismatch between color separation and press profile or between the black generation in the file and the optimal black generation for the used process, or between ink values in the file and press and paper requirements. Since printers often do not know in advance on which press a job will be produced. Therefore the decision about what output parameters to apply must be taken into consideration often on very short notice. The stock to be used on a job is also sometimes chosen or changed at the last minute depending on price or availability which means color and dot gain reproduction can vary dramatically. This software plugin offers automated ink savings without any image degradation.

The benefits of the Ink Optimization Plugin include:
• Standardization of CMYK files from all sources
• Output files are made compliant to the printing press requirements
• Improved printability, faster make-readies and finishing
• Improved color rendering and quality
• Better match with color managed proof
• Solves virtually all set-off problems caused by heavy ink weights
• Easier and more stable printing
• Substantial ink savings of up to 25%
• Uses modern Device Link Technology to provide dynamic output optimization

• Works with any Harlequin RIP and any printing press

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