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The eLab Harlequin RIP Development Package is a collection of software applications specifically designed for industrial inkjet developers and manufacturers. Whether developing a new industrial inkjet system or looking to make improvements to an existing system, eLab’s streamlined software package will significantly reduce the time it takes to get a newly developed industrial inkjet system to market. eLab includes a V12 Harlequin RIP, prebuilt test configurations, and an easy-to-use interface. The Harlequin RIP renders graphics submitted in PDF to a raster format, suitable for delivery to inkjet print heads, and includes options specifically suited for the needs of high speed industrial inkjet print systems.

Binary & Multi-Level Screening specifically designed for inkjets will help you improve print quality, while allowing developers and end users to take full advantage of the latest print head technologies. Most software applications simply assume a press can print a perfect grid of dots, but on an inkjet press there are often variations between the control system’s aim point for an ink drop and where it actually lands. This is especially true as the speed of the substrate passing by the inkjet head increases. The Harlequin RIP included with the eLab Package includes screening tailored to mitigate artifacts specific to your press. The software's advanced 1-bit, 2-bit, or 4-bit per pixel screening is capable of producing 2, 4, or 16 gray levels, making the Harlequin RIP the perfect solution for grayscale print heads or multi-pass printing.

Our latest Advanced Inkjet Screens, Pearl and Mirror, were designed specifically for industrial inkjet equipment. The Pearl screen set was built for absorbent substrates like coated paper, while the Mirror screen set was built for non-absorbent substrates like plastics.

Solve Streaking with Pearl Advanced Inkjet Screens. On absorbent substrates, drops tend to coalesce along the substrate surface, causing visible streaking. This is especially evident in the mid and three-quarter tone areas. Pearl is an advanced dispersed (frequency modulated) screen, optimized for natural images and targeted specifically at chaining and streaking artifacts.

Drop Pattern with Conventional Screening

Drop Pattern with Pearl Screening

The images shown above have been exaggerated to make issues easily visible through multiple viewing formats.

Solve Mottling with Mirror Advanced Inkjet Screens. On non-absorbent substrates, prints are often characterized by a mottle effect that looks like orange peel. The problem appears to be triggered by ink shrinkage during the curing process; is especially noticeable in areas with reasonably high total area coverage. Mirror is designed with a microstructure targeted at countering the mottling or “orange peel” effect that can be seen when solid colors are used on nonabsorbent substrates such as tin cans, plastics, or other flexible packaging. It is also useful when dense inks such as metallics are used, or where the print should not interfere with the smoothness of the reflection from a shiny substrate.

Examples of Mottling and Quantizing

Example without Mottling or Quantizing

The images shown above have been exaggerated to make issues easily visible through multiple viewing formats.

Another common issue for industrial inkjet manufacturers is how to deal with color management. The Harlequin RIP includes a sophisticated color management system called Harlequin ColorPro™. This built-in system allows for the use and management of ICC profiles for beautiful, accurate color. Providing full support for industry standard ICC profiles including v4 and DeviceLink profiles.

ColorPro™ has been certified as a FograCert Contract Proofing System, delivering accurate colors and making optimal use of the printer’s gamut. The Harlequin RIP is CMYK and multicolor capable (CMYK+O, CMYK+V, and CMYK +OGV); the software can also process white/clear underlay or overlay, spot and flood-coat.

Accurate brand color reproduction might be difficult with other software applications, but with the Harlequin RIP, you can fine tune the output to match PANTONE®, PANTONE Plus®, or custom spot colors. Brand colors can be accurately reproduced, supported by extensible databases of ‘named colors,’ allowing you to control their exact appearance on your device. The intended color appearance is retained even when brand colors are involved in live PDF transparency and emulated in process colorants.

We realize the challenges of printing at high speeds; the Harlequin RIP helps overcome throughput issues. One obvious challenge of screening for a high-speed inkjet press is that the RIP engine must be able to screen files at high speeds in order to keep up with the output device. The Harlequin RIP is the fastest RIP on the market and includes VariData™ (Variable Data Processing). VariData™ greatly accelerates the printing of variable data jobs that are saved as PDF/VT or as regular PDF. The 64-bit architecture and flexible memory model ensure optimal use of computer horsepower while also minimizing the cost of hardware required.

eLab includes an easy-to-use interface, which gives development teams an ideal starting point for learning, testing, and configuring the Harlequin RIP. While the interface is a basic example of how the software can be used to quickly RIP PDF files to TIFF, the interface also lays the ground work for learning how the RIP operates; gives developers a place to customize the RIP and run output tests. Developers can start using the software in just three easy steps. To start, simply drag and drop PDFs into the drop zone, select a RIP configuration, and then click on an output method. Files are now ready for viewing or ready to output to a device. Developers also have access to the included pre-built test files, test configurations, ICC profiles, and PANTONE library.

Easy to use, simple, command line driven controls make the Harlequin RIP an extremely flexible solution. Screening, speed, input, and output functions allow developers to take full advantage of everything the Harlequin RIP has to offer. With this software package, a technician with reasonable print experience can have a RIP producing TIFF files ready for printing on a new inkjet system in a matter of hours.

One major benefit to using eLab is that eLab’s core Harlequin RIP technology can also be utilized as an end-user RIP application, capable of being placed into a production environment. This allows the software to be sold as a standalone solution or bundled into an existing Digital Front End (DFE) or Workflow. Depending on the application, developers can choose to integrate the ready-to-use interface or build a customized interface tailored to a specific development or production environment.

It is important for software to remain flexible during the development and engineering process; our software allows developers to manage and make configuration changes as needed. Below are just a few of the configuration settings that can be set within the software.

* Select Screening: Advanced Inkjet Screening (Pearl or Mirror), FM Screening (Stochastic), or AM Screening
* Resolution
* Positive / Negative
* Scaling
* Mirrorprint
* Job Rotation
* PDF Page Range Selection
* Variable Data
* ICC Profiles
* Color Separation including PANTONE Spot Colors
* PANTONE Spot Color Editing and Remapping
* Dot Gain Calibration
* Color and Monochrome Printing
* Automatic TIFF file naming
* Specialized TIFF File Naming Techniques
* Hot Folder Configurations for Processing PDF Files
* And more...

The eLab Package bundles the software and tools inkjet development and engineering teams need into one comprehensive solution. Below are just a few of the benefits the V12 Harlequin RIP software offers.

* Electronic Perpetual and Evaluation Licenses (no dongles required)
* Pearl and Mirror Advanced Inkjet Screen Sets
* Harlequin Dispersed Screening (HDS) / FM Screening and AM Screening
* Harlequin ColorPro™ Built-in Color Management
* Harlequin VariData™ Variable Data Processing
* PANTONE®, PANTONE Plus®, and Custom Spot Color Matching
* 64-bit Architecture
* PDF 2.0 (ISO 32000-2) Support
* Multi-Level Screening
* PDF Manuals and Tutorials

Making a long term commitment to a software purchase early on is a difficult decision to make, which is why our eLab Package is perfect for developers looking for a solution without any long term purchasing or volume commitments. If you are interested in learning more about our eLab RIP Development Package, please email

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