Version 4 of its Harlequin RIP, designed for high-speed digital printers, has added colour tools including calibration support and Harlequin SetGold, which pre-sets the grey balance and ink limiting ahead of colour profiling, reducing variation that occurs over time and between presses.

According to the developer, Version 4 is able to produce pre-compressed, unscreened output in 10- and 12-bit depths, minimising artefacts when final calibration is carried out post-RIP. Additionally calibration information can now be installed by providing data in a range of measurement systems; press vendors no longer need to pre-compute compensation curves.

Global Graphics chief technical officer Martin Bailey said: “Version 4 drives down Digital Front End costs because it boosts the performance the processors can achieve. It also extends the infrastructure around high-quality colour management within the RIP to make it even easier to meet your requirements for colour-matching and maximising gamut while limiting ink usage.”

He added: “This takes quite a chunk of work and cost out of integration for the press vendors. And in many cases for the end-user it is going to make the calibration easier for them too, with more accurate results.

“We try to respond to both our direct OEMs and our end-users. We are continually told that the two key areas for digital production, where some of our competitors come up short, are around repeatability and screening. These upgrades are seeding in to those spaces.”

The upgrade has been shipped to OEMs with release dependent on individual vendors.

The company said that speed tests last year showed that Harlequin Host Renderer delivered pages “far in excess” of the industry’s highest performing digital presses. The RIP includes Harlequin Varidata, which accelerates the processing time of PDF/VT files as well as regular PDF files containing variable data.

Digital presses currently driven by Harlequin Host Renderer include HP’s Indigo range and T-series high-speed web presses, as well as presses from SIS, TKS and Miyakoshi.