Mutoh creates new generation RIP based on Harlequin technology

The Harlequin Host Renderer is being integrated into VerteLith, MUTOH’s RIP software, and will be available to MUTOH customers via a download service.

Global Graphics Software has licensed the Harlequin Host Renderer to MUTOH, the Japanese manufacturer of wide format inkjet printers and sign cutting plotters, in a contract spread over multiple years.

The agreement includes licensing Global Graphics’ new Opal Advanced Inkjet Screens to provide high-quality half-tone screening specially developed for inkjet printing.

The Harlequin Host Renderer is being integrated into VerteLith, MUTOH’s RIP software, and will be available to MUTOH customers via a download service from the beginning of November this year, initially for the UV machines VJ-1638UR/UH and XPJ-461/661UF and ultimately for all the major models sold, including the eco-solvent machines.

“By making extensive use of the Harlequin Host Renderer features”, says MUTOH’s Mr. Norishige Kakuno, Executive Engineer, “VerteLith delivers advanced features that conventional RIP software does not offer such as avoiding printing jobs incorrectly by displaying a soft proof and ripped image preview, and ink cost calculation before printing.”

“Additionally, while conventional RIP software mainly targets roll media, VerteLith is the new all-in-one RIP software covering most features required for roll media printing as well as integrating a jig layout tool to improve usability for UV flatbed printers. It saves a lot of time and effort by enabling auto-image positioning of the printing material on the flatbed table or auto-page layout on each individual jig slot. The jig layout tool is just one example of the new features being offered to improve customer’s efficiency and to develop new markets.”

With the Harlequin Host Renderer MUTOH has experienced significantly improved RIP processing times for both PDF and PostScript files as well as improved accuracy in printing PDF files with live transparency and spot colors. Features such as soft proof were easy to implement with Harlequin’s in-RIP color management and the ease of use of the Harlequin core technology shortened the development time of new features and functions.

Global Graphics’ Japanese office in Tokyo provided responsive technical support to MUTOH; they worked closely with MUTOH engineers, often with daily contact.

MUTOH expects VerteLith to lead to the development of new markets as well as being made available to existing customers. It will drive the VJ-1638UR/UH and the XPJ-461/661UF initially. The VJ-1638UR/UH printer is designed for in-store promotion prints & deco graphics, floor & window graphics, customized structured wallpapers, event banners and exhibition graphics whereas the XPJ-461/661UF produces added value personalized prints and bespoke small-lot production of commercial and industrial print applications such as printing on phone covers, promotional items, small signs, and small series production or prototyping of packaging samples, or decorative tiles.

The Harlequin Host Renderer is a Raster Image Processor, or RIP. A RIP is a tool for converting a page description language such as PostScript or PDF into a format that a printing device such as an inkjet printhead, toner marking engine or laser platesetter can understand. The format that it outputs may be a raster file format such as TIFF, or it may be a stream of raster data that is delivered more or less directly to the printing device. The exact format delivered may be tuned for each integration.