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Mimaki creates new RIP Rasterlink7 with Harlequin

Global Graphics Software has licensed its Harlequin RIP to Mimaki Engineering to create the new RIP software RasterLink7 available with Mimaki printers worldwide from December 2020.

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“Mimaki printers are used by sign and graphics, textile and apparel, and industrial printing professionals around the globe,” said Global Graphics in a statement. “RasterLink7 improves performance and enhances quality as well as introducing new features such as variable data printing for applications such as sports apparel, card printing, name tags stickers and labels. Shipments are expected to be in the region of 10,000 Units a year.”

RasterLink7 was announced by Mimaki on 4 November at the European launch of the JV100-160 and UJV100-160 presses for sign and graphics.

“Our objective in choosing Harlequin as the core of our genuine Mimaki RIP is to improve the performance of our products,” says Satoshi Kaneko, GM of software design department, Mimaki Engineering. “Customers will see that the RIP processing time for PDF files is considerably shortened.  There are significant quality improvements too; PDF transparency processes correctly and we have found that the expression of thin lines is improved.”

Global Graphics’ local office in Tokyo provided technical support to Mimaki, working with Mimaki engineers in a number of areas including multi-layer printing, the replacement of colours in graduated tints, exporting contours for cutters, and the addition of texts and graphics to submitted jobs for variable data printing. 

The variable data feature was implemented using the dynamic overlays in Harlequin which are designed for printing applications that require a simple form of VDP support. It combines a single background page with overlay graphics, such as text and images, that are selected using data from a file supplied in CSV format.

Harlequin 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.

Global Graphics Software develops technology for digital print, including the Harlequin RIP®, ScreenPro™, the Direct™ product range, and Mako™. Customers include HP, Canon, Durst, Roland,  Kodak and Agfa. The roots of the company go back to 1986 and to the iconic university town of Cambridge, and, today the majority of the R&D team is still based near there.