Internal Fiery Vs External Fiery
Hi All, I've been using a CPP550 and a CPP650 from Ikon, both with external rips (PRO80 and S450 respectively) and they've worked great. We're discussing upgrading to a new KM C6000 and the sales rep is trying to convince me to go with their IC-413 internal (bustled) Fiery RIP and not to bother spending the money on the external IC-306. I believe the quality of these internal RIPs have improved quite a bit over the years but will it be powerful enough for my commercial print environment where quality is our main concern? I regularly RIP very large files but I am willing to wait a little longer. Colour control is a much bigger concern of mine. Also, I read somewhere that you can't directly import a pdf file into the internals, only ps files, is that right? Any advise at all would be appreciated!
You sure CAN import a PDF to IC-413!
Your KM sales rep should be able to compare IC-413 and IC306 for you so you can determine which is appropriate for your needs.
I'm pleased your existing external RIPs have worked well for you; I think staying with an external RIP with a new engine can make a lot of sense, depending on the needs of your shop.
Overall the hardware of an external RIP will provide more processing power than a bustled RIP, which can be critical for throughput of larger files.
The external RIP definitely has more functionality than the bustled RIP, although the bustled RIPs have more functionality in them then anyone knows about. Some of this functionality can be made up in option packages such as hot folders/virtual printers and the productivity packages. There is other functionality only available on the external RIPs (depending on the actual model), however, such as the Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE) and variable data language support such as PPML (all Fierys come standard with the FreeForm variable data solution). While the bustled and external RIPs both share the same color management systems, only the external RIPs can support the Graphic Arts, Premium Package Edition option package which provides the most powerful color control options. There are other differences, too, but those are the ones that leap to mind.
When using a Fiery a commercial printing environment, we usually recommend the performance and functionality of the external RIPs over the bustled RIPs.
Can't speak to the IKON system directly, but I will tell you this: watch out for the configuration of the bustled RIP. Your guy is focusing on price price price price price, wanting you to BUY right NOW. It's up to you to get the details correct.
It's possible that the bustled Fiery is configured in such a way that the base system is good only for basic office printing, and that everything you've come to know that makes up a Fiery is broken out into one or more option packages. Such is the way of the price driven world--"look, we can make a price point if we pull out everything that makes an InDesign document print correctly".
Whatever you get, you need to focus on capabilities--specific capabilities. Put together in writing a specific and detailed requirements document, and have the salesguy sign off that what he's selling you will in fact perform to those requirements.
Start with looking at the brochures. They may try to hide the specifics, but it should all be spelled out there.
As to your question of "directly import a PDF," that's a broad question. You can directly import a PDF into any Fiery; it's what happens to that PDF that's in question. You want to know if whatever you're getting has the Adobe PDF Print Engine installed or not. That will give the maximum capability with respect to PDF, especially in this day and age (and for the next five years!). Without APPE, you're stuck back in the 90s with a straight Postscript RIP, which will continue to fall further and further behind with respect to your customer jobs and its ability to process them well/correctly. Without APPE you'll be able to import PDFs, but the Fiery will continue to turn them to flat Postscript prior to sending them through the RIP process.
Personally, I think it's a bad idea today NOT to get APPE on any sort of production color device. You'd be throwing your money away. You may get an attractively priced product, but you'd end up with a boat anchor.
I'm guessing the bustled Fiery does not have APPE. Again, ASK. And if it's a requirement for you, spell it out before you buy.
OK, so the spec sheet is here:
with regard to the two Fiery options, it's ambiguous; it doesn't actually SAY Adobe PDF Print Engine, but it implies such with the external. That needs to be clarified. Take a close look at the specs.
I see no mention of the Fiery Graphic Arts Package on the bustled unit; does it have spot color matching support, for example? Specifically WHAT graphic arts capabilities does the bustled unit have?
Also consider variable data handling. Notice that the external can OPTIONALLY (cheap bastages) be equipped to ingest PPML and VPS variable streams, as well as optimized PS and PDF. The bustled cannot. If you're not doing VI today, you will be tomorrow.
You're in a complex situation, and whatever you do--remember that just like a car salesman, your salesguy does this for a living while you do it once in a blue moon. Protect yourself and don't get caught up in HIS needs; stick to protecting yourself and making sure that YOUR needs are met. If you don't know, ask. If you want to check his answers, come here or find a prepress or digital printing forum.
Slow down, and take your time. The system will always be available. You don't have to rush. And remember--in the computer world, things never get more expensive. They only get cheaper.
The last thing you want to do is be caught by surprise with five years of payments on a system that doesn't do what you need it to do.
I've searched but cannot find info on the Productivity Package for bustled Fierys. The EFI web page lists benefits but not what features or options the Productivity Package consists of. Can you help?
Edit: Never mind! Found it! The feature set apparently varies by manufacturer/model. http://w3.efi.com/en/fiery/Products/...ckage/Features
Last edited by Steve0; 11-16-2011 at 11:05 AM.