Anyone who has operated a Harlequin RIP during the past 15 years is very familiar with the interface and functionality. It has barely changed at all during that time. Some affectionately refer to as “utilitarian;” nothing fancy. Nothing flashy. For many users, this is fine. It means that they can quickly and efficiently make changes as necessary and understand how the RIP is performing.
For others, it might be a little too simple. Especially when you think about things like job submission, job previewing, and multiple operator access. These are often identified as “under-performing.” When users mention them, I get to talk about my favorite features in Navigator Server, Xitron’s economical Harlequin workflow module.
Navigator Server takes a fast, accurate, Harlequin RIP and makes it better by addressing basic shortcomings like these. Instead of having to use spool folders, NT pipes, or the print dialog in the RIP, Navigator Server provides operators with simple, network-based drag & drop functionality. It provides visual feedback of job progress and allows re-ordering of jobs based on priority, as well as easy re-submission with alternate settings.
Instead of users having only two preview magnifications, which is what the RIP provides, Navigator Server offers more than 20. Operators have full zoom control with the ability to check traps, verify densities, and examine dot and separation accuracy before committing jobs to metal or film. Perhaps most importantly though, Navigator Server provides this functionality to as many operators as needed . . .concurrently. Instead of only one person having access at a time (and having to physically go to the RIP platform in order to interact with it), Navigator Server provides client software that allows them to control all RIP functionality right from their own desktop.
The increase in usability and productivity is measurable. If you haven’t looked at Navigator’s workflow module, take a few minutes to check it out. It’s available for almost any Harlequin RIP and is easily installed and configured.