XMF V6.1 Hybrid Workflow featuring Adobe Mercury RIP Architecture

Dramatically Improved Productivity through Parallel Processing Creates Big Impression

April 30, 2015

Hybrid workflow system XMF V6.1 attracted great attention at the Japanese exhibition “PAGE2015” held in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, between February 4-6. The new product attracted particular attention was the latest version of the product, which achieves dramatic improvements in processing capacity as a result of using Fujifilm's proprietary technology to expand Mercury RIP Architecture, the high-speed rendering technology from Adobe. This combination achieves unprecedented workflow productivity and facilitates efficient, strategic usage of various devices including digital presses. At page 2015, this unparalleled processing speed and the concrete benefits of introducing the technology were explained to attendees through presentations, seminars and a chance to see the actual product.

In 2013, becomes world's first product to adopt Mercury RIP Architecture

With the 2013 release of the V5.5, XMF became the first product in the world to adopt Mercury RIP Architecture as its rendering core. The new product greatly improved processing speed for digital printing, while also making variable printing significantly more efficient. Mercury RIP Architecture's technology was developed in order to “improve productivity when outputting large page volumes or variable data using a digital press.” Through the use of a distributed multiple-layer cache function and direct-load balancing function, the system maximizes the performance of the hardware, allowing parallel processing of the calculations in multiple pages. Through the use of this technology, XMF V5.5 enabled more flexible and efficient use of digital presses such as the Jet Press 720.
However, if we look at how XMF is actually used, we can see that, particularly in Japan, there are a very large number of workflows that incorporate both CTP + offset printing and digital printing. Therefore, Fujifilm has worked to optimize Mercury RIP Architecture for such hybrid systems with its proprietary technology in order to maximize its benefits, making it possible not only to carry out parallel processing for multiple pages but also to carry a parallel processing for multiple jobs. This is all possible with the latest version XMF 6.1.

A single unit now has the RIP processing capacity of five CTP setters

By implementing parallel processing of multiple jobs based on the Mercury RIP Architecture, XMF V 6.1 is able to achieve incredibly fast calculation processing speeds, which, depending on the operating environment and other factors, may reach twice to 10 times the speed of traditional workflows. What's more, the new workflow doesn't simply result in faster processing speed, it can also be used to determine priorities depending on the content of each job and make flexible adjustments to allocate resources appropriately to each process. For example, to prioritize previews and remote proof by a client executed via XMF Remote, 80% of the CPU processing capacity can be allocated to the remote proof and the remaining 20% allocated to output jobs. It is possible to change priority settings depending on circumstances.
XMF 6.1 also significantly improves equipment utilization ratios. When simultaneous output to CTPs, proofread and digital presses is required, the system is able to minimize wait time allowing for the effective operation of each output device without downtime. Moreover, a single XMF unit can be used to do the equivalent volume of RIP processing as five CTP setters (67-plate setters), which means that the number of RIP devices per output device can be significantly reduced. This not only reduces expenses and man-hours required for control, but also can ensures the consistency of calculations between output devices at all times.

Providing innovative new advantages through synergies between Adobe and Fujifilm technology

Synergies between Adobe's highly advanced rendering technology and Fujifilm's proprietary software technology brought about unprecedentedly high workflow productivity, which realized efficient and strategic use of various devices, particularly digital presses. Adobe's Senior Product Manager Mark Lewiecki describes the advantages of XMF V6.1 that have been achieved through cooperation between the two companies.
"We are delighted that Fujifilm is continuing to develop XMF using the Adobe PDF Print Engine technology as a base. Mercury RIP Architecture is an expandable platform that facilitates parallel processing of various Adobe PDF Print Engine instances. Mercury RIP Architecture makes good use of the most recent CPU's multicore by integrating multiple instances from Adobe PDF Print Engine and balancing the workload. In other words, even on extremely high-volume jobs, pages can be processed one by one after allocated to each core. We are sure that Fujifilm's customers will definitely recognize the system's revolutionary productivity when they use XMF which is based on Adobe Print Engine 3 and Mercury RIP Architecture."

Fujifilm is committed to further enhancing the functionality of XMF, the essential of the workflow, in order to help users improve their corporate value and expand their businesses.

[Image]Mark Lewiecki of Adobe (right) with Hitoshi Yoshida FFGS Chairman & Chief Representative Derector at the page 2015 FFGS booth.
[Image]The page 2015 workflow demonstration area where attendees saw XMF V6.1 in action   The advantages of XMF were also explained in a seminar.