Global Graphics Software has been granted a US patent for 'Methods and Systems for Enhancing Raster Image Processing Using Artificial Intelligence.' The technology can ‘deconstruct any PDF print job’ so operators can plan production processes.
“Real-time inline rasterisation of variable data for high-speed digital presses poses a significant challenge, as it requires a very high constant rate of raster data to be delivered to the press,” said Global Graphics Software, a Hybrid Software Group company and developer of software and DFEs for manufacturers of digital printers.
“With this invention, the company’s SmartDFE, a digital front end (DFE) for high-speed industrial inkjet presses, harnesses the power of AI and machine learning to create an intelligent Rip model, uniquely tailored to each press manufacturer’s chosen computing hardware and encompassing an extensive range of over 1000 PDF operations which take place in the Harlequin Rip that powers SmartDFE.
“Once trained, this model can deconstruct any PDF print job and predict the minimum constant raster data rate and hence the printing speed that can be achieved, so press operators can make informed decisions and plan their production processes. This data-driven approach allows SmartDFE to automatically fine-tune the Rip settings for each job.”
Eric Worrall (pictured right), inventor of the technology and VP products and services at Global Graphics said: “Unfortunately, the diversity of PDF files and computing hardware ensures that very complex jobs may process too slowly for inline rasterisation. Compounding this issue is the vast number of PDF creators in the market, who prioritize design flexibility without considering rasterisation or printing. Digital press operators have been forced to process jobs in advance - while their press sits idle - or to process jobs inline and hope that the DFE can provide data at the speed of the digital press. This risk has made the production use of inline Rips for high- speed inkjet presses impractical until now.
“We applied for this patent two years ago, long before artificial intelligence became an everyday term. But this is a very practical application of AI that solves some long-standing challenges in inkjet production printing. By applying this invention to the Harlequin DirectTM technology in SmartDFE, we have the first true production-quality solution for inline rasterization on high-speed digital presses.”
SmartDFE has been co-developed using components from other Hybrid Software Group companies including Hybrid Software’s STEPZ and its Cloudflow workflow automation. SmartDFE includes support for Meteor Inkjet’s printhead drive electronics and software.