EFI extends Fiery Command WorkStation to inkjet printers for seamless production control

May 21, 2018

EFI has introduced two milestone digital print workflow solutions at FESPA 2018 in Berlin: a new version of Fiery® Command WorkStation® and Fiery XF 7, an updated digital front end (DFE) for EFI wide and superwide format inkjet printers.

Fiery Command WorkStation is one of the world's most popular interfaces for the management, layout, and editing of production digital print jobs. Print operations using EFI Fiery XF and Fiery proServer digital front end (DFE) print servers - including sheetfed, high-speed inkjet, wide format and superwide format printers - can now manage multiple printers across all environments from a single, easy-to-use, and familiar Command WorkStation interface. In addition, the new Fiery XF 7 digital front end for wide and superwide format printers enables production speeds up to five times faster than earlier versions.

Digital print production evolved

According to a study by Keypoint Intelligence[1], wide-format production volume is on the rise, and nearly half of the respondents across several different print organizations plan to purchase a new wide format printer in the next two years. Especially for print professionals familiar with a Fiery workflow and new to wide-format printing, the latest version of Fiery Command WorkStation will ease entry into this new revenue opportunity by making it easy to unify production operations. Using a single shared interface across multiple print technologies delivers major business benefits to digital print facilities, such as reduced operator learning curves, operational efficiencies and production staff flexibility.

Medienhaven GmbH, a digital printing company based in Bremen, Germany, was a beta site for Fiery XF 7, and has reaped the benefits.

"We like the structured and clear layout of Fiery Command WorkStation. We know it well already from the Fiery server that drives our cut-sheet print engine," stated Medienhaven Managing Director Peer Rüdiger. "It's great to have the same user interface available at different workstations to drive both our cut-sheet and wide-format printers.

"Based on our beta experience," Rüdiger added, "we estimate we'll save around 10% in downtime by not having to use different applications to administer different printer technologies and Fiery servers. Moving to Fiery XF 7 with Command WorkStation was very easy with a fast learning curve due to our familiarity with Fiery tools."

Fiery proServer and Fiery XF 7

Fiery Command WorkStation's new client and job management interface brings Fiery wide- and superwide-format printer users many productivity and usability benefits already familiar to Fiery DFE users in other print environments. It provides dedicated modules such as the visual Fiery Job Editor, enabling users to more easily focus on specific tasks such as tiling, step and repeat, or colour edits, and it offers a larger screen area for job previews and settings.

Powerful search and filtering tools deliver greater usability for finding and grouping jobs, and the context-sensitive interface only shows operators the tools they need, when and where they need them.Andy Banks, technical director of Northampton, UK-based wide-format technology reseller Nth Degree Imaging remarked, "Being able to save searches and filter at a granular level is key to ensuring automating repetitive actions and taking time and potential for error out of the production process."

Fiery automation and the associated time savings benefit a broad range of users. Daniel Judge, technical director for London-based distributor Velmex Distribution Ltd, noted, "I like that Fiery XF 7 encompasses the existing workflow automation approach, but also caters to the flexibility needed in production graphics. EFI has done a good job of understanding and addressing these requirements in this new release."

These benefits are in addition to the market-leading capabilities Fiery DFEs already deliver to wide- and superwide-format printer users such as unrivalled colour and quality, and superior productivity.

New Fiery capabilities

Continuing Fiery Command WorkStation's tradition of innovation and value, this newest release offers additional productivity-enhancing features including Archive Manager (for cut-sheet print production) and thumbnail view. Archive Manager offers a simple and safe solution to store jobs on a network location. All archived jobs are in one view, so it's easy to find and share them with other Fiery DFEs as the need arises. Thumbnail view gives users the option to visually list jobs showing their first page preview to help them find jobs faster.

Fiery make-ready enhancements include:

Better integration of Fiery Impose with Duplo finishers to automate offline finishing for custom layouts. Users can import the layout file for the Duplo finisher to set up imposition in seconds and save the setup for use with future jobs. Fiery JobMaster™ software now includes image editing features that give users the ability to touch up scanned pages without leaving the application.

"We are excited to bring 20 years of Fiery Command WorkStation innovation to our Fiery wide- and superwide-format printer users," said John Henze, vice president of Fiery marketing at EFI. "Now Fiery Driven™ print environments that include wide-format printers will experience a new level of efficiency, convenience, and productivity - which facilities need and deserve in today's fast-paced production environment."

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