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Global Graphics Software Obtains Patent for Variable Data Optimization

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Global Graphics Software, a Hybrid Software Group company, was granted a U.S. patent for “Methods and Systems for Organizing Variable Data Documents, Including Those with Long Repeat Lengths” (U.S. Patent No. 11,334,303) by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent covers how a digital printer’s control system decides which pages to send to which RIP in a RIP farm – where multiple RIPs are running simultaneously – to optimize their delivery.

Global Graphics Software is a developer of software components for digital printing, including the Harlequin RIP, Direct range and ScreenPro, which drive data through digital presses and ensure high quality output.

The patent describes a solution to the challenge of scheduling the submission of pages from a variable data job to each RIP in a farm of RIPs, given the conflicting requirements of:

  • Desiring that pages are delivered in the order required for printing, to minimize memory requirements and the risk of RIPs blocking waiting for pages that arrive late
  • Want each RIP to receive as many pages with the same reused elements as possible to maximize the effectiveness of variable data optimization.

Justin Bailey, Managing Director of Global Graphics Software, said, “In combination with several other related patents, Global Graphics Software continues to innovate on behalf of our OEM customers by developing technologies and products that can drive their digital presses at high speed, but with the minimal BOM of materials for their digital front ends.

“Digital print OEMs want to pull page frames from the RIP farm in the order they need to be printed,” he continues. “But this competes with the need to process them efficiently and quickly by sending collections of pages with reused graphics or elements to the same RIP in the farm. This patent aims to optimize the planning and the way variable data is handled in the RIP. Our method is one of the reasons why our Harlequin brand is the fastest on the market.

“We are delighted that this invention has been recognized by a US patent,” he concludes. “This method reduces the BOM for an OEM building a press because you need less RAM. The risk of starving the press and leaving it idle is reduced because the pages are ready on time. Finally, the overall average throughput on the press is maximized because you maximize the efficiency of variable data optimization.

This patented method is used by the Harlequin RIP, Harlequin Core; Harlequin Direct and SmartDFE.