Configuring SmartFlexo with the Navigator Workflow

SmartFlexo is a screening module that allows users to screen continuous tone color and separated TIFF files using a technology that vastly improves the quality of flexographic printing. Used in conjunction with the Navigator RIP in the Navigator Flexo Suite, SmartFlexo screening provides precise control over the entire screening process including, separations, angles, scaling, curves, and spot colors.

Smart Flexo accepts contone tiff files via a hot folder as an input and delivers screened, 1-bit tiff files to a configurable output folder. 

The following guide is designed to get your up and running using Navigator and the SmartFlexo Screening Module. It's possible to configure the system in multiple different ways depending on your requirements. 

Workflow Diagram

Configuring a Navigator workflow with Smart Flexo Screening Module

  1. On the Navigator RIP, configure a tiff page setup with a "CMYK Seperations (Contone)" separation style. Set the resolution to the final output resolution of your imaging device. In the Tiff Configuration, set the tiff to output into a folder that will be read by Smart Flexo. For instance, C:\Navigator\SmartFlexo Input\.  For more details on configuring page setups, consult the Navigator Users Manual.
  2. Create w RIP workflow that rips the job using the page setup created in step one.  The workflow will RIP the job and deliver composite tiff files into a hot folder that the Smart Flexo Screening module is monitoring. A pause after the RIP step is optional.  For more details on creating a workflow, consult the Navigator Server Users Guide.

  3. Create an "Output" workflow. This workflow will gather the screened tiffs from SmartFlexo and combine them into one job that's viewable in Navigator's viewing tool. Add an export action that exports your files into their final output destination, usually the imaging devices hot folder

  4. Configure the SmartFlexo application. For a detailed guide on configuring SmartFlexo consult the SmartFlexo Quick Start Guide.
    Configure the input folder to the tiff output folder setup in step one. (For Example C:\Navigator\SmartFlexo Input\).
    Configure the output folder to point at the workflow folder for the workflow created in step 3. (For Example C:\Navigator\Workflows\2. Output Viewer)

  5. To start SmartFlexo, click the "Apply Screening Template" button, followed by the "Start Screening" button.
  6. In order for the viewer in the Navigator Client to preview jobs properly, a Tiff Pagination Filter must be configured to match the naming template of the incoming tiff files. To configure this, choose "Jobs" from the Navigator Client menu, and then click "Viewer Properties". In the "TIFF Pagination Filter" section click the plus button. For files that come from SmartFlexo, use the following Filter as shown below:
    Click "Add". Make sure the newly created filter is selected in the drop-down menu, and click "OK"

Configuring a workflow with SmartFlexo and Navigator Plate Controller

Navigator Plate Controller is a layout tool that can be used to group multiple plates on one larger sheet.

 Smart Flexo accepts 1-bit tiff files or LEN files and outputs imposed 1-bit tiff files. 

 Workflow Diagram

Configuring a Navigator workflow with Plate Controller

  1. Create an input folder for Navigator Plate Controller to accept jobs from. For example,  "C:\Navigator\Plate Controller Input"
  2. If you are using Plate Controller with Smart Flexo, follow the steps above to configure Navigator and SmartFlexo. Create an export action at the end of the output workflow that exports the tiff files into the input folder created above. 
  3. If you are not using Plate Controller, adjust the Tiff output folder in the Navigator Page Setup to deliver tiffs to the workflow created above.
  4. Consult the Plate Manager Users Guide for more information.