Release 6.0 of Navigator DFE for DuraFlex contains new features as well as feature enhancements.   Release notes are here. 

The changes are organized in this document by where the changes appear in the software: Navigator Server, the DFE web client, or NCE (Navigator Configurations Editor).


Navigator Server:

DuraFlex R6 supports the Harlequin Core scalable RIP. Depending on the number of RIP licenses you’ve purchased in conjunction with your hardware configuration it may be possible to enable additional RIPs for processing. To access or change these settings, go to Workflow actions > Render Action.

Specific settings for this window are as follows:

  1. # RIPs per PC: This will correlate with the number of RIP licenses you have purchased. Enter the number of desired RIPs in this input field.   Consult your support representative for help configuring the RIP instances correctly.  This will be much easier in version 6.1 when we do some streamlining. A base system should have "1" under 'RIPs per PC'.  So far, so good.  If you have a 2 RIP system you need to enter 3.  Why?  Because the scalable RIP uses 1 RIP instance as a control RIP and then does the Rendering in a 2nd and 3rd RIP.    A 4 RIP system should say "5".  We'll likely hide the existence of the control RIP from the user in a future version to try and eliminate confusion and misconfiguration.  
  2. # Threads per RIPThe number in this field should reflect the number of colors you are printing. This setting is per RIP instance. Ex: If you are printing CMYK, then you would want this value to be 4 regardless of the number of RIP instances. If you are printing a single color you would want to enter 1 in this field. Depending on your specific implementation this number may be deviate from this general rule.
  3. Memory per RIP: This will be limited by the amount of RAM in your PC. Increasing this value may or may not affect the performance of your RIP. 



Additional options have been added to the Advanced Device Configuration for DuraFlex. With the changes to the printer firmware, it is now necessary to set the actual media path speed. For both 954DPI and 1600DPI the media transport speed must be set in this window. If Maximum speed is selected in the DFE web client, the value for the associated resolution in this window will be used.


  1. Press Speed: The pulldown has both resolutions listed here. Settings will be saved from this window when you close the Device Manager window. Generally speaking, 32 inches/second would be the maximum speed for 954DPI and 16 inches/second is the maximum for 1600DPI. You may alter these settings depending on your environment and substrates.
  2. TOF Media Offset (in uMeters):  This is a during-printer-installation configuration and not intended to be changed unless you permanently change the position of your TOF (Top Of Form) sensor. Previously controlled under the Media Ready Offset setting in hwparamstore.json.  Values entered here will override the setting in hwparamstore.json.   Please note that if you are wishing to change the TOF Media Offset value temporarily, this is done in the DFE’s Device Configuration window. This process is described later in this documentation.
  3. Hydration Control: This button is used to open the Hydration Control window. Settings specific to spit and keep wet spit controls are located in this window.  See below for details on this area.
  4. Tiff Input Settings: Check this if you will be using TIFF files as input for printing. Details outlining this new feature will be described in a different section of this document. This should remain unchecked unless you are using TIFFs as input files.  Standard usage dictates using PDFs as input files.  See more about this here.

Hydration Control.

With the DuraFlex printer firmware version 5.2.1 additional controls have been added to more precisely define how declog and spit settings are applied. If you are uncertain how these should be set, please reach out to your vendor to clarify what would be best based on your production needs.

To get to these controls, click the "Hydration Control" button.



Explanation of the diagram in this dialog box:  This is meant to show 2 pages (P1 and P2) traveling from left to right.  

The first hydration control activity is (4) the first page declog spit.  The next hydration control setting is (6) Pre-Page spit gap.  Then comes the first printed page.  After that is (3) an interpage spit bar.  Next comes the (5) secondary page spit.  In this case "secondary" means "subsequent" as all pages after the first page declog spit will use the secondary page spit length value.  Then comes (6) the gap between spit and the next page again.  After that comes page 2.  Finally, the next interpage spit bar.  The sequence will begin again with another secondary page spit and continue to the end of your print job from there.


  1. Declog mode: There are several options for the declog mode that you may wish to adjust based on the type of substrate you are running or based on your unique production needs. Modes available as follows:
    1. NONE
    2. PRE_PAGE
    3. FIRST_PAGE
    4. ALL_PAGES
    5. SACRIFICIAL_ONLY
    6. SACRIFICIAL_ALL
    7. SYSTEM_DEFAULT

 

Declog Descriptions

NONE

No declog function will be performed.  You can still have interpage spit bars if you separately choose that.

 

PRE_JOB

Declog is performed simultaneously on all printheads before the first page has started printing. The ejected ink is not synchronized to land on the first pre-page spit target area so this mode is unsuitable for use in printers that are unable to capture ink ejected in such a manner.

Note that PRE_JOB declog is incompatible with the inter-page spit option being enabled.

 

FIRST_PAGE

Declog is performed onto the pre-page spit target area of only the first page in a job chain.  Needs about 80mm or 9000um

   

ALL_PAGES

Declog is performed prior to printing every page in a job chain. Ink is ejected onto the pre-page spit target area of both the first page and secondary pages.

 

SACRIFICIAL_ONLY

Declog is only performed onto the first page of media arriving during a print session, in an area starting at the top of page and of length specified by the sacrificialPageLength setting within the hwparamstore.json file. The first page of the job chain is printed on the second page of media. No declog is performed in the pre-page spit target area of any page.

 

SACRIFICIAL_ALL  

Declog is performed onto the first page of media arriving during a print session, in an area starting at the top of page and of length specified by the sacrificialPageLength setting within the hwparamstore.json file. No declog is performed onto that page's pre-page spit target area.   The first page of the job chain is printed on the second page of media. That and all subsequent pages are treated as secondary pages, and regular declog is performed onto their pre-page spit target areas.


SYSTEM DEFAULT

returns the system to using the declog settings manually configured in the hwparamstore.json file on the printer.


  1. Pre-Page Spit Intensity:  Density.  The entries in this pulldown are based on 0-100%. The intensity will depend on your needs based on the substrate you are running, environmental considerations, etc.
  2. Enable Inter-Page Spit Bars: This was the previous KWS (Keep Wet Spit) behavior. Enabling this will eject a spit bar between pages/prints if room allows. Enabling and disabling this will depend on your unique needs.
  3. First Page Spit Length: This is the length of the KWS ejection prior to running the first page of each print job.  Needs 80mm or 80000um.  So perhaps a setting of 90mm/90000um will give a little buffer area.
  4. Secondary Page Spit Length:  All subsequent pages.  This setting defines the length of the KWS ejection before the printing of each subsequent page after the first page of the job. It may be necessary for the first page KWS to be much larger than the secondary KWS length if adequate amounts of ink are being plaid down based on the content of the job and/or other factors.  Minimum setting = 1800um
  5. Pre-Page Spit Gap: This defines the space between the end of the KWS ejection and the top of each page that is printed after the first page has completed.
  6. Units. This pulldown has different options for the units that you wish to enter the values for in this window.


 

 

Navigator Configurations Editor.

NCE has had several modifications for this release. A help button (“?” ) has been added to the upper right of each screen which will navigate you to a help page that goes into more detail about each individual function. Aside from the addition of the help button and the change in appearance, unless otherwise noted the functionality will have remained unchanged.





Render Configs :

1. Tone curve selection has been moved from the Color Profiles screen to the Render Configs screen. The reason for this change was to allow for more control over the way that tone curves are selected and applied within the job editor within the DFE. Tone curves can be used in one of two ways. Both are described below.

  1. Tone curves as calibration.  Tone curves generated by a third party application for grey balance and ink limiting in preparation for ICC profiling.  e.g. Curve.  
  2. Tone curves as color adjustments.   It is possible to create, copy or delete user-defined tone curves. These can be used to give more finite control over the appearance of a print by manually defining how each color is rendered similar to how the curves adjustment tool within Photoshop does. Values are entered manually.





Color Profiles :

  1. The Color Profiles screen has been rearranged.
    1. Tone curve import and selection has been moved to the Render Configs screen. Functionality has otherwise remained the same.




 




An additional tab has been added to manage tone curves. The specifics of the controls for this page are outlined below.

  1. Create Tone Curve button: It is now possible to create a tone curve by entering values.
  2. Copy Tone Curve button: You can now duplicate any manually created tone curve.
  3. Delete Tone Curve button: It is now possible to remove tone curves from the list of available tone curves.
  4. Text entry fields: It is now posible to enter generated measurement values from a third party application, or define your own general changes more specifically than you are able to do within the DFE job editor with the sliders. This will allow you to be specific about what is happening in each color channel in the highlights, midtones and shadows.
  5. Importing of tone curves is exactly as it was previously. This set of buttons have moved here from the Color Profiles page.
  6. During tone curve creation or modification it is possible to select the color with values you wish to applit to other color channels from the channel on the left. An exampe of this would be if you wanted to copy the values that you made under section 4 for one color and apply it to the other channels prior to further modifications.


 



DFE

The DFE has had several changes and improvements. The major feature enhancements have to do with TOF controls, the job editor, queue sorting, and columns in the active and recent jobs tabs. Specific changes have been listed below:



  1. Top of Form Adjustment: This input field is for entering an additional TOF adjustment on top of the position that exists in the Advanced Device Settings within the Navigator Server application. This will assist in offsetting the content of a job toward or away from the TOF sensor when setting up bleed jobs or in other special circumstances.

Note and/or warning:  

If you are making changes to the hydration settings when a value already exists in this input field, please double-check your positioning once you have the desired hydration settings in place.  You may end up with declog or spit bars on your printed piece.  




Jobs table columns

The ability to toggle different job property and information tabs has been added to the DuraFlex system settings screen within the DFE. To access the selection screen for the tabs, click the gear icon from the main job list page of the DFE, then click the grid icon located where the “1” callout is shown on this screen capture. The items toggled on or off on this screen will be reflected in the Print Queue and the Recent Jobs tabs.







Column sorting has been added to Print Queue and the Recent Jobs queue. To sort by each column you can click the column heading to sort by that column. Clicking the same column heading will toggle between ascending and descending order.  THIS CHANGES THE PRINT ORDER.

It is also possible to rearrange the order of the columns by clicking and dragging a column heading to the desired position within the list of columns.

It is still possible to rearrange items in the print queue by dragging and dropping the position of a job in the list, so you could sort by one criteria, and then alter the list from that sorted state based on your needs.

Specifics on the new columns and/or how job properties are reflected in the print queue are listed below:

  1. Job number: The Navigator job number.
  2. Quantity: This hasn’t changed, but it does now have an effect on the Printed column. For example, if you have a 20 page job and you have selected 5 copies before queueing or requeuing, the Printed column will show 0/100. This allows a user to see how much of a given substrate will be needed to produce the job.
  3. Printed: This will reflect the number of pages already printed out of the entire page count.
  4. Last Printed: This is a date and time stamp of the last time this job was printed. If the field is blank, the job hasn’t had any pages printed yet.
  5. Media Size: Sort by media size.  Width first. (which is most important because that's how job chaining is determined)
  6. Date/Time: This is the date and time the job was imported.
  7. Paper: This is the selected Color Profile for all jobs in the list.
  8. In workflows that utilize hot folders this column indicates which hotfolder/workflow the job was created from.



 

 

 

The Full Job Editor window has undergone a a few significant changes

The pulldowns for items 1, 2 and 3 of this list are bound to the Quality pulldown to get default settings. The Quality pulldown is essentially the Render Config list from within the NCE. The following items can be overridden from what exists in the Quality/Render Config pulldown:

  1. Paper: This is the list of available ICC profiles that are available in your system.
  2. Calibration: This will override the default calibration selected in the Quality/Render Config pulldown.

*Note: If a render config and calibration have the exact same name, that calibration will override any item selected in this pulldown.

  1. Tone Curve: This pulldown contains the list of available tone curves that are defined in the NCE.
  2. DuraFlex button: This is for entering the speed of the media transport on your unit. A more detailed description is located below.

 

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Printer speed controls.

  • Maximum Speed, checked: This is default.  This will use the setting from Navigator Server for your chosen resolution. The Server settings for this are on the DuraFlex System Device Advanced dialog. (See above for a picture)  The speed may be set individually for Y resolution 954lpi and 1600lpi. These are initially defaulted to sensible values and stored in the system device database. 
  • Maximum Speed, unchecked.  Enter the speed for the media transport system, on a per job basis, in the field here.  

The values are prioritised thus:

  1. Uncheck Maximum Speed in the DFE and enter a value.    This can be set on a per-job basis via the DFE. This overrides any setting in the Server.
  2. Check Maximum Speed in the DFE to use the Server values. (default). There are two maximum speeds.  One per resolution.