Fiery Preflight Pro: Troubleshooting jobs “in” the workflow

EFI Fiery DFEs have been driving digital printers for over 30 years. As digital printers and the market demands they serve evolve, there is a need for more automated preflight at the production level to ensure process consistency, EFI has ensured their DFE meets to these challenges with their customers in mind. This includes the all-new Fiery Preflight Pro, available for the Fiery FS500 Pro and newer servers.

This article is sponsored by EFI, makers of Fiery Preflight Pro, as part of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software Product Spotlight series. In preparing this article, the writers at WhatTheyThink Print Software Section conducted original and in-depth research on the company and the product. This Product Spotlight describes what publishers believe are the strengths of the company and the product in the market. EFI checked the final article for accuracy, but had no editorial control over the content.


EFI™ provides Fiery® DFE (Digital Front End) and workflow solutions for digital printers for over 30 years. In fact, Fiery is the leading DFE platform for digital printing and can be used to drive high-speed cut-sheet or inkjet production printers from Canon, Xerox, Konica Minolta, Ricoh and Landa, for to name just a few. However, Fiery also drives many corporate printers in offices. In 30 years, more than 2 million Fiery servers have been installed worldwide.

Ever since there have been digital printers, there has always been a need to identify problems in incoming digital files. Preflight apps have been around as long as digital printing, usually as prepress apps that were developed to address these issues before printing. Standalone prepress preflight applications are usually complete, but require installation. They may be too complex for some less experienced users or even insufficient for unique applications, such as those printing to a device from a variable data stream like VIPP or an application print driver.

Fiery Preflight and Preflight Pro

To address these issues, EFI internally developed and introduced Fiery Preflight as part of the optional Fiery Graphic Arts Package in 2004. It was designed to provide basic preflight functionality for incoming PostScript and PDF files. This feature includes checking for image resolution, available fonts, spot colors, thin lines, missing variable data resources, and more. Fiery Preflight also checked for job resources directly on the Fiery server (such as missing spot colors), which was a unique capability. For example, other preflight software might call spot colors but would not know if they were configured correctly on the Fiery server.

As expected, you can launch Fiery Preflight from Fiery Command WorkStation or you can assign preflight settings to Hot Folders to preflight incoming files.

Interestingly, while PDF is the preferred format for professional print reproduction, still today between 60-70% of all jobs submitted to Fiery DFEs are PostScript-based, typically sent directly from the driver printing. In fact, Fiery Preflight was originally developed to solve one of the biggest problems encountered by users with PostScript: the incorrect use of the setpagedevice operator. The PostScript setpagedevice operator is used to send instructions to the printer regarding paper attributes, finishing attributes, etc. printer driver, so this is a very powerful feature. However, print devices that are not directly connected to the print driver may send instructions that are not available in the printer and may cause an error or produce unexpected results, such as the wrong orientation of a page. on the stand. So EFI has created specific setpagedevice fixes, so you can set and override the properties you need from your incoming postscript file.

Fiery Preflight Pro

Today, some of the Fiery DFE servers increasingly support more powerful professional digital production printing devices such as Nozomi, Landa, etc., and the recently introduced Fiery Impress.MT, a turnkey DFE for digital printing and industrial applications. As a result, DFE and preflight requirements have exceeded those of the old Fiery Preflight. EFI offers Fiery JobFlow as an option, which includes Enfocus PitStop, to meet many of the prepress needs associated with workflow and printing PDF files on these new, more powerful devices, but they have determined that a control solution powerful and inclusive upstream for professional printing applications was guaranteed.

Fiery Preflight Pro was recently introduced for Fiery FS500 Pro external servers as part of the Fiery Graphic Arts Pro package, a set of tools that help customers identify and correct potential printing problems before they occur. result in unnecessary work, eliminating the need to go back to prepress. or the designer. The intention, according to the company, was to provide a more powerful PDF preflight tool.

With Fiery Preflight Pro, EFI has focused primarily on giving customers the ability to check incoming files against industry standards, such as PDF/X, PDF/VT and PDF 2.0, as well as those of the GWG (Ghent PDF Workgroup). The GWG has been developing and distributing preflight profiles and test suites for 20 years with the goal of standardizing process requirements and ensuring that files are processed correctly, regardless of application, equipment or location. region.

Fiery Preflight Pro can be used with both cut-sheet digital commercial printing devices and high-speed inkjet printers. It includes many features of the old Fiery Preflight, except for PostScript support, in Fiery Preflight Pro. The company customizes how it provides these common industry standard profiles based on the application of the DFE. For example, Fiery DFEs sold for commercial printing will include different preflight profiles than a Fiery DFE sold for packaging or folding cartons.

Preflighting is done relatively quickly and then you can see the status of the file. Any errors or warnings can be viewed in the Fiery Preflight Pro interactive report, which provides an overview of the location of specific errors in a file.

Variable data preflight has been significantly enhanced to support more in-depth review of incoming PDF/VT files. The use of variable data has increased, but many variable data PDF files are nothing more than single documents with thousands of pages instead of built-in groups of variable objects because they weren’t created properly. The difference in processing time can vary significantly if the PDF/VT file was created correctly, and Fiery Preflight Pro can not only identify whether the file is a PDF/VT-1 or a PDF/VT-2, it can also identify the state of creation and help predict processing performance.

Another area that has been changed is the Spot Color Information data report. The Fiery DFE includes color libraries that ensure the correct representation of a spot color on the connected printer. When a PDF file has completed preflighting, all spot colors identified in the file are checked against the built-in Fiery DFE color database and, if missing, the user is alerted. Fiery Graphic Arts Pro Package provides additional tools to resolve missing spot colors. Using Fiery Spot Pro, values ​​can be added manually or using a spectrophotometer, or you can adjust the color to match other color values ​​in the PDF. You can also use Fiery Spot Pro to manage existing spot colors and calibrate them to the output to ensure the most accurate reproduction.

With Fiery Spot Pro, you can also create spot color aliases. For example, if the original color in the database is PMS 287 C and you want it to be represented as PANTONE Blue 287 or EFI as well, you can simply highlight it, enter the new name, and create the alias. This way, when the file arrives, the Fiery DFE will be able to identify the correct color in the database. You can also print a custom spot color swatch book to send to your clients to help them set their expectations.

Fiery FS500 Pro software

Fiery Preflight Pro is just one of many new features in Fiery FS500 Pro, the latest Fiery software platform, now available from Fiery OEM partners. Another Fiery FS500 Pro advancement is Adobe Print Engine (APPE) 5.5, which includes support for PDF 2.0, including page-based output intent, black point compensation and more.

More soon…

I would like to address your interests and concerns in future articles as it relates to print, packaging and label manufacturing, and how, if at all, this drives future workflows, including “l ‘industry 4.0’. If you have any cool examples of hybrid and bespoke manufacturing, I’m really looking forward to hearing about those as well. Do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] for any questions, suggestions or interesting application examples.

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