Polkadots Software Newspaper Ink and Workflow Optimization
Auraia | DMS
Star Press, located in Wainwright, Alberta, is primarily a printer of small community newspapers using UV inks. Recently we started feeding our Kodak Trendsetters digitally modulated screening (DMS) through a new version of the Harlequin RIP.

We were concerned about our leaving the 100 dpi round dot world of printing on newsprint for this new approach. To start with we had difficulty getting the screens to lay down smoothly, but once we switched to a different blanket (a harder, but similarly-priced blanket which holds detail much better) and fine tuned our roller settings, we were (and still are) delighted with the results! One of the advantages of running UV on our newspaper press is that we are able to print on glossy paper as well as newsprint and we wanted to expand our product offering into that field. We knew we would have to do better than a 100 line conventional dot to get acceptance on glossy paper. Auraia - DMS has allowed us to produce much better quality from our older newspaper press than we had expected. For us, Auraia screening was the final piece of the puzzle to allow us entry into this new market.

In addition, although we find it difficult to measure ink consumption because of our increase in workload, we have noticed that since we started using Auraia - DM Screening our monthly ink costs have decreased noticeably while our sales and production have increased. Given the higher cost of UV inks and the increased workload, this decrease in ink consumption is significant for us. Overall, the ROI on this product has been swift -- in less than 6 months this product has already paid for itself!

Roger Holmes
Star Press Inc.
Introducing AURAIA - DMS
AURAIA - DMS, the Digitally Modulated Screening plug-in for the Harlequin RIP, has been referred to as "the HDTV of printing". A new paradigm in printing, award-winning Auraia - DMS is changing the world's printing experience, representing a fundamental change in the expectation that a printer can have on the quality of their printed material.

Rather than creating a rigid array of fixed dots (as is the case with traditional AM screening) or placing dots in a random configuration (such as with FM screening), DM screening digitally modulates each and every pixel that it produces. In fact, it analyzes and cleverly modulates each pixel in a way that ensures dots are not too small and that dot gain is eliminated, resulting in the complete removal of patterning artefacts and graininess - a major problem with FM screening.

In addition, users of this remarkable new technology will benefit from much-improved image and color quality, significant ink savings (over and above any standard GCR ink optimization) and elimination of various issues long associated with AM screening, such as moiré and banding.

Image and Print Quality
Digitally Modulated Screening achieves incredible image detail long associated with FM screening, but without the problems associated with it (such as noisy flat tints). In fact, it provides genuine 16-bit screening, offering an incredible 50,000+ levels of gray per color and producing CMYK colors that approach the kind of quality normally reserved for spot colors.

In addition, the DMS plug-in also produces highlight & shadow detail rarely seen before, capable of achieving highlight dots (on print) as small as 0.01% and holding open shadow dots (on print) up to 99.99%. The result is sharp, outstanding images and exceptional print quality - equivalent to a traditional 400-500 lpi screen at 2400/2540 dpi for commercial printing and a 200-250 lpi screen at 1200/1270 dpi for newspaper printing.

Color Gamut and Ink Savings
Through the use of a (patent pending) “stochastic rosette”, the DMS plug-in maximizes the amount of ink-on-paper and minimizes the amount of ink-on-ink, which expands the available color gamut. All of this with proven ink savings of up to 20%, on top of any savings already achieved with standard GCR ink-saving software!

DMS can be used to print any kind of job, including newspaper and commercial jobs. It works on violet and thermal systems and is surprisingly easy to plate and print. And unlike FM screening, it doesn't require a high-end CTP and plates, so you can pocket the savings on these expensive consumables and hardware.

The Auraia screening plug-in supports Harlequin RIP versions 8.3 or higher, Mac or PC, including the recently released HMR-10 (both 32-bit and 64-bit).

Eliminates Troublesome Issues
This RIP plug-in modulates each pixel, precisely controlling not only the dots in each separation, but also those between the separations so as to completely eliminate noise. The unique architecture of its patent pending “stochastic rosette”, which interleaves the dots in all the separations, produces a number of other important, sought-after benefits as well: it eliminates moiré, both content and screen, generates incredibly smooth vignettes and flat tints, and eliminates color shifts on misregistration. In addition, printers are no longer restricted by issues with rosette drift, banding, dot gain, dot loss and shadow loss. And the elimination of patterning artefacts and graininess results in a quality of print that was previously unachievable on violet devices.

Easy installation and calibration
Installation is performed by simply printing a PostScript file and rebooting the RIP. Then to activate the screening, just select it from the Harlequin RIP’s ‘Separation Manager’ (‘Edit Style’ dialog box), the same way as you would any other screen.

We recommend performing plate calibration as usual, using an ‘FM’ mode if available on the plate reader. However, it is quite feasible to just calibrate the press using a spectro-photometer, if the plate is not calibrated. This is possible because of the unique Dot Gain Reduction technology used, which makes the gain on an uncalibrated plate and press not far off linear.

Press calibration is required, however, even if calibrating the plates. This is because the ink savings inherent in the screening are produced as a result of the small dots that are used, and these will produce a different gain on the press when compared to conventional screening.