has released its new Thunderbird Integrated System Imaging Server (ISIS), which it describes as “the catalyst of its systems-oriented approach to production printing” by combining production workflow, print management, and PostScript raster image processing tailored for Mutoh production printers.
Thunderbird ISIS is fully Adobe PostScript-3 compatible. It will process PostScript and PDF images printed from any Mac or Windows client on the host network. Print drivers for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X are stored on its network-browseable 60-gigabyte hard disk. You can print from any application directly to the server’s shared network print queue.
Using Thunderbird ISIS features, the complete Mutoh printing system can be managed remotely via a network, or the Internet. It acts as an intermediary between the printer and the client network and combines a multi-queue network print server, job archive server, network hard disk, Web server, and PostScript interpreter with a high-speed data interface. The Thunderbird ISIS connects to either the Toucan or Falcon-II printer via a FireWire interface, serving up a sustained data transfer rate of nearly 1,000 MB per minute, according to Christopher Brown, project manager for Mutoh’s Advanced Engineering Group. For the Toucan-87, Mutoh’s new 87-inch solvent printer, a 4 x 8-foot panel printed at 720 dpi would transfer to the printer in less than 40 seconds. At 360 dpi, the normal production mode for this printer, the same image would transfer in about 20 seconds.
The Thunderbird also provides print spooling, queuing, and job archive and reprint functions. The interface between the client network and the Thunderbird ISIS is 100Base-T Ethernet. Incoming jobs are queued, processed and archived. Multiple reprints are handled via the Thunderbird ISIS, which checks printer status between reprints, and displays printer status in real time via a platform-independent Web interface.
You can monitor queues and printer status remotely via the Internet if the Thunderbird is linked through the user’s network gateway. Queue status is automatically updated every 15 seconds, and printer status every 30 seconds. If a problem occurs at any time, printing is suspended and the user is notified via both the Web interface and e-mail. A total of 16 internal queues are used to spool jobs for different media types, allowing the server to store jobs on hold for a media to be loaded at a later time.
When a PostScript job is received, it’s checked for errors, and a 72 dpi [dots per inch] JPEG preview image is generated. This preview image can be viewed remotely. The Thunderbird ISIS will also function in environments where existing third-party software RIPs are used.
Product details and pricing can be found at the Mutoh Web site.