Should You be Considering RICOH TotalFlow Prep?

Posted on by Greg Cholmondeley | No Comments »

by Greg Cholmondeley, Workflow Practice Director, Caslon & Company

TotalFlow PrepI recently did a PODi Product Briefing on Ricoh’s TotalFlow Prep and was very impressed. Ricoh’s developers have done an incredible job at bringing their solution’s capabilities up to and, perhaps exceeding, other make-ready solutions on the market. The user interface is well organized and provides pretty much all the make-ready tools that most general commercial printer prepress departments need. It also seamlessly links into Ultimate ImpoStrip and allows operators to save automation templates for often-performed tasks or job types. I’ve looked at earlier versions of this solution and, as I say in the videos, comparing this release to those is like comparing Windows 10 to DOS.

TotalFlow Prep employs a PDF/JDF workflow on single or multiple files. You can use it to compile multiple PDF files into a single job with bookmarks and tabs automatically created from the file names. There is plenty of flexibility in defining tabs and bleed-edge tabs so that they can be tailored to your clients’ unique needs. Of course you can program covers and special pages. You can move or remove pages. And you can view the job in sheet view or reader view modes to double check your work.

It has scan cleanup features in place for masking, deskewing, despeckling and aligning pages. It has a light table viewer, which stacks up a selected range of pages so that you can see how they align. The front-to-back mirroring had a bug in the pre-release version I reviewed, but I expect they’ve fixed that by now. These are great raster cleanup tools which take the best approaches from competing packages and roll them together into a well-designed system.

And, it has impressive impositioning capabilities. The built-in impositioning features include most of what a commercial printer will need for imposing booklets or ganging up business cards, tickets or postcards on various sized sheets. There is also an option to integrate Ultimate ImpoStrip for shops which need to do tumbling or other advanced impositioning functions. The integration is seamless, which means operators don’t need to waste time opening and closing applications and saving temporary file versions.

So, while none of this functionality is revolutionary, TotalFlow Prep is a very well-designed and comprehensive make-ready solution. It works with EFI Fiery DFEs as well as with Ricoh controllers, so you should seriously consider TotalFlow Prep if you’re primarily doing make-ready for a Ricoh digital press. In fact, I’d add it to the list of make-ready solutions to consider, even if you aren’t a Ricoh shop. It’s good enough to warrant the time and, with a PDF/JDF workflow that connects to Fiery, it’ll work most anywhere.

You can view the full, 3-video, PODi Product Briefing at: PODi members have access to this and all other PODi product briefings and workflow video case studies at

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