When one system just isn’t enough, adding additional Rimage systems to a production environment is a great way to increase capacity and flexibility. While it is always ideal to add systems of the same model type and software version, this isn’t always possible. Rimage plans for this and endeavors to allow a wide range of combinations in a mixed environment to ensure maximum compatibility.
The first consideration is the model of system itself, the autoloader. This is also the easy one; all Rimage systems are compatible, utilize the same software, and work the same via the Rimage SDK. This means you can mix and match Rimage Catalyst®, Allegro™, Producer™, Professional™ and even older Rimage models with ease. It also means swapping out one system for another is a breeze, at least as far as the autoloader is concerned.
The second component of the hardware is the printer. There are differences between the printers, but for most use cases they can be mixed or changed easily. The primary concern is the consumables; the Everest®, Prism™, Allegro and Desktop 2000i all use different consumables that are not interchangeable. Even the new Everest Encore™ printer uses different consumables than the Everest 600 printer. However, all these printers can use the same label files. Due to the infinite variety of label files, Rimage recommends testing a label on a new type of printer, but in most cases the label file will print fine. In the rare case there are any difficulties, often just opening the label, selecting the new printer, then saving the file will correct any issues.
All Rimage systems utilize the same Rimage Software Suite (RSS). This means a computer with RSS installed and connected to an Allegro can upgrade to a Producer as easy as plugging it into the computer via USB and rebooting. Running a system with an older RSS version and a system with a newer RSS version also works in most cases. Due to changes between different versions of software however, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the server side of the suite, Production Server and Messaging Server specifically, shouldn’t be older than the client software, such as QuickDisc™. So, you can send jobs from the older RSS to the newer one, but you could run into errors if you try the opposite direction. It is best to keep the same version of RSS on all systems, but in general it works if you don’t.
Many Rimage systems are utilized in an integrated workflow, meaning there is third-party software that sends jobs to the Rimage system, rather than using Rimage clients like QuickDisc. The good news is that even here, most things are interchangeable. Since third-party clients interact through the RSS interface, there usually isn’t a concern with what hardware is being used. However, it is best to check with the third-party vendor, or to test. Some applications may utilize specific hardware features such as four bins or an external output slot that may require adjustment prior to working with new hardware.
The most important consideration for third-party clients is the Rimage Software Suite version. In many cases, third party software will work in a similar manner to Rimage clients: older clients will work with newer RSS versions, but not vice versa. The most common reason a third-party client would fail is due to incorrect DTD files. These files define the XML messages that the software uses to communicate between the client and Rimage software. This is an easy correction, usually requiring only copying the newer DTD files from the Rimage system to the third-party client. Since there are a wide variety of third-party clients, be sure to check with the client vendor first, or do in-house testing before upgrading.
Rimage Can Help
If you have questions concerning compatibility or how to incorporate a new system into your existing workflow, Rimage Support can certainly assist. Rimage Support is also a great resource if you would like a newer version of Rimage Software Suite. If you have an active service contract on your system, you are eligible to receive the latest version of RSS at no cost. Contact Rimage Support and they can ship you a disc or provide a download link.