Advice needed on printer and possibly software purchase

Dec 19, 2017
Hi All,

I work at a company that molds, assembles and prints on plastic products (cups mainly).
My responsibilities include being a designer/graphic artist & pre-press technician (among other things...).

We need to print color proofs of the artwork that we create, to send to our print shop as a visual guide for the press operator to use when setting up the job for printing.
The printer we are using now to print the paper "proofs" for the print shop is not a graphics printer, and the proofs definitely show this, as colors are not matching even after trying numerous print settings in app software and the printer software.

So, we are going to purchase a dedicated printer.
I have decided on the Epson SureColor P5000, and was trying to decide if we should be buying RIP software to go with.
We need to be as accurate as possible when printing CMYK artwork, but also when printing artwork with Pantone spot colors.

I have X-Rite's "ColorMunki" calibration hardware/software for my own business, and I've played with that with limited success.
I have also contacted an Epson retailer and asked for printed examples of the P5000 with and without the RIP software.

The samples I get back were disappointing. It seems to me that matching CMYK artwork was not absolutely correct, but definitely acceptable.
It was the matching of the Pantone spot colors that was not working very well, even with the RIP software. (I have to mention here that the RIP software I am talking about is the canned RIP software that comes with Epson's "Designer" edition, and if I understand correctly it is not full-blown RIP software and has limited functionality.)

Sorry to be so long-winded. My questions are:

1. Even with full functioning RIP software would I ever be able to match Pantone spot colors?
2. Maybe RIP software isn't worth the (considerable) extra cost?

Any suggestions as to a better model/brand of printer would be greatly appreciated, as would any helpful feedback.


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