Interview with Bryan Mainwaring of Onyx Software

This blog is an interview with Bryan Mainwaring of Onyx Software who will be exhibiting at the InPrint Show. Software is a vital aspect of the development of any digital manufacturing process, not least industrial inkjet printing.

Bryan, please tell InPrint about Onyx, your background, your products

“Onyx has provided RIP and workflow software solutions for wide format printing systems for 25 years - only EFI has been in there longer. We pioneered the wide format sector and today drive 1500+ printers. It is an amazing community. These days of course we see wide format changing. As technology continues to mature, as well as improvements in quality and speed, we are constantly amazed at the variety of new applications. While the print technology is better, many of the challenges are still pretty much the same. Digital has opened new doors for a different kind of printing. 

So Onyx can play an important role in streamlining the process of industrial production using inkjet technology. Managing digital printing onto a variety of substrates including wood, metal, textile, ceramics, plastics and more is our strength.  We specialize in helping companies increase their manufacturing productivity and reduce their costs by giving them an easy-to-use system that takes a design file and puts it into production as seamlessly as possible to ensure they always achieve predictable output.”

What have been the challenges for software?

“The challenge for RIP software is that there are many different types of machines, different inks and different substrates. The RIP has to handle all the steps – file interpretation, colour management etc -  that need to be made in order for the file to be printed accurately.  

If we rewind a number of years ago we saw a weakness in wide format. It became clear that it wasn’t just about printing onto paper substrates, we had to be able optimise files to print on plastic, textile, metal, ceramic, glass and more. Ceramic inks are not the same as inks for paper – but that is not a problem for Onyx.  We have on staff colour scientists and have built our own custom colour engine to manage the colour for any process. 

Think about it. Accurate colour management delivers predictable output and, as such, makes production far more manageable and enables the business owner to focus on their customers and growing sales.

Our vision at Onyx is to take away the pain from the user by automating all the intricate work involved in managing colour to make production easy, consistent and standard.”

So with your wide format background, you don’t want to stay big in this one sector?

“Wide format is important for sure, but Onyx sees industrial printing as an opportunity for growth. We now see more and more using products being digitally printed. There are a lot of benefits to a digital process - there is not a lot of set up time involved and designs can be changed almost on the fly. 

We work closely with hardware manufacturers and OEMs globally to develop expert colour solutions tailored to meet their specific industrial printing needs. We already support customers across multiple sectors, including: graphics, décor, fashion, biomedical, electronics and sports products.  Ensuring accurate colour is a critical part of many manufacturing processes. Get it right and everyone is happy – get it wrong and there can be significant implications in terms of cost and disappointed customers. For example, we work with an online retailer that allows its customers to upload artwork to create various ultra-customized products. The company has integrated ONYX software into its manufacturing process to ensure the results are exactly what the customer expects.”

What do you want to say to visitors at InPrint? 

“To some extent we are there to listen but our aim is to show how we can take the guess work out of file optimisation and workflow for all segments within industrial printing. We have been involved in  biomedical, circuit boards and more and the issues are the same – taking a source file and converting it into the right format so that it can jetted accurately onto a surface. “

Are you launching anything new at InPrint?

“At InPrint, our experts will provide advice and demonstrate ONYX 12, the next generation of our workflow and RIP products that offer speed, performance, a simplified interface and advanced application tools to do more in less time.

As one of our early testers said to me “one change that I have seen from Onyx is “yes we can do it – but now we can automate it”! This is been our focus. We want to do more than just enable – we want to make it easy. Onyx is there to make printing predictable and for our customers to introduce this into their manufacturing lines. Can production be automated? How can this be achieved? We have answers to these questions.

ONYX Connect is based on standards and processes to fully automate workflow. We have automated lines where a person is not necessary and this has dramatically improved productivity for wide format. There is no reason why this model should not be applied to industrial print with the same benefits.”