We produce rotogravure cylinders for the widest variety of applications. Flexible packaging printing involving the most diverse requirements in terms of materials being printed, colour implementation and tactile surfaces is particularly prominent here. We also offer extensive expertise for the use of gravure cylinders in other areas, such as for printing decors, wallpapers, gift paper, textiles or special foils for furniture-making. We also make it possible to produce extremely complex and high-resolution applications, as required in security printing, via special gravure cylinder that are oriented to the particular requirements.
The start of the manufacturing process involves so-called copper plating the cylinder roller or sleeve. We either use new cylinders or prepare previously used gravure cylinders again. This first step normally occurs in parallel to repro and differs in detail depending on the imaging process used. While a copper layer is sufficient for electromechanical gravure, an additional zinc layer is required for laser gravure. We apply the various metal layers using the required strength and sequence, depending on the special requirements on the gravure cylinder. A corresponding mechanical surface treatment completes the preparation based on the gravure process.
We offer all of the technologies for imaging gravure cylinders found in the market and work exclusively here with machines produced by market-leading manufacturers. We adjust the size, form and depth of the cells individually to the printer’s printing materials and inks, as the optimum transfer of printing inks to the printing material succeeds or fails with correct cell geometry. We guarantee substantial flexibility and punctual delivery deadlines through the standardisation of the gravure process inside our entire network.
1. Electromechanical engraving
Electromechanical engraving as well as high-resolution ‘Xtreme Engraving’ and ‘TranScribe’ process impress through their high quality of detail reproduction and counter sharpness. Our gravure machines can engrave up to 12,000 cells per second in the copper layer of the gravure cylinder.
2. Direct laser engraving
The high quality of the Daetwyler Direct Laser Systems (DLS) is demonstrated in the image area through high-resolution reproduction and outline-free vignettes, and in line elements through sharp-edged text reproduction and excellent evenness of the ink. The relatively strong laser engraves directly in the cylinder’s zinc surface. At 70,000 cells per second, the DLS process is around ten times faster than electromechanical engraving. In addition, both the cell size and shape can vary.
The Cellaxy laser is also a direct laser, although it engraves directly in the gravure cylinder’s copper surface. The gravure is distinguished by a very high resolution and edge definition. With this highly innovative gravure process, we have the possibility of generating individual halftone dots and of producing high-quality line-/ 3D-embossed engraving. In addition to all of the applications for packaging and decor printing and for high-quality embossing forms, this engraving process is predestined for security/security paper printing, for highly-detailed elements in packaging printing (e.g. EAN-Codes/2D-Matrix) as well as gravure elements in RFID printing forms.
4. Laser etching (digilas laser)
As in the past we use the traditional, but high-quality laser etching process to produce gravure cylinders and embossing rollers. This is because the wide spectrum of outlines and cell geometries also ensures clearly sharp fonts and edges in complex designs. This technology is ideal for the packaging sector and security printing in particular.
5. Think-Laser (Boomerang)
We also use think laser technology for the highest detail-resolution and halftone layout demands. For example, the finest dot elements can be organised precisely for security printing using this process.
After the gravure form has been engraved, the cylinder surface is then chrome plated, and finishing (the polishing process) takes place immediately. We carry out a technical content verification of the cylinder via a print proof.