Gravure Printing

Cale Polkinghorne

Historical Background

Italian Renaissance 1300’s. Engravings and etching into soft copper. A channel or sunken area is left, this holds the ink. Intaglio is the term used to describe gravure printing (Italian for printing in a sunken surface)

Web Fed Slitter ( devise used to cut sheets at the end of of the press) . Roto Gravure is printing from a cylinder. Term used for Industrial Intaglio.“Roto” Gravure      Roto means Round.

Gravure Industry      Simplest of all printing systems. . 45.000 copies an hour. Very little paper waste (half the paper waste of lithography). Fastest press start up. Speed is extremely high.

.Gravure Industry (continued)   Some run 20 million copies without cylinder wearing out. Highest quality image.

Industry Organization  3 types of printing    Packing Printing Publication Printing Specialty Printing .

Packaging Printing  This includes producing and folding.      Cartons Boxes Bags Gift wrappers Labels .

Publication Printing  This includes Printing     Newspaper Supplements Magazines Catalogs Mass Mailing Advertisements .

Specialty Printing  Used to Print such materials as     Wallpaper Vinyl Floor covering Textiles (decoration and clothing) .

Methods of Cylinder Prep     Diffusion etch Direct Transfer Electromechanical Process Laser cutting .

Acid Bath Copper cylinder Cylinder then chromed (prolong life) .Diffusion-Etch Process     Image exposed much like developing a plate for regular offset printing except negative in transferred.

Direct-Transfer    Light Sensitive Mask Acid Bath Chrome plating .

Electromechanical Process   Replaced chemical engraving Basically Done by a computerized mill that etches a digitally scanned image. .

Laser-cutting Process    Chemically etched holes are made. Same process as electromechanical is used except a laser does the cutting instead of a tool bit. Plastic is used to cover holes. .

Well Formation    Gravure Transfers from small wells that are etched or cut in the cylinder Cylinder rotates through a fountain of ink Excess ink is wiped off by a doctor blade .

Gravure Well Variables     Depth Bottom Opening Bridge .

Depth  Bottom of the well to the top surface of the cylinder .

Bottom Obviously the bottom of the well .

Opening  Distance across the well .

Bridge  Surface of the cylinder between wells .

Well Design  Conventional   Wells have exactly the same opening size Amount of ink is controlled only by the depth of the well .

Well Design (continued)  Lateral hard-dot    Can create half tone images Well opening sized differ Well depth stays the same .

Cylinder Construction   Most cylinder cores are made of steel Some companies prefer aluminum    Lighter Less expensive Easier to ship .

Cylinder Design      Axis (center line of shaft) Shaft (what the cylinder spins on) Diameter Circumference (one impression) Face Length (printing width) .

Two forms of Cylinders  Mandrel (removable shaft) Integral (shaft mounted permanently) $$$$  .

.General Info  An impression roller presses paper to Cylinder  Gravure printing allows high-quality images on low-grade papers.

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