Uflex Limited’s Cylinder division has announced its ability to successfully optimize cell structures of laser-engraved rotogravure cylinders, a development that can save up to 25 percent of ink when compared to electromechanically-engraved cylinders.

Unlike electro-mechanical engraving which produces a conventional cell shape, laser engraving offers flexibility toward altering cell shapes and structures for rotogravure cylinders. This is the fundamental reason that results in low ink GSM while printing on the substrate. The ink is picked up by the cylinder and transferred onto the substrate. The cylinder is immersed in the ink sump, and during the process of printing the recessed (engraved) cells pick up the ink. The substrate gets sandwiched between the impression roller and the gravure cylinder. At this juncture, the ink gets transferred from recessed cells to the substrate by capillary action.

“On the laser engraving setup, our team has been able to create various modifications on honeycomb cell structure, line cell structure, TB cell structure and others which in turn during the print run render solid backgrounds, coating with high and low depths, other specialized coatings, vignettes and half tone images among several others,” says P.K. Agarwal, joint president of Uflex’s Cylinder division.

Other advantages to using laser-engraved cylinders over conventional ones include lesser solvent consumption for preparing the ink, lesser CO2 emissions, more efficient power use and better printability.