The gravure process offers the ability to transfer ink consistently, across a wide range of densities, and at high speeds, making it suitable for applications which require high image quality and decorative printing. The durable nature of the printing cylinders used makes gravure printing an ideal process for providing high quality print on very long or regularly repeating runs, delivering cost advantages over other processes.
The main components of the gravure printing process include:
- Printing cylinder:a seamless tubular sleeve or full cylinder, made from either steel, aluminum, plastic, or composite material, which is engraved with the image to be printed
- Doctor blade:the device that removes ink from the non-engraved portions of the printing cylinder and also removes excess ink from the engraved sections
- Impression roller:a rubber covered sleeve that is mounted on a steel mandrel. Its primary purpose is to press the substrate against the printing cylinder
- Inking system: consisting of an ink pan, ink holding tank, and ink pump with supply and return ink pipes
- Drying system:consisting of a chamber which dries the ink once it is on the substrate and prior to it reaching the next printing unit. Drier capacities are determined based on the required printing speed, ink type (solvent or water based), and ink lay down volume
For the utmost in print quality, very fine screens and very long repeatable production runs, we can use gravure printing. Our nine (9) color press utilizes water based ink systems for the highest level of sustainability.