6 Main Steps Of Gravure Cylinder Engraving Process
The gravure cylinder engraving process may seem complicated, but it’s not. There are just several steps that you need to follow for a perfect process. If you are starting to engrave gravure cylinders, this guide is for you. We have what you need to start off.
We have put together five steps that you need to follow for a proper gravure cylinder engraving process. These are professional steps that will help you engrave your first gravure cylinder. This is how you go about gravure cylinder engraving process:
Assuming you already have an operating gravure printing machine, you need to remove the printing cylinder. This is the cylinder that has the image being printed. This should not be complicated if you have been printing for a while. Avoid breaking things when removing the cylinder, especially if they are huge.
With the gravure cylinder removed, you need to clean it off for new engraving. Start with washing off residues of ink from the previous printing. This is very important. Then remove the protective chrome layer on the cylinder that protects the steel or copper layer of the cylinder. You just need to peel it off the cylinder.
If the image was etched on the copper layer, which the latest technology, you need to remove that layer for the new one to be formed. There are three main methods that are widely accepted for the removal of the copper layer. You can remove them mechanically, electroplating, or chemically. Got for what works for you.
With the gravure cylinder clean and the copper layer removed, the process of new engraving can now start. The first thing you need to do is preparing for copper plating the cylinder. You can degrease or deoxidize depending. The manufacturer can recommend the best method to prepare for copper plating.
Copper electroplating is the process of adding a copper layer on top of the cylinder. The process is done through electrolysis using a special machine. The size of the copper layer is determined by the depth of the etching.
With the copper plating already done, the next thing is engraving, or what some people call etching. The images to be printed is drawn on the gravure cylinder.