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Steps For Laser Engraving Gravure Cylinder

Steps For Laser Engraving Gravure Cylinder

The process of laser engraving gravure cylinder is a little bit complicated if you are a starter. But after practicing or doing it a couple of times, you find it quite easy. If you are planning to invest in laser engraving technology, this article is for you.

We have rounded up the main steps one has to follow to laser engrave gravure cylinder. These are steps that people who have been in printing are using. So it is a tried procedure that have been found to deliver excellent results:

Preparing Gravure Cylinder

The first step should always be preparing the gravure cylinder. Whether the cylinder already in the machine or you have been lying idle, you need to ensure it’s clean. By cleaning, it means washing off the ink from the previous printing. If the cylinder has not been used for a long time, you need to clean off dust that has settled on it. This is a very important step in laser engraving gravure cylinder.

Remove Added Layers

If you have been using the rubber or any other material as the image carrier, then you need to peel it off. You must also ensure that you have removed any gum that could have been left on the cylinder. If the cylinder was used for engraving, you need to remove the image-carrying layer, which could be rubber material or copper plating. For the copper plating removal, you can use chemicals, electroplating, or remove it mechanically.

Copper Plating/Layering

With the gravure cylinder thoroughly cleaned, it’s now time to prepare for the laser engraving. The first thing should be putting on a layer for laser engraving. For the laser engraving gravure cylinder, you need an image-carrying layer. In this case, you can have rubber-like material or copper plating. Copper plating is the most efficient layering process of laser engraving gravure cylinder. It’s done with the use of a special machine through the electroplating procedure.

Surface Finishing

After you have put on the image-carrier layer, you need to do some surface finishing. The process is done using a high-speed rotary diamond milling head or a polishing band. The aim is to ensure that the cylinder surface is smooth and uniform.

Laser Engraving

Now that you have got everything ready, it’s time for laser engraving gravure cylinder. You just place the cylinder in the engraving machine and start engraving assuming the image design was already done.