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Gravure Printing – A Brief and Simple Overview

Author: Suresh Kumar
by Suresh Kumar
Posted: May 05, 2020

Gravure printing — otherwise called rotogravure printing — is fundamentally a since a long time ago run, rapid, top-notch printing strategy. Like etching, gravure is a type of intaglio printing that produces fine, point by point pictures. It tends to be utilized for CMYK printing where each shade of ink is applied by its own chamber and with drying steps in the middle.

Like flexography, gravure printing is frequently utilized for high-volume printing of packaging, backdrop and blessing wrap. Albeit less normal, gravure printing may likewise be utilized for printing magazines, welcoming cards, and high-volume promoting pieces.

What We Like
  • Produces great outcomes quickly
  • Delivers a full scope of tonal qualities in photos
  • Ideal for amazingly long runs
  • Cylinders keep going for many impressions
What We Don’t Like
  • Costs are higher than other printing strategies
  • Gravure isn’t cost-productive for short runs
  • Relatively barely any print shops represent considerable authority in gravure printing
What is exactly Gravure Printing?

Gravure printing (likewise called intaglio, articulated with a quiet g) utilizes an indented region of the plate from which to print. An abundance of liquid is applied to the plate, and the overabundance is evacuated. This leaves the raised regions liberated from ink, and the ink is moved from the discouraged zones. The edges of printed regions have a serrated appearance (under amplification). Web printing with the gravure procedure is called rotogravure.

Gravure printing is typically completed as a web procedure on lightweight (underneath 40 lb/ream) covered or uncoated groundwood paper with insignificant weight on the plate. Along these lines, paper smoothness is significant. Compressible paper and great ink receptivity help print quality. The significant segments of a rotogravure press incorporate the engraved chamber (the plate), the ink wellspring, a specialist sharp edge to expel the ink from the nonprinting zone, and the impression roller.

How Gravure Works

In gravure printing, a picture is corrosive scratched on the outside of a metal chamber — one chamber for each shading — in an example of cells. The cells are recessed into the chamber, dissimilar to alleviation printing or letterpress where the printing picture is raised or like balance printing, in which the picture is level with the plate.

The chamber is scratched with cells of various profundities. These cells hold the ink that is moved to the substrate. The components of the cells must be exact on the grounds that the more profound cells produce more concentrated shading than shallow cells.

The cells are loaded up with ink, and the non-printing segments of the plate or chamber are cleaned or scratched liberated from ink. At that point paper or another substrate is squeezed against the inked chamber on a turning press, and the picture is moved legitimately to the paper, not at all like in balance printing, which utilizes a break chamber. The engraved chamber sits in part drenched in the ink wellspring, where it gets ink to fill its recessed cells on every pivot of the press.


It is a minor departure from customary engraved-chamber gravure printing. The Photogravure uses photographic techniques to scratch copper plates that are then wrapped onto chambers, as opposed to carving the chambers themselves. Since this is a less expensive procedure, photogravure fits shorter runs of excellent printing and is ordinarily used to imitate top of the line workmanship prints with warm blacks and a wide scope of unpretentious shades of hues.

Digital File making for Gravure Printing

In spite of the fact that the computerized record readiness necessities for gravure printing are like those of balance printing, fashioners who are experiencing this printing procedure just because they should contact the gravure print search for particular prerequisites concerning their advanced documents.

Coating Techniques of Gravure Printing

Gravure printing is a generally utilized handling strategy frequently used to print enormous volumes of magazines and lists. Restricted to flexo printing, the ink in gravure printing is moved from cut miniaturized scale depressions and not from a consolation. These holes, implanted in the printing chamber, structure the printing design. A second milder impression chamber pushes the web against the essential printing chamber and the ink is moved from the depressions to the web through coordinating surface energies of the ink and substrate.

The printing chamber is in part inundated in an ink shower and like the anilox, in flexo printing, a specialist cutting edge is utilized to expel any overabundance ink from the printing chamber leaving ink just in the cavities. With respect to flexo printing, it is additionally conceivable to utilize a chambered specialist cutting edge. Gravure printing is exceptionally needy of ink consistency, substrate speeds just as the weight applied by the impression roller and extraordinary consideration is in this manner required in the picking of preparing conditions and ink definition. In any case, the procedure is appropriate for low-consistency ink and high printing rates up to 15 m/s can be accomplished.

Roll-to-roll printing

Gravure printing is a generally utilized move to-move procedure that empowers the fast manufacture of high-goals printed items, arriving at rates of 20–1000 m/min. Quickly, the example to be printed is engraved as a discrete pit into a revolving printing chamber. During the printing procedure, the engraved pits are loaded up with the ink by passing an ink shower and an adaptable specialist cutting edge is utilized to expel the abundance ink. A chambered specialist sharp edge framework can be utilized for inks containing exceptionally unpredictable dissolvable. The ink on the printing roll is then stored when the chamber is carried into contact with the substrate

Gravure printing isolates printing from nonprinting territories by an engraved example that is artificially scratched or precisely cut into a surface of an empty metal chamber. Gravure chambers are produced using copper-plated steel. The printing example can be photographically forced onto the chamber surface and artificially carved or it very well may be forced by a laser engraved with a stylus.

Ordinary gravure printing is done from rolls and in web structure. The whole surface of the gravure chamber is overflowed with low consistency ink and afterward cleaned off with a straight-edged specialist edge. The ink stays inside the recessed cell design. The substrate to be printed is nipped between the impression roll and the gravure chamber and the ink is stored on the substrate. Gravure printing is utilized for enormous volume applications, for example, marks, containers, container wraps, and adaptable bundling materials.

Printing for Packaging

It is the straightforwardness of gravure printing that makes it a viable and great procedure to utilize. The gravure procedure is an intaglio procedure, with the picture territories recessed underneath the non-picture regions. This picture bearer is known as the ‘gravure chamber’. The picture is applied to the metal chamber by methods for a scratching or etching process. This picture engraved/carved chamber is overwhelmed with ink and the abundance ink is expelled from the non-printing components of the chamber by methods for a specialist sharp edge get together. The ink inside the cells that structure the picture is moved to the substrate by means of impression.

Related Topic: Product Packaging

Converting Processes

In gravure printing, an engraved metal move is utilized to straightforwardly move the ink to the film substrate. The despondencies in the engraved surface hold the ink and the edges or unengraved bits of the move are the nonprinted territories. The move is drenched in a shower of ink where the carved districts pick up the ink. An edge evacuates the abundance ink preceding contact with the film. An impression chamber on the posterior of the film powers contact of the film with the discouraged, ink-filled districts of the gravure roll, moving the ink to the film. The film is gone through a dryer to drive off the dissolvable or water. The gravure press may contain many printing stations in-line, each for an alternate shade of ink, or for applying cold seal or hindrance emulsions.

The gravure rolls are artificially, precisely, or laser scratched to frame the example of little cells of sorrows that hold the ink. The moves are hard and durable. One of the upsides of this procedure is that the moves are tough, taking into account the exact multiplication of the structure over numerous prints at high speeds. The underlying expenses are high however for long runs the gravure procedure is financially savvy.

The gravure rolls are artificially, precisely, or laser carved to frame the example of little cells of touches of melancholy that hold the ink. The moves are hard and dependable. One of the upsides of this procedure is that the moves are tough, taking into consideration the exact propagation of the plan over numerous prints at high speeds. The underlying expenses are high however for long runs the gravure procedure is savvy.

Gravure Printing Inks

Gravure printing inks, for example, flexographic printing ink, are created as a concentrate portrayed by a higher consistency. In any case, the thickness of weakened gravure inks is lower than flexographic inks and it is equivalent, and even low. In addition, the stream time of gravure inks is more than 12–20 s and relies upon the printing base and the ink dissolvable. The thickness of the ink is guaranteed by the ink dissolvable. In gravure printing innovation, unstable natural solvents, for example, liquor, ester, ketone, and toluene, are utilized. This dissolvable gives great print quality with ease, however then again, it influences nature and human wellbeing. So as to limit the vanishing of natural solvents into the earth, ink plans with extremely low convergence of unpredictable natural mixes (VOCs) and water as a dissolvable are created.

In gravure innovation, the printing ink streams between two chambers and next is moved onto a printing base. Also, the printing ink must stream rapidly from the cells on the chamber into printing base when the chamber contacts the base. Rheological properties of gravure inks decide the dissemination in the printing unit and move printing ink on the printing base. The gravure inks generally show non-Newtonian stream conduct. Thickness that is too high makes trouble in moving the ink into and out from the cells on the chamber. Then again, the consistency that is too low causes poor ink move, weakening of the ink, and sedimentation issues, and gives poor optical thickness.

Unpredictable solvents vanish rapidly from the printing ink; hence, as on account of flexographic printing inks, it is imperative to control their consistency during printing.

Equipment Requirements in Gravure Printing

Gravure and flexographic printing are basically in-line forms. Gravure presses have singular print stations exhibited directly. Focal impression (CI) flexo presses compose their stations in a roundabout exhibit. In the two cases, the pivot of print media starting with one station then onto the next must be synchronized with the speed of the web through the hardware so as to enroll hues to every others’ positions. With mechanical frameworks, a typical drive framework with outfitted linkages to each print station achieves this. Electronic frameworks interface in any case autonomous drives at each station with signs to control rotation.1

At least one gravure "print" stations can be connected to the drive arrangement of a CI flexo press so as to incorporate printing or covering capacities not in any case accessible on the essential flexo drum. Alleged "design durable coatings" are applied in his direction. Such coatings are applied to within printed bundling material planned to wrap heat-delicate items (e.g., chocolate bars).

In-line gravure "print"

Then again, the in-line gravure "print" station can be arranged to apply and dry a cement on one side of a film that was simply imprinted on the CI press. At that point with a loosen up station for a subsequent web and a touch to join the two, a two-layer printed overlay is created with the in-line process.2

Hypothetically, two ideas could be consolidated utilizing two in-line gravure stations outfitted to the flexo press. All the more usually, the CI procedure itself is adjusted to utilize the last station on the CI drum to apply cement, dry it in the overhead dryer, and cover it to a second web before a solitary in-line gravure station applies the durable fringe.

Expulsion overlaying and covering lines are regularly designed with two kicks the bucket and in any event two loosens up (called a "pair"). This in-line grouping gives proficient methods for covering a printed web to a boundary one and afterward expulsion covering the sealant layer at the subsequent bite the dust. A third loosen up gives the capacity to overlay the third web as a strength sealant or other superior layer.

3 kinds of Gravure Printing

The three primary kinds of gravure printing include

  1. Publication gravure which is utilized for long press runs of mass-dissemination periodicals, indexes, and inventories;
  2. Packaging gravure which is utilized for collapsing containers and an assortment of adaptable bundling materials; and
  3. Product gravure which is utilized for a persistent printing surface with a rehashing example, for example, materials. Gravure printing is likewise usually utilized for marks and goes up against flexography.

Gravure printers are not exceptionally regular all through the United States because of the expenses and requirements for gifted workers. The procedure requires cautious planning, yet whenever arranged appropriately delivers extremely high caliber and shading. Gravure printing has a few focal points over computerized and Offset printing for medium to long runs since it is a basic procedure just requiring four essential segments. It is additionally ready to print on lower quality mediums and still produce top-notch shading printing. Gravure printing is additionally ready to utilize the most extensive assortment of inks including UV, water-based, dissolvable, metallic, and fluorescents in view of the exact capacity of the gravure cell to set out an exceptionally exact volume of ink.

Related Topic: Offset Printing

Rotational Gravure Pad Printing Machines

Rotational gravure printing machines are utilized in applications where printing around the substrate’s circuit or imprinting in a consistent movement is required. This kind of printing machine utilizes an open inkwell framework.

Here printing structures are in a type of a steel drum, while printing cushions are roundabout or in a moving structure. Printing cushions are typically made of aluminum center on which the external edge is secured by silicon elastic. The creation pace of these machines is high—in excess of 2000 prints for each moment and on account of that, these machines are generally furnished with an encouraging framework.


Picking sides for this situation won’t be simple and clear!!!

Both Flexographic and Rotogravure printing advancements are settled in their own stature and have decent amounts of favorable circumstances and disservices.

How about we attempt to comprehend the standard of Rotogravure and Flexographic printing innovation!

GRAVUREFLEXOGRAPHYGravure printing is a sort of intaglio printing process; i.e., it includes etching the picture onto a picture transporter. In rotogravure printing the picture is corrosive scratched on the outside of a metal chamber—one chamber for each shading—in an example of cells. The cells are recessed into the chamber, not at all like help printing or letterpress where the printing picture is raised, or like counterbalance printing, in which the picture is level with the plate. The chamber is scratched with cells of various profundities. These cells hold the ink that is moved to the substrate. The elements of the cells must be exact in light of the fact that the more profound cells produce more serious shading than shallow cells.Flexographic printing utilizes a plate with a raised surface (alleviation printing) and quick-drying liquid inks to print straightforwardly onto the print material. The plates are made of elastic or photosensitive polymeric material called photopolymer and are connected to a drum on turning printing hardware. Flexography prints from an adaptable printing plate that is folded over a turning chamber. The plate is normally appended to the chamber with twofold sided clingy tape.

For a convertor to pick among rotogravure and flexographic printing process a few parameters like:-

  • Nature of print;
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Short/since quite a while ago run;
  • Chamber/plate costs;
  • Support costs among a few others.
Gravure PrintingFlexographic printingGravure innovation creates especially top-notch results quickly.The flexographic process presents sporadic print quality constraints as far as lacking consistency of print generation.Gravure is favored for longer runs.Flexographic printing scores an edge for short-run occupations. Print machine cost works out to be higher in gravure printing.Print machine cost works out to be lesser in Flexographic printing. Despite the fact that the working costs (utilities and overhead) are marginally higher in gravure.The working expenses are lesser in flexographic printing.Gravure printing doesn’t bolster as a lot of adaptability in printing mediums because of incredible reproducibility that remaining parts autonomous of the range of abilities of the administrator.Flexographic Printing bolsters a lot of adaptability in printing mediums. Because of plate versatility and resiliences reproducibility is fairly subject to pre-press conditions and administrator’s expertise on account of flexographic printing.Rotogravure Printing in INDIA

Quite a bit of Americas is utilizing flexographic printing while rotogravure innovation is additionally getting recently. In Europe, the pattern and inclination are again tilted towards flexographic printing in spite of the fact that rotogravure printing isn’t a long way behind. In the whole Asia Pacific Rotogravure, innovation makes major decisions.

As expressed at the start of this blog, the decision of printing innovation to be conveyed settles upon the needs of the convertor accordingly neither does rotogravure win nor does flexography lose. Given the notoriety of the two advances in differed conditions, India’s biggest completely incorporated global adaptable bundling materials and Solution Company Uflex makes both Rotogravure and Flexographic presses. Prior to a year ago, Uflex warmly greeted Italian Firm Comiflex SRL to produce gearless C.I. Flexo Printing Machines under a Technology Transfer Agreement. The Engineering Business is finishing its first 1.3-meter web, 8 shading, focal drum CI Flexo Printing Machine here in Noida intended to work at a speed of 400 meters for every moment. The primary machine will be introduced at the Converting Business of Uflex and once it is tried for different execution parameters, other bespoke machines will be made for residential and send out business sectors.

Products Printed by Gravure Printing

Gravure printing is a mechanical printing procedure and it, for the most part, utilized for the fast creation of huge print magazines, inventories, and backdrops. The average items for which gravure printing are utilized include:

About the Author

Hi, Suresh Kumar, I own enterprises in India. Profession by a Graphic Designer | Printer | Advertiser,

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Author: Suresh Kumar

Suresh Kumar

Member since: Apr 27, 2020
Published articles: 13

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