ROTHTEC®, an industry leader for many years in the production of electroformed gravure sleeves, including copper plated nickel gravure sleeves, is now manufacturing and engraving both gravure cylinders and gravure sleeves. ROTHTEC®’s gravure cylinder business benefitted from ROTHTEC®’s purchase of the assets of URG, Union Roto-Graving, formerly based in Putnam, Connecticut.
Reconditioning and Production of Gravure Cylinders
Gravure cylinder production can begin using new cylinders, or we can first recondition cylinders our customers are no longer using in production.
- Reconditioning begins by stripping the chrome from the gravure cylinder. This can be done by a chemical or a mechanical process, but is much more quickly done chemically.
- The last step in reconditioning is to remove the copper. This process is typically done on a lathe, and we remove the copper to just beneath the original engraving.
- In production, we copper plate the cylinder to a little greater than the desired final size. This is technology that we long ago perfected in the manufacturing of copper coated gravure sleeves.
- Next, we polish the copper coated cylinder down to the desired size. ROTHTEC® makes use of both CFMs, Copper Finishing Machines, and Polish Masters. The CFM process is usually preferred because it produces cylinders that are more true.
- We load the customer’s separated artwork into our proprietary software. Our software combines the artwork with our customer’s calibrated printing specification. The result is something that can be understood by our engraving machines, and we mechanically engrave the roller.
- We mechanically engrave the cylinder. ROTHTEC® makes use of both Helio Engraving Machines and Ohio Engraving Machines.
- Engraved cylinders are then plated with chrome. The chrome plating hardens the surface for printing.
- Gravure cylinders are proofed and inspected. We print them once, and then examine them very closely to be certain that they are perfect.
- Proofed gravure cylinders are cleaned, and then packaged and shipped to the customer.
De-Chrome and Re-Chrome
If you have cylinders still in production, where the chrome is worn but the engraving is still good, we can also De-Chrome and Re-Chrome cylinders, often known as De and Re in the industry.
We Welcome Custom Projects
We welcome custom projects and invite the challenges they often bring. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you are wondering whether we can do what you need.