Gravure sleeves offer a cost effective, operator friendly, and process friendly alternative to rotogravure printing using more traditional gravure cylinders, which ROTHTEC® also produces. ROTHTEC®’s gravure sleeves are custom made to our client’s specifications on either a pure nickel or a nickel composite base. They are available in a variety of diameters/repeat sizes, and wall thicknesses, depending on the client’s needs. Sleeves can also be coated with polymers or engravable copper if desired.
ROTHTEC®’s gravure copper is extremely high quality, and was developed specifically for electronic engraving. The copper deposit is electroplated to the desired thickness. Diamond tools and polishing stones are used to provide the surface finish after plating. ROTHTEC® also provides engraving services for gravure sleeves. ROTHTEC® is pursuing engravable nickel to replace copper and chrome. When development is complete this new technology will be applicable to both mandrels and sleeves.
Gravure Sleeve Specifications
Like ROTHTEC®’s other electroformed products, our seamless gravure sleeves are available in:
- Lengths of: 153 mm to 2438 mm
- Diameters of: 438 mm to 1436 mm, and soon to be 2075 mm
- Thicknesses of: 76 microns to 558 microns, soon to be 660 microns
An overview of ROTHTEC®’s gravure sleeves is available in a PDF you can download by following this link.
Advantages of Gravure Sleeves Over Cylinders
Gravure sleeves offer many advantages over gravure cylinders. The biggest advantage is probably the weight of the sleeves. Sleeves might weigh in at just 3-5 pounds, where a cylinder might weigh a couple hundred to a thousand pounds. Clearly this provides advantages in handling the sleeves/cylinders, reduces setup and downtimes in the printing process, as well as reducing transportation costs. Sleeves also offer the advantages of more compact storage, and they can be replated and re-engraved. This article at PFFC Online (Paper, Film, and Foil Converter) is a great analysis of the advantages of gravure sleeves over gravure cylinders.
Gravure Sleeve FAQ
- Typically it is possible to convert existing machines to use sleeves rather than cylinders. We would be happy to consult with you if you have questions. Just let us know.
- Mother rollers, from which custom gravure sleeves are made for our clients, are typically purchased by the client and remain their exclusive property. We produce the sleeves you require at an agreed upon schedule.