Gravure is losing package printing market share to Flexo in North America. Closing the cost gap between flexo and gravure is a prerequisite to regaining market share. This could be accomplished by adopting new cylinder technologies that reduce the cost of cylinder preparation and the size of cylinder inventories. This study examined one such technology, RotoHybrid Cylinders. RotoHybrid is new to the gravure industry and has just entered beta testing. Gravure printers would like to understand how RotoHybrid and Conventional Chrome cylinders compare in terms of ability to print images. This research assessed image quality differences between conventional Chrome cylinders and RotoHybrid cylinders (HCR Type 1) when cylinders are new. For this research, image quality was assessed on the basis of density and the visual quality of ISO images.
The print trial used Chrome and HCR Type 1 cylinders (electromechanically engraved copper on a steel base protected by a Hybrid Chrome Replacement coating). The result of the trial demonstrated that RotoHybrid cylinders outperform conventional Chrome cylinders in terms of density and dot quality. Based on these results, RotoHybrid cylinders could create an opportunity for gravure printers to regain market share in package printing.