Indian flexible packaging materials company Uflex has been able to optimise cell structures of laser-engraved rotogravure cylinders after carrying out research for nearly three years.

The optimisation is expected to reduce ink consumption by 20-25% compared to the electromechanically engraved counterparts.

Uflex chairman and managing director Ashok Chaturvedi said: “This is a classic case of process improvement for the converting fraternity of flexible packaging.

“I am glad that, making the most of the laser engraving technology, my team of engineers at Cylinders Business has been able to modify and optimise the cell structures of the rotogravure cylinder, thereby bringing a substantive reduction in ink consumption during printing.”

"This is a classic case of process improvement for the converting fraternity of flexible packaging."

Uflex noted that laser engraving provides additional flexibility to alter cell shapes and structures for the rotogravure cylinders, decreasing ink GSM while printing on the substrate.

The company conducted a comparison test, which showed that the volume of ink trapped in the conventional cell structure achieved through electro-mechanical engraving, is much more than that through laser engraving.

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Additionally, the face of the laser engraved cell structure is wider in the conventional cell structure, providing less print coverage over a larger area.

Using laser-engraved rotogravure cylinders with an optimised cell structure ensures low carbon dioxide emissions, reduces power consumption and provides improved printability.

The modified laser-engraved cylinders obtain higher print coverage with less ink, the company said.