Cost Considerations for Gravure Printing

Cost Considerations for Gravure Printing


A gravure press, also known as a rotogravure press, is a type of printing press used for high-quality, high-volume printing of images and designs. Gravure printing is a process that involves engraving an image onto a cylinder, which is then used to transfer ink onto the printing substrate.

Gravure Press

Advantages and Features

1. Cylinder Engraving

In gravure printing, the image or design is engraved onto a cylinder, typically made of copper or chrome-plated steel. The engraving is done by etching or engraving cells of varying depths onto the cylinder surface.

2. Ink Application

The cylinder is partially submerged in an ink fountain, and excess ink is wiped off the surface using a doctor blade. The remaining ink is held in the engraved cells on the cylinder.

3. Printing Process

As the cylinder rotates, it comes into contact with the printing substrate, typically a flexible material such as paper or plastic. The ink from the cells is transferred to the substrate under pressure, creating the printed image.

4. High Volume Printing

Gravure presses are known for their ability to handle large print runs efficiently. They are commonly used for printing newspapers, magazines, catalogs, packaging materials, and decorative laminates.

5. Image Quality

Gravure printing offers excellent image reproduction with sharp details and vibrant colors. The engraved cells hold a consistent and precise amount of ink, resulting in consistent print quality throughout the print run.

6. Substrate Compatibility

Gravure presses can print on a wide range of substrates, including paper, plastic films, foils, and synthetic materials. The press configuration and ink formulation can be tailored to suit the specific substrate requirements.

7. Drying and Curing

After printing, the ink on the substrate needs to be dried or cured. This can be achieved through various methods, such as hot air drying, infrared drying, or UV curing, depending on the ink formulation and substrate.

Gravure Press Work

Working Principle

1. Engraving

The first step in the gravure printing process is the creation of a printing plate. A cylinder, typically made of copper or chrome-plated steel, is engraved with tiny cells or recesses. The depth and size of these cells determine the amount of ink that will be transferred to the substrate during printing.

2. Ink Application

The ink is then applied to the engraved cylinder, and a doctor blade or a similar device removes the excess ink from the cylinder’s surface. The ink remains only in the engraved cells.

3. Ink Transfer

The substrate, which can be paper, plastic, or other materials, passes between the engraved cylinder and a pressure roller. The pressure roller presses the substrate against the cylinder, and the ink is transferred from the cells to the substrate. The combination of pressure and rotation ensures uniform ink transfer.

4. Drying

After ink transfer, the printed substrate goes through a drying process to evaporate the solvents and fix the ink onto the surface. Various drying methods, such as hot air, infrared, or UV curing, can be employed depending on the ink and substrate.


1. Flexible Packaging

Gravure printing is extensively used for printing on flexible packaging materials such as plastic films, laminates, and foils. It offers excellent print quality, vibrant colors, and good ink adhesion, making it suitable for food packaging, labels, pouches, and wrappers.

2. Publication Printing

Gravure printing is employed for high-volume publication printing, including magazines, catalogs, and newspapers. It can handle large print runs efficiently and produces sharp images and text.

3. Decorative Printing

Gravure printing is used for decorative purposes, such as printing on wallpaper, gift wrap, and decorative laminates. It enables precise replication of intricate patterns and designs.

4. Security Printing

Gravure printing is utilized for printing security features on banknotes, passports, stamps, and other secure documents. Its ability to reproduce fine details and complex designs makes it suitable for anti-counterfeiting measures.

5. Industrial Printing

Gravure printing finds application in industrial settings, such as printing patterns on fabrics, wallpapers, laminates, and vinyl flooring.

Gravure Press Application

Key Considerations

1. Printing Volume

Consider the expected print volume to determine the appropriate gravure press size and configuration.

2. Substrate Compatibility

Ensure that the gravure press is compatible with the specific substrates to be printed, taking into account factors such as substrate type, thickness, and surface properties.

3. Print Quality Requirements

Determine the desired print quality, including factors like image resolution, color accuracy, and ink coverage.

4. Press Size and Configuration

Select a gravure press size and configuration that aligns with the production requirements and available space.

5. Automation and Control Systems

Consider the level of automation and control systems needed for efficient operation and quality control.

6. Maintenance and Service

Factor in the maintenance requirements and availability of service support for the chosen gravure press.

7. Energy Efficiency

Evaluate the energy efficiency features of the gravure press to reduce operational costs.

8. Budget Considerations

Take into account the overall cost of the gravure press, including installation, training, and ongoing operational expenses.

9. Future Expansion and Upgrades

Consider the potential for future expansion or upgrades to accommodate changing production needs.

10. References and Reviews

Check references and reviews of