14 February 2008 Large scale laser microstructuring of gravure print rollers
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Abstract
Application of lasers for print form fabrication plays an increasingly important role in the printing industry due to the high machining rate, the high spatial resolution and the ability of digital modulation. This paper gives an overview of our laser based processes in gravure and embossing with a focus on micro-structuring of gravure print forms by direct laser ablation. The precise large scale micro-fabrication by laser engraving is the fastest and most versatile process for gravure cylinder fabrication (ablation rate up to 1 cm3/min). Direct laser engraving into metallic cylinders is performed with high power Q-switched Nd:YAG laser systems and fiber lasers at up to 100 kHz repetition rate, tuned for high reproducibility and stability of the mean pulse energy (σ2 < 0.6%). Flexible aspect ratios and designs of the cell profile are achieved by fast modulation of the laser beam profile for each single pulse. This allows for optimization of the cell shape to get the best ink transfer interaction on a specific print substrate. New experiments with high power fiber lasers (cw lasers and pulsed MOPA systems > 500W@ 100kHz) resulted in improved cell precision, screen resolution and production efficiency. Future large scale cylinder engraving with ultra short pulse lasers (ps) is discussed.
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Guido Hennig, Guido Hennig, Karl-Heinz Selbmann, Karl-Heinz Selbmann, Silke Pfinninger, Silke Pfinninger, Johannes Brendel, Johannes Brendel, Stephan Brüning, Stephan Brüning, } "Large scale laser microstructuring of gravure print rollers", Proc. SPIE 6879, Photon Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics VII, 68790O (14 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.774967; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.774967
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