The Roto-Hybrid technology team from Karm Research Group (KRG) have recently completed the first year of its €3m European Commission funded 24 month grant to bring to market the innovative Roto-Hybrid Process.

The process brings together two innovative pre-press gravure printing cylinder technologies which combine to provide the gravure industry with a size variable gravure printing cylinder with a superior finishing coating that is a direct alternative for chrome plating and other electrolytic processes like copper or nickel plating.

The project is due for completion in December 2018 and 2017, the first year of the project was primarily concerned with developing the equipment necessary to facilitate the technology with 2018 being heavily focused on end user engagement and technology trials.

The Hybrid Cylinder

In development for several years the innovative size variable gravure cylinder utilises an engineered polymer that provides a ‘build-up’ layer over an existing gravure cylinder or anilox roller (for Flexo markets) that after initial use can be reduced down in size within minutes and reused at reducing diameters to give printers and their engravers unrivalled levels of flexibility in cylinder management.

In harnessing many of the competitive advantages of flexographic printing, engineered specifically for the gravure industry the Hybrid Cylinder offers printers and convertors more choice in which printing process is best suited to their needs for any given job and removes the problems associated with sourcing the required size cylinders if none are available on site.

Hybrid Coatings

The Hybrid Cylinder whilst innovative itself, is now combined with a patent pending cylinder coating process with its foundations in diamond-like-carbon as part of the Roto-Hybrid Process. The end result is a gravure process that is superior in terms of print results, lower print cost with increased cylinder longevity and unlike the coating technologies it can replace, it is environmentally safe and bio-compatible.

Whilst Year 1 of the EC project was primarily focused on manufacturing development and scaling up of the capabilities of the technologies behind the Roto-Hybrid Process, the focus of 2018 will now shift from manufacturing set up towards customer trials of HCR and a wider programme of additional end user trials.

The Roto-Hybrid technology team are due to report our Year 1 findings and results to the European Commission in February and a further update on this and the project in general will be delivered at the GAA Global Gravure Summit in March, in Clearwater USA.

Request a Trial

Although the RotoHybrid team are currently conducting a series of technology trials with early adopters, later in Q2/2018 the technology trials programme will be extended to a wider group of parties interested in using the RotoHybrid process.

To participate in a technology trial please email technology@rotohybrid.com for more details