The Roto-Hybrid team have recently completed the first project review with the European Commission of our 24 month, €3m EC grant to bring to market the state-of-the-art Roto-Hybrid Process.
The process combines two novel pre-press gravure printing cylinder process technologies; namely the Hybrid Cylinder technology to enable an upscaled size variable printing cylinder production facility and a Diamond-Like Carbon coating process to replace chrome plating and other electrolytic processes like copper or nickel plating.
The project review ended with a visit by the European Commission to our HCR coating plant in Germany and included both a detailed tour of the plant and a demonstration of how the process works.
Whilst 2017 was a year of manufacturing development and fine tuning to facilitate both larger cylinders for the Hybrid Cylinder and to bring online the dedicated coating equipment for the HCR chrome replacement cylinder process, the focus of 2018 now shifts towards customer trials of HCR and from Q2/2018 a wider programme of additional end user trials and in-market evaluations of the diamond-like-carbon coating technology will commence.
Why Go Chrome Free?
The Hybrid Chrome replacement coating is a Patent Pending environmentally safe hybrid cylinder coating process with its foundations in diamond-like-carbon. The novel technology offers superior print results, lower print cost with increased cylinder longevity and removes the need for chrome plating and other electrolytic processes like copper or nickel plating so the question then becomes why would you not go chrome free?
The REACH regulation presents uncertainty to the gravure cylinder and anilox roller manufacturers who in turn supply their various markets and whilst temporary reprieves maybe granted and the use of chromium compounds extended, those reprieves still involve increased legislation and additional costs of compliance towards what most people accept will still be an eventual ban of chromium compounds in gravure cylinder and flexo anilox production.
Whilst Hybrid Chrome Replacement removes the headaches associated with this increasing level of compliance and the associated costs, the benefits of adopting the Roto-Hybrid Process are not just from a health, safety and environmental point of view as the process offers significant technical gains and efficiencies such as improved cylinder make-ready times and reduced ink consumption amongst others.
Request a Trial
Although the RotoHybrid are currently conducting a series of technology trials with early adopters of the technology later in Q2 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more details