Direct laser engraving is a fully integrated, two-step process that can be completed without a film process. This is an important milestone for the label printing industry. The prepress process is by far the most tedious part of the entire printing process. The direct laser engraving technology greatly simplifies the prepress process and greatly increases the efficiency of this process. This also enables printers to quickly respond to the market and provide faster service. More importantly, this fast platemaking process can be adapted to flexo, rotary screen printing, letterpress and waterless offset printing.

The basic principle of direct laser engraving

The laser engraving process is a sleeve plate imaging process. The plate is wrapped on a steel drum and then rotated at a very high speed (up to 2400 rpm). While rotating at a high speed, the drum moves along a horizontal axis and passes through a laser engraving device, exposing the entire printing plate to a high intensity CO2 laser beam. The plate absorbs the energy of the laser beam and causes thermal decomposition of the printing plate material in the engraving area. After engraving, the plate can be directly used for printing after a quick rinse.

Professional 3D software allows the operator to easily control the dot formation to ensure a high degree of precision in the graphics area, including the slope formed by the dots, the relief height, and the size of the bottom of the dot.

This platemaking process is suitable for a variety of materials, including polymers, EPDM (EPDM (double cyclopentadiene)) rubber sleeves, and electrophotographic emulsions for electroformed nickel screen cylinders.

In the flexo printing, embossing, and waterless platemaking processes, the non-image area is ablated by the laser beam and the image area remains intact. In the production of a rotary screen plate, the material in the graphic area is ablated so that the openings form openings. This is also the basis for ensuring good ink transfer during the printing process.

The advantages of direct laser engraving

Direct laser engraving has the following advantages:

High production efficiency - The direct laser engraving process is greatly simplified, requiring only half the time of the traditional engraving process. Repeated orders for plate production only need to upload files - so the entire preparation process is only a matter of minutes.

Excellent plate quality - The perfect plate size means optimal ink delivery and high contrast in fine line drawings. Therefore, small barcodes and texts do not need to be changed in size for pursuing clarity and scanning capabilities. The embossed base makes the dot enlargement rate of the high light sculpture area smaller. Unsupported outlets also experience long-term wear and tear to ensure dimensional stability. The dot relief design prevents dust accumulation in non-graphic areas.

The plate quality is more stable - the two printing plate sleeves made before and after can be completely consistent.

Longer life - no swelling or swelling of the printing plate. Seamless printing plates can also be realized.

Platemaking costs are lower - no need for development and long drying, the only cost is the energy consumption of the system operation, a very small amount of CO2 gas and the cost of the plate sleeve itself. The compact structure of the system means that more space can be saved.

Good environmental performance - Again, no chemicals and UV light are used throughout the platemaking process, using only a small amount of water and CO2. This means that there will not be any waste that limits emissions.

Quality advantages

Currently on the market there are a series of engraving devices - wide-width engraving machine is mainly for the flexographic field, cater to the needs of wide and narrow suppliers. The professional narrow-width engraving system can be used for the production of flexo, flexographic, waterless offset and rotary screen printing plates, providing a complete solution that can meet all kinds of prepress production. The professional rotary screen device is a good choice for large format users.

In general, printers can fully control the printing plate production process, control the cost within a reasonable range, and ensure the perfect quality and stability of the printing plate. With the shortening of the pre-press production cycle, printers are more flexible and able to respond to market challenges, because now the industry's delivery time has become the main competitive means.

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