7C Gravure Printing – is it possible?
Frequent ink changes and multiple spot colours really drive up the cost of package printing. Whereas the use of a fixed, usually 7C, palette has long been well-established in flexo printing for certain applications, this approach to colour separation, which is able to achieve over 90 % of Pantone colours, has been used infrequently in gravure printing up until now. Current developments in press technology allow the possibility for expanded gamut 7C gravure printing.
The advantages are unmistakable. Shorter and shorter print runs mean that with conventional production (CMYK + spot colours), the proportion of residual ink in the overall process increases. Using the same fixed set of colours on a gravure press (CMYK + red, blue and orange), means that only the gravure cylinders need to be changed for a new job, which considerably cuts cleaning and change-over times along with effort. At job start, standardized and precise colour definitions in 7C printing don’t just mean simplified and quicker colour matching, they also save several hundred metres of substrate during start-up.
To give you an idea of how the two processes compare, we printed the same demanding flexible packaging motif using 7C and 4C plus three spot colours in our technology center.
The results were described in an article in Gravure Global magazine. Download the pdf to read the full article.