Hybrid Cylinders Update and Outlook for 2017
2016 was an active year for the Hybrid Cylinder technology, a year which also saw the introduction of the Roto-Hybrid process, so to allow the simultaenous development of complementary gravure and gravure cylinder technologies to better address the current and future needs of various gravure markets over and above the Hybrid Cylinder.
The Roto-Hybrid Process is the culmination of several years of research and development and the next step in our mission to bring about a better, quicker and cheaper gravure printing process is to bring to market; Hybrid Cylinders with longer face lengths, larger diameters for new and redundant bases and more varied shaft configurations when applying our novel build-up technology to repurpose redundant gravure cylinder stocks.
Whilst there are uncertain times ahead in respect of how far, how quickly and with what cost implications there will be to the widely anticipated restrictions (or even a ban) in the use of Chromium VI by the European Chemicals Agency, the RotoHybrid team have brought about a program of research and development not just to introduce a viable alternative to using Chromium VI in gravure, but with a replacement technology that offers better performance over and above the use of chrome.
RotoHybrid were pleased to announce at the Gravure Association of the Americas Technical Meeting in October 2016 that our team had been working on a gravure cylinder finishing technology to replace Chromium VI for some time and that in Q2 of 2017 we hope to publish some data on our technology.
As was announced in Richmond Virginia at the end of 2016 we have been working on a technology which has properties of Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) that in itself is well documented for hard-wearing abilities superior to those of Chromium VI but that with our research, development and proprietary enhancements the RotoHybrid replacement for chrome will deliver other benefits and gains to the pre-press and on-press performance of gravure.
The RotoHybrid team have begun an extensive program of testing and in early Q3 of this year we will be releasing data of the chrome replacement technology in both pre-press and on-press environments.