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Description about the technology used in the industry:
Gravure is an intaglio printing process. The image carrier has the image cut or etched below the surface of the non-image area. On the gravure image carrier (usually a copper cylinder), all the images are screened, creating thousands of tiny cells. During printing, the image carrier is immersed in fluid ink. As the image carrier rotates, ink fills the tiny cells and covers the surface of the cylinder. The surface of the cylinder is wiped with a doctor blade, leaving the non-image area clean while the ink remains in the recessed cells. Substrate is brought into contact with the image carrier with the help of an impression roll. At the point of contact, ink is drawn out of the cells onto the substrate by capillary action. Gravure is used for publications, catalogs, Sunday newspaper supplements, labels, cartons, packaging, gift-wrap, wall and floor coverings, and a variety of precision coating applications. Rotogravure.

Rotogravure printing on aluminum foil is recognized for its quality of reproduction, color, uniformity and the wide range in tonal effects which can be achieved. This process can utilize very fine screen half tones, and also the widest possible range of colored transparent inks, having unusual brilliance. Printing by rotogravure is an economical process for large volume runs for the production of paper-backed foil labels and over wraps. The process is not generally economical for short runs because of the high cost of the printing cylinders.

Ink viscosity and depth of etch of the cylinders are somewhat more critical for foil than for paper printing. Where practical, it can be helpful to have halftone illustrations and type on separate cylinders for more even inking. Ink drying is somewhat slower on foil than on paper and about the same as on cellophane, but over-all faster than for any other process delivering similar printing quality.