Cylinder Engraving

Sleeve cylinders or shaft cylinders & no matter which engraving technology used

Gravure printing is one of the most popular print technologies for packaging which is currently flourishing. The prints produced are characterized of top quality as very fine printing rasters can be produced at high speed, with brilliant colors at high color depths and gradients.

Traditionally being considered a complex print process and with high initial set-up costs, gravure printing is believed to only make sense for longer print runs and premium products. However, continuous developments in the gravure process have significantly increased the productivity and cost efficiency. From lighter weight cylinders to easier handling, as well as time and cost saving innovations, such as fully automated prepress systems making faster engraving, etc.

Cylinder production challenges

Gravure cylinder production comprises several steps, and while processes are evolving towards more automation, there is a great demand for the automated management of the cylinder production workflow. The challenges that engravers are facing are focused on two main subject matters: cylinder identification and real-time tracking, and automating and monitoring the engraving production workflow. Overprint MIS enables full management of the engraving production process of cylinders.

The importance of data management

When placing a cylinder order, detailed specifications are communicated, essential in accurately designing and producing the engraved cylinder. All technical specifications related to the print job and cylinder manufacture including the cylinder technical drawing is captured. The press information is also added; this immediately populates several cylinder design specs in every future order for the specific press. The Job Ticket contains all specifications and order details needed for the engraving production.

Accurate Planning of all the job tickets to be produced is vital in meeting delivery deadlines, optimizing equipment efficiency, and minimizing idle times. Machine Learning algorithms are using data from previous production cycles, constantly improving job prioritization and time gain control.

Shop floor data collection terminals allow the collection and registration of valuable data in real-time such as time and material consumption, idle times, maintenance intervals etc. This is used for real-time production monitoring and reporting purposes.

The concept of Cylinder ID tagging

Cylinder ID tagging contains all the information incorporated in the job ticket, it is always available, throughout all engraving production stages, ready for scanning. The benefits of incorporating a Cylinder ID tag are numerous, including the possibility to easily identify a cylinder wherever this is placed, but also to validate that the correct cylinder is used in every production stage.

This tag will follow the cylinder throughout its lifetime, enabling system users to identify the cylinder using RFID scanners and gain instant access to cylinder-related info, such as the job ID, dimensions, color, production stage, and in general, a complete cylinder history. This allows printers to quickly locate the correct one for each job, by scanning directly on any cylinder from the bunch.

Management & automation of cylinder production

Overprint MIS allows the management of the cylinder production lifecycle efficiently, as well as the production monitoring and data collection. This is established in the Monitoring sub-module. Invaluable statistics and insights are made available, which provide for assuring an end-to-end view to all connected parties, for establishing trends, and for making better & faster decision-making. Production automation and RFID tagging result in saving hundreds of hours of searching and tracking cylinders as well as thousands of Euros from errors in production.

Facilitating warehouse processes

Picking and packing procedures, as well as inventory and warehousing, are managed through the Warehouse module and handheld terminals utilizing a variety of mobile apps. This facilitates cylinder stock management at a printer’s site, which may count thousands of pieces.

During the dispatch and delivery of engraved cylinders, barcodes and RFID tags simplify the processes. The receipt on the printer’s side allows for quick checking of the received products and immediate storage in the warehouse.

Printers can gain access to the extended information that resides on the engraver’s cylinder database, allowing them to manage their cylinder stock easily, and plan cylinder re-usage.


The technologies used allow engravers and printers to digitize and automate most of their day-to-day processes while remaining connected with their circle of customers and associates.

The technologies used allow engravers and printers to digitize and automate most of their day-to-day processes while remaining connected with their circle of customers and associates.

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