Gravure Sleeve

Despite occurring in various versions, all gravure sleeves have one thing in common: they use a base cylinder in the press in order to reduce the use of materials for the actual printing cylinder. Basically, this system is similar to the sleeve solutions in flexo. The storage and transport requirements are limited to the lightweight and economical sleeve. This means that logistics costs can be significantly reduced. When using thin-layer technology, expensive storage technology can often be dispensed with entirety.

As the thickness of the sleeve wall decreases, so does the weight of the sleeve but also the variability of the repeat. We therefore distinguish between two different sleeve solutions:


This involves working with a high-precision air cylinder in your press. Only lightweight nickel sleeves need to be fitted. This can be done directly in the printing press or in work areas set aside for the purpose, thereby reducing setup times.

The nickel forms the stable and true-to-size base structure of the thin sleeve. On top of this, we apply a copper engraving layer which is finally chrome-plated in similar fashion to a conventional gravure cylinder. This results in a total wall thickness of less than half a millimetre and an average weight of three kilograms. The advantages of this system are immediately apparent.

Because of the high level of accuracy, no concessions need to be made in terms of print speed or quality. The sleeves are supplied in stackable cardboard boxes, allowing you to save on investment in expensive shelf technology. Due to the minimal wall thickness, this system varies minimally in diameter and is therefore particularly suitable for highly standardised, fixed-format applications. This may, for example, be the printing of wrapping paper, but at times packaging printers also have numerous jobs with the same print diameter. We are happy to sit down with you and analyse your order spectrum to identify the optimum solution.

Conventional sleeve systems

Put simply, the sleeve is a type of hollow cylinder which is not fitted from the end but is inserted in the printing machine over the inside of the sleeve. A clamping mandrel forms the carrier core in the printing machine.

The printing sleeve has a variable wall thickness and thus provides greater variability in diameter than thin-film technology. Obviously, this also increases the weight, but is still well below that of a conventional axial cylinder of comparable dimension. The pickup of the sleeve takes place by means of frictional locking with the inner surface and therefore requires the highest precision in machining. At the same time, high print quality and speed are ensured.

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