From the inventor of direct engraving


Direct is better – because laser engraving beats imaging alone

During its development, HELL PremiumFlexo benefited from the know-how synergies between gravure and flexographic printing that are unique to HELL. Our many years of expertise in direct engraving enable us to stand out from the competition. Since Rudolf Hell invented HELL HelioKlischograph electromechanical engraving for gravure cylinders, direct engraving has undergone continuous development and is now also available for flexographic printing forms – with the HELL PremiumSetter , which performs razor-sharp laser engraving.

The HELL PremiumSetter combines no fewer than four key innovations for laser systems:

  1. The HELL PremiumSetter is not just an imaging system with a laser that writes in a black masking layer, but a direct laser engraving system that removes the three-dimensional relief to the full depth in a single step. The only step after engraving is cleaning with plain water to remove debris.
  2. The fiber laser for direct engraving is far more powerful than the fiber laser of an imaging system and three times more efficient than a CO2 laser with its coarse engraving.
  3. 3D shaping and razor-sharp reproduction deliver maximum print quality.
  4. The HELL PremiumSetter engraves state-of-the-art elastomers. These are fundamentally different from photopolymers and have many different physical/chemical properties from the rubber previously used.

Direct is better – because quality ensures a user-friendly solution

The quality becomes absolutely reproducible, because the 3D shape of the print elements is pre-defined in the digitally controlled process. The elastomers ensure well-defined reproduction of elements without any analog processing steps, do not swell, last longer, and transfer ink highly effectively. What’s more, reducing the form manufacturing process to just two steps minimizes the potential for errors. Three-dimensional shaping and elastomer selection extend the service life, maximize tonal value ranges, and optimize detail reproduction. They do so consistently throughout the run. What’s more, direct laser engraving finally eliminates all kinds of existing printing problems.

Direct is better – because of its cost-efficiency for everyone

Overall, printing form production costs are lower with HELL PremiumFlexo. After all, it costs less to invest in two-stage HELL PremiumFlexo technology than in other established complete systems. Material costs for elastomer sleeves are lower, too, and the total process costs for elastomer plates are roughly equivalent. Under these conditions, it has been shown that both prepress service providers and print shops can achieve a rapid return on their investment.

It is also possible to cut printing costs. Eliminating typical printing problems reduces waste. And thanks to a compressible layer in the elastomer plates and sleeves, savings are also made on expensive cushion tape.

Direct is better – because the printing form reaches the press faster

The extremely fast availability of the printing form on the press is unparalleled – in particular with dual- and four-beam technology. Cleaning is the only process step required after engraving, which more than makes up for the lower imaging speed.