Impact of Electrostatic Assist on Halftone Mottle in Shrink Films
Gravure printing delivers intricate print quality and exhibit better feasibility for printing long run packaging jobs. PVC and PETG are widely used shrink films printed by gravure process. The variation in ink transfer from gravure cells on to the substrate results in print mottle. The variation is inevitable and requires close monitoring with tight control on process parameters to deliver good dot fidelity. The electrostatic assist in gravure improves the ink transfer efficiency but is greatly influenced by ESA parameters such as air gap (distance between charge bar and impression roller) and voltage. Moreover, it is imperative to study the combined effect of ESA and gravure process parameters such as line screen, viscosity and speed for the minimization of half-tone mottle in shrink films. A general full factorial design was performed for the above mentioned parameters to evaluate half-tone mottle. The significant levels of both the main and interactions were studied by ANOVA approach. The statistical analysis revealed the significance of all the process parameters with viscosity, line screen and voltage being the major contributors in minimization of half-tone mottle. The optimized setting showed reduction in halftone mottle by 33% and 32% for PVC and PET-G respectively. The developed regression model was tested that showed more than 95% predictability. Furthermore, the uniformity of dot was measured by image to non-image area (ratio) distribution. The result showed reduction in halftone mottle with uniform dot distribution.