Twin Track Engraving
Twin Track is a new hardware and software interface for ALE engraving machines, particularly when used to engrave high volume cell structures. The cell structures can be defined in the conventional manner, using screen count and screen angle.
Twin Track Engraving Mode
When using the Twin Track Cell designer software, the shape and depth profile of the cell can be defined. The system then automatically scales the cell design to fit the already defined template.
This technique provides control of the focused laser beam in two ways; one, by controlling the power of the focus beam and two, by controlling the position of the focus beam within each Anilox cell. This Twin Track approach offers several significant advantages…
- With the Twin Track technique, defocusing the laser in order to fill out an Anilox cell is no longer necessary. All points of a cell can be reached by the focused laser beam and the power at each point in the cell can be controlled. This means the Energy Density Ceiling is no longer an issue, simply because Twin Track operates at close to sharp focus.
- Always engraving close to sharp focus is a much easier task for engraving machine operators. Constantly changing the laser beam focus position is a time-consuming job, requiring frequent, skilled operator intervention. The new Twin Track graphic user interface also makes it easier for a machine operator to setup an engraving.
- With Twin Track, higher cell volumes can be obtained with a lower depth of engraving. This is because while the focused laser beam is moved around the Anilox cell, the laser power is varied, thus making a flatter cell bottom. See Fig 1 – B, C, D versus F, G, H, (below), comparing ‘Twin Track’ versus ‘Standard’ 100lpi/40lcm cell volumes. As cells are worn and depth reduces, Twin Track cell measures significantly higher volume at 50um depth versus standard cell at same 50um depth.
- Because cell volume can be obtained with lesser depth, then ceramic coating thicknesses do not have to be so great.
- Ink is more easily transferred from a flat bottom cell than a cell with a narrowing, pointed bottom. See Fig 1 – D versus H, flat bottom profile from Twin Track versus narrowing profile from standard method.
- The more difficult it is to get ink out of a cell, the more likely it is that old ink dries and plugs the cell. See fig 1 – S versus h, flat bottom profile from twin track versus narrowing profile from standard method. less plugging, less frequent roll cleaning with flatter, open cell profiles.
- Twin Track cells can easily provide higher cell volumes that are near unobtainable by the historic conventional method that is limited by the Energy Density Ceiling. See Fig 1 – A versus E.
In conclusion, the Twin Track engraving technique increases the range of engravings that can be produced by a laser engraving machine. This opens new market opportunities in the coatings and the applicator roll sector.
Full Twin Track Gallery
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Twin Track Design Showcase
Cycle through the following twin track design examples.