More precise printing, faster set-up and cost savings are the key benefits offered by the next generation of electrostatic assist (ESA) roller and sleeve coverings developed by Hannecard. The HannePearl roller and sleeve covering solution features a proprietary new process that combines nanotechnology and polyurethane.

According to Philippe Baichette, general manager of Hannecard Switzerland, the nanoparticles of carbon are what establishes HannePearl as a truly next-generation ESA solution. “When you are using carbon powder for the electric performance, you have to consider that the carbon powder has some weight. The nanoparticles have no weight, which results in an excellent dispersion of the carbon, which is conductive, inside of the polyurethane.”

The Hannecard development team started work on the nanoparticle solution in 2016.  Prior to that, the technologies used in ESA printing hadn’t really been altered in decades, says Philippe Baichette. The development team brought together a wide range of specialists to create the ground-breading HannePearl solution. “With in-depth expertise in gravure printing, creating chemical compounds in polyurethane, and mechanical and electrostatic performance, the HannePearl development team had the knowledge and insight necessary to envision and successfully develop the HannePearl product,” he says.

With HannePearl, the quality of the printing is the same from one side to the other side of the rollers or the tubes or the sleeves. Higher-quality printing means fewer rejections, which translates into cost savings, as does the reduced requirement for electrical power. “You can use less power for the same result,” says Baichette.

The improved abrasion and chemical resistance offered by HannePearl also represents a major advance. With HannePearl, the electric values remain extremely steady, reducing the need to re-grind the roller surface, for a longer roller life and fewer interruptions in printing. The next-generation HannePearl is very resistant to abrasion, which is crucial for printing on cardboard, meaning fewer roller changes as well. Increased chemical resistance means longer life for rollers, which is especially important in regions where aggressive solvents are typically used to clean roller surfaces.