Prior to 1980 anilox rolls were produced by a variety of mechanical processes. These metal anilox rolls were sometimes sprayed with ceramic to prolong their life in the flexographicprinting press. During the 1980s laser engraving systems were produced which used a carbon dioxide laser to engrave the required cell pattern directly into the polished ceramic surface. Since then Q-switched YAG lasers were used for a period as they provided a more focusable laser beam as well as increased pulsing frequencies capable of engraving the finer cell configuration demanded by the ever-evolving flexographic printing process. Since approximately the year 2000 the direct anilox laser engraving process has been dominated by the use of fibre lasers which provide the high powers of the carbondioxide lasers together with the finely focusable beam of the YAG lasers. Optical systems providing the rapid switching of multiple beams have allowed the fibre laser system to be dominant in this market. This technology has become known as Multi-Beam-Anilox or MBA.