The Pre-Print technologies consist of printing on the paper first and then laminate it to the corrugated carton.
Until recent times the corrugated and microwave carton with long repeats was typically printed with in-line flexographic machines, sheet to sheet, usually 4 colors, with limited print quality. The speed was about 70 sheets/minute, which means 110 m/min approximately.

The field of applications for the pre-print technology is constantly evolving and growing and, at present, the big end-users need to improve their box packaging appeal for the new HD large-screen televisions, refrigerators, electric household appliances in general, beer and beverages bottles or cans, and so on. They can achieve this goal with high definition images printed on the box, which can only be obtained with the high printing quality that Flexo Pre-Printing Technology can grant.

With the use of Central Impression Flexographic printing machines, with reel to reel configuration, printing paper is more simple: you get excellent print quality and speeds up to 500/600 m /min with considerable cost reduction. The paper used is normally recycled at 50/80%, basis weight ranges from 50 to 180 gr/sqm and the number of colors required is up to 8 plus final lacquering, to get a glossy surface.

The advantages of Flexo Pre-Print Technology are:

  • better quality, due to dust absence during printing
  • higher resistance of the final corrugated structure, because it is not compressed during printing
  • better precision of the printing register
  • possibility of printing on coated paper with smooth varnish

The machine developed by Uteco for the Pre-Print is a central drum flexographic press of the Diamond HP range, with widths starting from 1800 mm, print repeat average around 1800 mm and supplied in the typical configuration of 8 C-CI plus a downstream flexo unit for final lacquering. This project has been an important investment for Uteco in terms of research and development.

In the past era of geared flexographic presses and integral cylinders, Uteco has already supplied machines with long repeat and some of them have been supplied to big multinational groups. Some of Uteco’s references in the Pre-Print and board field are:

  • SN. 653 – VISIFLEX – JADE LRDB 4M – 5 colors, width 2500mm , max print repeat 2000mm
  • SN. 1291 – PRATT IND. – JADE LRDB 4M – 11 colors, width 2800mm , max print repeat 2500mm
  • SN. 1177 – PRATT IND. – JADE 815 – 8 Colors, width 1600mm , max print repeat 1800mm

The solid design, easy operation, waste reduction and quick changeover times of the new range of sleeved/gearless & long repeat Diamond HP presses, comes from:

FEM analysis
The print units are mounted on a rigid framework designed with the utilization of a special
software for FEM analysis, a method originated from the need of solving complex elasticity
and structural design problems (typically in the automotive and aeronautic industry).
In a structural simulation, FEM helps tremendously in producing stiffness and strength
visualization + charts which give the right input to the engineers dedicated to design the frame
of the CI Prinitng Group.

Central Drum Cleaning System
With permeable substrate, in particular paper, the ink remained tends to contaminate the
surface of the CI drum. With a cleaning system, specially designed for this application, the CI surface can be cleaned easily within few minutes without removing the web.

Lifting Platforms
The machine is equipped with elevating platforms and sleeve carrying trolleys, which are
clamped directly to the platforms, in order to help the operator to change the sleeves on the
upper decks easily and safely.

Sprint Wash®
The Uteco’s automatic washing system with a modular and compact design.

Its features:

  • easy maintenance
  • quick connection and removal from the press
  • studied for ss ink tanks and commercial pails
  • double pump system (inlet and suction pump)
  • 2-port process valve
  • low water consumption thanks to “loop” phases
  • pulsation damper
  • all print units in 6 minutes.
  • improved inking and anilox doctoring


  • high nozzle velocity
  • even distribution of drying air across the web width
  • very efficient air recirculation system (when required)
  • easy access to nozzles for cleaning
  • easy maintenance
  • low noise level

Winding Systems

  • Shafted or Shaft-less
  • suitable for paper, foil or linerboard
  • clockwise and counter-clockwise splicing
  • automatic reel change according to reel diameter or web length
  • in-line slitting capability

Other features of this range of long repeat flexographic presses derivate from the standard range of Ci Gearless and sleeved flexographic presses manufactured by Uteco Group.

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