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Uteco partners with CAE

A newly-formed alliance with CAE has paved the way for Uteco’s African growth, writes Karen Stretch.     

Uteco Converting has recently appointed Ceramic Anilox Engravers (CAE) as its official distribution and service partner for Southern Africa.     

Based in Italy, Uteco is recognised as a leader in precision-built flexographic and gravure printing presses and converting equipment.     

According to Stefano Squarcina, Uteco’s regional sales manager, synergies with CAE make the company an ideal partner to spearhead growth in sub-Saharan Africa.     

‘CAE is a dynamic company and its management and staff are well-versed in the local printing sector’s needs,’ he remarks. ‘Uteco is already established in the region and I’m confident that CAE can take the brand to the next level.’     


In conjunction with Uteco, CAE has developed a new sales, marketing and service strategy. ‘We’re moving with the times, giving customers access to competitive pricing by offering Uteco’s latest flexographic and  gravure presses and advanced converting equipment,’ explains Paul Rich, CAE’s technical director. ‘Customers will receive excellent local service support from our qualified technical team, while our long-established print industry experience allows us to offer complete turnkey solutions for press optimisation, fingerprinting, characterisation and high-quality output,’ he adds.  

Ground-breaking features

Uteco’s most striking new-generation flexographic press is the Crystal, unveiled earlier this year at drupa.

Specifically designed to print on food packaging materials, it’s suitable for applications that require a high level of automation to speed up job changes and reduce material waste, ink usage and power consumption.

Standard features include Uteco’s direct drive technology that ensures perfect register accuracy. A front unwinder and rewinder allows easy reel handling. Uninterrupted job set-up is achieved with a flying deck makeready system and an automatic positioning system for all print decks that also improves the rigidity of each printing unit. Banks of LED lights provide ultra-brightness inside each unit.

But the innovations don’t stop there. Specifications also include a new sleeve ejection system for plate and anilox sleeves, chamber doctor blade rotation of 90° for tool-less and on-press blade/end-seal replacement, programmable blade maintenance via the HMI (Human Machine Interface), colour dryer rotation of 180° for on-press air nozzle inspection, optimisation of air nozzle geometry, automatic adjustment of drying air flow and high-speed production thanks to high-efficiency motors and inverters providing noise reduction and energy savings.

Optional extras include a ‘Kiss & Go’ system that prepares printing pressure for each new job. By means of a closed loop, sensors read the colour directly on the printed web and the processing unit automatically adjusts the deck position to optimise print quality.

Also available via the HMI is SprintWash, a modular washing system with three different cycles for use with solvent- or water-based inks, or both if required.

Yet another important feature is SmartMatch colour matching for swift changeover.

By reading the printed image with a spectrophotometer (on-line or off-line) and comparing it with the reference image, Uteco SmartKitch dispenses precise colour correction quantities, ready for the operator to apply.

Uteco’s newly-designed Crystal HMI, ShopWare, has several additional features and controls. With the new touchscreen, the operator can access a multi-page colour display to operate the press and control different parameters related to the printing program.

The Crystal press can be equipped with an integrated robotic system, named LogiPack, that handles the preparation of the expandable shaft and core for the next splice, as well as the lifting of the unprinted reel on the unwinder and the discharge of the printed reel from the rewinder.

‘We aim to maintain our position as a global market leader in the supply of cost-efficient and innovative printing and converting equipment,’ asserts Stefano. ‘We take market needs and demands seriously, while respecting environmental regulations.’

Uteco also offers an iTunes App (available via the App Store) that displays its latest brochures. Alternatively, converters can contact CAE for technical advice on Uteco’s product range.


Ceramic Anilox Engravers
T +27 031 5691066
www.caepty.co.za / www.uteco.com

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