Sustainability and innovation in printing and converting: Uteco’s ESG technologies and Industry 5.0

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The latest advances in printing and converting technologies are paving the way for a more sustainable and efficient future. At the forefront of this evolution we find Uteco Group, one of the industry’s leading innovators, with its revolutionary Active Pack solution and adoption of Industry 5.0 principles

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A few days before opening of Drupa, where Uteco will be one of the expected protagonists, with all the technological innovations dedicated to printing and converting of flexible packaging, we propose a chat with Cristiano Cividini, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Uteco regarding Uteco’s ESG technologies, thanks to which the 5.0 transition materializes and takes shape considering all sustainable and social aspects.

Uteco Cividini ok

Face to face with Cristiano Cividini, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Uteco

Eng. Cividini, what will be the innovations in terms of sustainability and ESG that you will present at DRUPA 2024?

“At Drupa 2024 we present many initiatives and products that could redefine sustainability standards of printing industry. Uteco aims to become the first printing machinery manufacturer to introduce a reference practice to obtain ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) certification for its products, in collaboration with international certification bodies such as UNI, the ACIMGA trade association and an excellent converter like SIT. This synergic collaboration combines Uteco’s technical expertise with the regulatory expertise and operational experience of its partners and customers, ensuring that the process towards ESG certification is comprehensive and rigorous. Finally, we have also launched the EcoVadis certification as a further element of value for an important positioning in the converting supply chain. To promote all these initiatives in the ESG field, we have organized, during the fair, specific events where all the news will be presented but above all you will be able to see our ESG technologies in action, with an exceptional live demo! We are waiting for you at our stand A02 in hall 10. Furthermore, to stay updated on all Uteco events and presentations in DRUPA, we have launched UtecoAPP, an application downloadable from the AppStore (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android). With UtecoAPP, you’ll get exclusive access to behind-the-scenes previews, product videos, and articles highlighting our award-winning technologies and ESG advancements”.

Uteco macchina

What innovative technologies are you focusing on for ESG? What is it regarding?

“Let’s start with Active Pack, a revolutionary technology for central drum flexographic printing machines. Active Pack, present on all the latest Uteco machines, represents a strategic commitment to protect the environment, offering significant energy savings and unprecedented efficiency in the use of consumable materials. Together with the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as AI and IoT, Uteco is revolutionizing production processes to improve print quality, reduce waste and optimize activities. Active Pack includes a series of cutting-edge technologies designed to optimize efficiency and reduce resource consumption. In particular, Active Pack allows substantial savings on operating costs, with potential energy and consumables savings of up to 300,000 euros per year. A standout feature is the Active Start system, which boasts industry-leading technology for starting print jobs. With automatic pressure and register set-up in less than 3 minutes, Active Start minimizes material waste within 8 meters for each job start-up, setting a new standard for operational efficiency and eco-friendly production. Active Start stands out in the market thanks to its unparalleled innovative features, which no other player on the market can offer:

  • Uteco filmMinimized operating costs – no special equipment (off-machine) such as cliché mounters or special sleeves are required to set pressures and print register: it is therefore possible to use our customers’ existing fleet of sleeves!
  • Fast start-up work fast:- perfect print pressures and register since they are based on data detected in real time during print set-up and not on previous off-line processes. This allows you to reduce start-up times and increase productivity.

    – there is no need to continuously calibrate off-line equipments with on-board technologies to maintain data alignment.

The second technology present within the package is Active Dry, a patented and unique technology for optimizing energy consumption during the drying phase, regulating the drying power based on the printing characteristics and color coverage, identified by Active Start. This targeted approach can reduce the energy consumption of the drying process by up to 50%, offering very significant environmental benefits and economic savings. Complementing these innovations is available Active Ink, which refines ink pumping cycles based on the printing characteristics identified by Active Start, generating further energy savings.”

As regards the Dynamic Pack solution there is much attention towards the operator, is this correct?

“Certainly, Uteco’s commitment to well-being and safety of the operator is reflected in the Dynamic Pack, which guarantees a higher level of ergonomics for the operator with advanced systems to manage the cleaning and maintenance operations of the printing machine. The main technologies of the Dynamic Pack allow for easy replacement of the doctor blade and drying cassettes, as well as better accessibility of color units and the upper part of the machine. Material threading and tensioning, respectively Dynamic Web Threading and Dynamic Tension, are now fully automated, providing unprecedented operator aid. In conclusion, Uteco’s Active Pack exemplifies a holistic approach to sustainable printing and converting, combining innovative technologies with a focus on environmental responsibility and operational excellence”.

Finally, can you describe Uteco’s commitment to accompanying its customer towards Industry 5.0 materialize?

“In the current context, companies are faced with the challenge of transitioning towards the 5.0 paradigm, an opportunity to promote development that is ecological and innovative. Uteco positions itself as a pioneer of this ongoing change, proposing solutions, such as the Active Pack, which fully embrace the 5.0 transition initiative. While the request for energy consumption reduction is usually around 3-5%, Uteco has achieved notable reductions of up to 30%, and in some cases up to 50%, thanks to the optimization allowed by the Active Pack. The advantages for customers are many, from the possibility of remaining always connected, to the economic opportunities deriving from the practice of sustainability, through the promotion of responsible consumption and attention to social well-being. Uteco has studied these aspects in depth for years, aware that focusing on them can provide added value to its customers. To make the 5.0 transition concrete, the company invested in precise simulations with customers, based on real data and conducted with qualified certifiers, thus avoiding the risk of greenwashing. This is the approach that Uteco has chosen, bringing sustainable innovation into people’s daily lives”.

Click on the play button to watch the interview with Patrizia Pinto, Chief Customer Service Officer Uteco Group

Customer Service and the new services recently launched

Furthermore, within the Group’s strategy, there is great attention to Customer Service, which at the group’s headquarters in Colognola ai Colli works closely with the production department and manages all assistance needs, but also revamping and updating of existing machine park, to preserve over time the value of the investment for the customer.

Another fundamental pillar, and an integral part of Uteco’s development plan, is the continuous strengthening of the international network of Service Points. The strategic plan for Customer Service includes the expansion of the customer support network, with the aim of providing widespread, timely and high-quality support to Uteco customers. The plan involves the opening of 10 new service points. Between 2022 and 2023, four are already open: Singapore, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and Nordic countries. The plan will continue in this first half of 2024 with the opening of the new Service Point in Spain and Brazil.

A new service was launched in April, and we talked about this and more in the video interview, which you will find in this article, with Patrizia Pinto, Chief Customer Service Officer at Uteco Group.