Company history

For over 35 years, we have offered printing and converting solutions that anticipate market changes, believing in the values of innovation, flexibility and sustainability.

Uteco’s origins: history, technology and the future

Our story begins in 1985, in the hills around Verona, in the industrial area of San Martino Buon Albergo. The idea for the company began with a Veronese entrepreneur who set up his own production unit, an assembly service and an after-sales service, together with four other people who already had experience with flexographic machines. Passion, intuition, growth and a strong motivation towards technological innovation have been in our DNA since the beginning. 

As the company grew, it began looking for a bigger site, eventually moving headquarters to Colognola ai Colli, in the east of Verona, where the company is still headquartered today. Over time, the company expanded, adding new plants: in 2007 we opened Uteco Plant#2 which was initially launched to house machinery and, in 2014, became the ConverDrome®, when we opened a new R&D center. In the same year, we opened Uteco Plant#3. Located closer to our the headquarters, it houses office space and includes part of the production process. The newest is addition to our site is the Uteco Plant#4, built in 2018 and opened the following year. 

The most important milestones in our history are closely linked to the manufacturing of particular innovative solutions for printing and converting, both for Italian customers and European, American and other markets. In the same way, important stages of evolution and growth are marked by the participation in the most important international trade fairs related to the packaging world: Drupa and K, which takes place in Dusseldorf, Germany, and the Print4All conference.

From our beginnings into the 2000s

In the year the company launched, within a few months we supplied an important Italian customer with the first 2-color in line flexo printing machine with welding system.

In 1992 we created the Jade model, the first innovative, fully automated printing machine, with automated cylinder change. The following year we launched Programm, the first in a rotogravure series.

1997 marked a big turning point as we designed and built the first fully gearless flexographic printing machine for a German customer. With this, we secured our place on the global stage.

In October 2000 we opened our American division, Uteco North America, in Atlanta (GA). 

In 2002, we manufactured a special rotogravure for a leading English customer operating in the security field. The machine was suitable for de-metallization, printing and registration in one line.

2004: a new generation of gearless flexographic printing

As we settled into the new millennium, our greatest development was our gearless, flexographic machines. Anticipating change in the market, in 2004 we presented at the Drupa fair the Onyx model, the first flexographic printer of the new gearless generation. It soon became the spearhead of our production, which has over 600 machines.

Onyx is the natural evolution of the Emerald machine: it elevates its print quality, and, thanks to its extremely easy use and quick job changeover times, it facilitates the interaction between technology and operator. With subsequent evolutions of the Onyx model, we have focussed on the excellence created by a winning product, cementing our position as a world leader in flexography.

a flexo gearless Uteco machine

2007 – 2013: innovation on new machines

To respond to customer demand for flexographic printing machines with high productivity, we started the Diamond HP project, designed for high performance, maximum print quality, reliability and efficiency. The Diamond HP 808 with water-based inks was exhibited at Drupa fair in 2008.

In 2008, we continued to develop special machines, in particular coaters and laminators, introducing two lines: one for converting self-adhesive painted film, and another one for the production of self-adhesive silicone paper.

In the same year, we presented the first application of Electron Beam (EB) technology on a flexographic machine. The research on EB technology continued and in 2011, we introduced the Thermilox® patent, which guarantees accurate and continuous control over ink temperature during printing.

2010 was the year that saw us present the first Silver SIL roto-offset machine for the safety sector, built for a major bank by our business unit dedicated to the design of specialist machinary.

The following year we brought out the Crystal line, a dynamic and compact flexographic machine equipped with patented automatic control systems, developed exclusively by our teams: Touch & Go® and Kiss & Go® systems.

In 2013 we launched the Diamond VHP, designed for printing and pre-printing on large formats of up to 800 meters.

 

2015: our first thirty years

In 2015 we celebrated our thirty years by presenting two new lines: the compact flexo Onyx XS and the innovative rotogravure Next 450. With our anniversary, we inaugurated a new season of investments addressed to different areas of the company: to the training of human resources, according to the most modern operating methods based on 6Sigma and Lean Production; to the Research and Development department for innovative projects, such as printed electronics applied to Smart-Active Packaging, also in collaboration with Italian and foreign institutions and universities. Finally, we invest in a new Working Center at the headquarters in Colognola, in order to have complete quality control of the machines’ main mechanical components.

Digital and Green Technology: Uteco looks towards the future

In 2017, we brought out new rotogravure machines, such as the NXS, and new coaters and laminators, developing innovative solutions for printing short runs with high ROI. In addition, we launched our first digital printing machines.

In 2018, NB Renaissance acquired 81% of the Uteco Group. In May, we went to the first Print4All conference, coming away from it having signed several deals.

October 2019 saw us have a fantastic time at the K Fair where we sold a lot of units and presented some exciting new designs. Amongst those were the Rainbow 4.0, a solventless lamination machine with green technology solutions.

2020 marked the beginning of a new era: we applied the most cutting-edge innovation in lamination and digital print for flexible packaging to the new DuaLam, equipped with the homonymous solvent-free lamination system developed by Sun Chemical, as well as to the Sapphire EVO W digital press and the Crystal 2.0.

uteco staff