Carton Production Process
Carton manufacture is a skilled, sophisticated and complex process that can offer a whole range of techniques and finishes to satisfy a vast range of products. Innovation and accuracy are at the heart of carton making and companies offer far more than the mere printing of cartons.
The process begins with skilled and experienced structural and graphic designers who translate the customer needs into concepts and once these are agreed, production can begin. The Pre Press section is where all the detailed preparation takes place with the production of printing plates, cutting forms and other items needed during the production process.
Print machinery which can be either sheet fed or reel fed is very sophisticated and a great deal of investment has taken place across the industry to ensure the most up to date equipment is installed. The majority of carton are printed using the offset litho system but both flexo and gravure are other print techniques used for cartons as well. As well as ink being applied to the cartonboard, it is also usual to also add varnishes which can be matt, gloss or a combination of both. Metallic inks are used widely as are holographic images and various special methods to add security elements to a carton.
The cartonboard used can be pre laminated with foil and then printed or it is possible to apply foil during or after the printing process. A whole range of special effects and finishes are available to offer the widest possible choice to customers.
After printing, the cartons which are printed several at a time on one sheet of cartonboard, have to be cut out and separated. This is done using a cutting and creasing machine which can also be used to apply embossing to the cartons if required. It is also possible to apply hot foil stamping to add highlights to the carton.
Finally the cartons are glued as required and packed and despatched to the customer.