Short Run Carton Packaging Production & Printing


New member
Hi All,

I have a wholesale custom product company where I create packaging and product designs for businesses which are then sent to my suppliers in china. With the ever increasing costs of shipping and ever increasing lead times (40+ days now) I am looking to take the shorter order runs (50-250 qty) in house. I need to make short runs of small printed carton boxes and ability to print on individual products. This is all new to me so I am trying to figure out what all is needed.

For the paper carton production I believe I would need a small format print (I have seen that OKI is the best option for this?) and some type of a cutter/creaser to cut and crease the individual boxes. For the cutter creaser the best option I think might be the Graphtec F-Mark2 since it is auto fed and can both cut and crease for short runs.

To print on individual products I am leaning towards a flatbed UV printer since I need to print on several types of products and materials and cannot see the advantage of using screen printing or pad printing for short runs with additional work of creating the screens and dies and messing with a bunch of ink. The best options I think i have found are the Compress iUV600s and the Mutoh XpertJet 661UF.

I am probably missing something or might be looking in the wrong direction for how to accomplish in house production, so if there is any feedback that you guys can give I would greatly appreciate it!



Well-known member
Depending on budgets -- I have seen some very good converters for corrugated and wide format printers. If you production is going to grow, stay away from the "low end" on the wide format printers. If you are going strictly UV, give the guys at Vanguard or Fluid Color a call on the wide format printers they do a good job at qualifying your inks/substrates and give you choices on the printheads. As for the converting Graphtec is good, but also look at CMC for your future. Eventually you may want to look at a single pass corrugated printer. Xerox has a new line of OEM printheads that are fast, wide and hi res -- 1200 dpi. The are a hot item for single pass, OEM printers used for corrugated applications.


Well-known member
If you're going to score/crease cartons, make sure you do some tests on different thicknesses of material.
Based in the UK, I produce short run carton packaging by printing on my Xerox toner based digital press and cut & crease on my Duplo PFiBlade B3.
We had a look at the Graphtec F-Mark when it first came out but at the time, the score was using a blunt pin instead of a scoring wheel and would drag across the sheet, which is why we invested in the Duplo.


Active member
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New member
I design printed carton boxes and send them mainly to Germany. I'm starting to doubt my business as in Germany exists a so-called 'German Packaging Act' and the licensing costs for my boxes are rather high. I guess I'll switch to other countries. What do you think?