20 Sep 2021

Packaging proofs and mock-ups on original substrate

This solution is a real breakthrough for the industry, as it enables 'Direct-to-Substrate-Proofing', meaning printing on original substrates – something many customers have been looking for since many years. On this page, you find all important information about this truly unique solution!

What does "direct-to-substrate" proofing exactly mean?

Direct-to-substrate proofing means that you can produce packaging proofs and mock-up on your customer´s individual original production stock. With this method, you do not have to use transfer films, primers, or pre-coated proofing media.

Now, you are able to print directly on the production substrate and simulate the final packaging, very realistic with contract-proofing precision. The result is a perfect packaging proof or mock-up which cannot be distinguished from the original.

 MUTOH Samples web


Which are the main advantages?

There are several good reasons why this approach has great potential. Let´s have a look at some!

The key point is that you are able to produce packaging proofs and mock-ups on individual production substrate (of your customers) and provide each of them with a true representation

  • that looks exactly like the final product
    (this makes it e.g. possible to check the distortion of an artwork on the original shrink material or show color shifts on metallized film) and
  • that feels exactly like the final product.

Besides that,

  • you will save a great amount of time and money as you do not need to take care of any generic proofing media
  • you gain important competitive advantages as you can provide something very few others can offer
  • you will enter new markets and win new customers
  • + several others...

 MUTOH Printer web

How does that work?

Direct-to-substrate proofing is based on our software FLEX PACK, which is well-known in the market for many years as a turnkey solution to produce color-accurate packaging proofs and prototypes – even with complex finishing effects.

Now, FLEX PACK is available in combination with the Mutoh ValueJet 628 MP. This is a digital piezo inkjet printer, which was developed for the special requirements and needs of the packaging industry. That means e.g. that it works with an innovative mild temperature, low-pressure hot air knife system which, in combination with the integrated contact heaters, allows the inks to dry on uncoated substrates without exposing them to excessive heat. It also has a special media transport system that allows loading a wide variety of substrates including very thin PE shrink film and the pressure rollers transporting the substrate can be individually disabled.

Besides the printer, the inks were also newly developed for this system. The so-called “Multi-purpose XG INKS” (CMYK, Lc, Lm, and white ink) are resin-based and therefore have an excellent adhesion to coated and uncoated substrates. In addition to that: They are non-toxic, odorless, and have unique stretching and shrinking properties.

Unlike UV inks, the specially developed new XG INKS retain the look and feel and all other physical properties of the substrate, thus making it possible to create a proof or prototype which cannot be distinguished from the final product.

In this video Mutohs product manager Stephan Heintjens summarizes the key points and shows the printer, the inks and some packaging samples which can be done with the system easily.


Does it work on any substrate?

This solution shows its great potential when you proof on foil - no matter if they are transparent, white, metalized, etc. -, sheet metal, coated or uncoated carton, (even very thin) films or shrink foils. One huge advantage is, that you can check the distortion of the artworks perfectly in advance on the original shrink material.

Therefore, this is the ideal solution for those proofing applications where the use of transfer films with solvent-based inks or printing with UV inks is not the optimum approach.

That means if the surface of the substrate is part of the design and you like to see the individual character of the material and have an impression of the haptic, the "direct-to-substrate"-proofing approach is the perfect choice!

For larger formats and/or thicker substrates (up to 16 mms) like corrugated board, there is an alternative printer available, the Mutoh ValueJet 1627MH, offering roll-to-roll and flatbed printing equally.


Mutoh Muster


If you like to visualize even complex finishings with stunning effects, the combination with the Roland printer is the right choice for you. More information about this FLEX PACK version is available here.


User report

Waldo’s Managing Director Phil Walmsley shared his experiences with the MUTOH/CGS ORIS system for direct-to substrate proofing in an online conference. Watch the recording here:

Key points at a glance

  • Packaging proofs and mock-ups on original substrate
  • Color-accurate simulation of the final product
  • Efficient and cost-effective
  • No generic proof substrates are necessary
  • Easy to use, with seamless integration into existing environments and any other CGS ORIS applications

You are producing on a special material and want to convince yourself that the system works with your substrate? Get in touch with our Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!! They are glad to answer all your questions and provide you an individual sample. 


Kettelerstraße 24
D-63512 Hainburg
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