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Norbert Kytka, Headquarters PlattlingContact
The corrugated packaging market is growing quickly. The explosion of e-commerce and new digital printing technologies are causing the global corrugated packaging market to grow fast. Corrugated board often is the best choice to package products.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important across the entire value chain, therefore corrugated board is becoming more popular in packaging. Corrugated protective formats nowadays are often chosen to replace polymer based alternatives, such as EPS-foams.
The order books are full, but raw materials like recycled pulp and paper are in high demand. Purchase prices for recovered paper, the most important raw material, are rising. In addition, pandemic-related changes in cross-border transport requirements within Europe are making raw material supplies more difficult and more expensive overall.
It is vital for producers of corrugated board to ensure their ability to deliver on time and to fulfill demands. Nevertheless, protecting their bottom line in a market where consumers increasingly demand personalization and individual products is challenging. Brand owners not only demand high-quality graphic designs, they also drive technological innovations to protect their packages against fake or counterfeit goods. These factors increase the complexity in production processes. The advent of fit-to-product (FtP) or box-on-demand systems is driven in particular by the needs of dedicated e-commerce sellers such as Amazon.
Due to increasingly complex logistics chains – e-commerce packages are expected to be handled up to 20 times or more during standard distribution to the consumer – corrugated board packaging has to be cost-effective as well as robust.
Producers of corrugated board can adjust their production planning with ease - even when supplies are scarce. Integrated digital processes support the entire value chain, especially production, therefore enabling manufacturers to deliver even with tight deadlines.
A thorough implementation of an SAP system enables companies to rely on fully integrated digital processes. Specialized solutions like T.CONs Manufacturing Execution System MES CAT enable producers of corrugated board to collect data along all areas of production. This information enables perfect KPIs analysis, planning and optimization. Solutions like T.CONs Trim Optimization Solution TRIM SUITE help companies reduce waste and raw materials and thus contribute directly to the bottom line.
There also is an increasing demand for quality control throughout the board production process. With a thorough quality control system in place, the final check is merely a positive confirmation, not an unpleasant surprise. This – as well as the traceability of goods – are further vital use cases for the implementation of MES CAT.
An integrated manufacturing facility provides more scope to design innovative products, have better logistics solutions, and serve customers in a better way. An integrated facility has other benefits which extend to the customers as well. These include: