How cardboard packaging is made?
Corrugated cardboard, the basic material from which cardboard packaging is made, is made from paper pulp. In turn, not only recycled paper but also wood pulp and various rags are used to make the pulp. Once all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, the pulp is chemically and thermally treated. Its high resistance to damage, stiffness and biodegradability make corrugated cardboard an excellent choice for the production of cardboard packaging. What else is worth knowing about it? How are cardboard boxes made?
Basic information about cardboard
Before we learn how cardboard is produced, we take a slightly closer look at cardboard, which, as it turns out, comes in several types. This popular paper product can be characterised by its single or multilayer structure. Above all, it is used for the production of bulk and individual packaging. There are several divisions of paperboard based on its construction, use and properties.
- Solid cardboard, as the name suggests, is entirely filled with pulp. It is also called upholstery cardboard, recycled cardboard or furniture cardboard. It is used in the upholstery and furniture industry. Its characteristic feature is that it is 100 per cent biodegradable, as only recycled paper is used in the production of solid cardboard.
- Virtually every cardboard manufacturer uses corrugated cardboard. This is the most common type of cardboard, which also comes in several varieties. Its construction consists of at least two (and even up to seven) layers of liners. Liner is the professional name for the paper layer. What are the characteristics of corrugated cardboard used to make cardboard packaging? Fluting, i.e. the middle part of the cardboard, is distinguished by its corrugated construction. Such a solution makes cardboard boxes, despite their relatively low weight, stiff, so that they can be successfully used for the production of bulk packaging.
- Another division involves a type of wave. We distinguish E-type wave (3 layers), also called microwave, as well as C-wave (3 layers), B-wave (3 layers), EB-wave (5 layers), BC-wave (5 layers), BB-wave (5 layers) and AAC-wave (7 layers). It is worth mentioning that a cardboard manufacturer using corrugated board consisting of several layers uses a combination of waves. Furthermore, the cardboard comes in white, grey and brown. It can have a corrugated structure or a coated outer layer.
Cardboard packaging is one of the most important applications of corrugated cardboard. This paper product is completely food-safe, which is why it is used extensively in the food industry. Amongst other things, cardboard boxes are used to store and transport takeaway food (e.g. pizzas). They are also used in the confectionery.
Due to the need to reduce plastic production, cardboard has become an excellent substitute for plastic packaging. The ever-growing e-commerce industry and mail order are further areas of the market into which cardboard packaging is finding its way. Every carton manufacturer can customise not only the size, but also the shape, type and additional decorative elements on an individual basis. The possibilities for personalisation are virtually endless. Even postal packaging can be modified, which provides protection for parcels throughout the delivery process.
How cardboard boxes are produced?
The entire production process for cardboard packaging is strictly dependent on the type of packaging. In the case of basic transport boxes made of corrugated cardboard (usually consisting of 2 to 7 layers) – production is simplified as much as possible. The correct amount of cardboard goes into the boxmaker. The machine used for packaging production is equipped with, among other things, special knives that precisely cut through even multi-layered corrugated cardboard. The boxmaker guarantees not only the repeatability of the entire production process, but also high productivity. This means that even for large orders, lead times are kept to a minimum while maintaining the highest standards.
How is cardboard packaging made? Continued
Standard cardboard boxes are assembled using special machines. This enables a large number of boxes to be produced in a short period of time. The repeatability of the entire process is also important. It should be noted, however, that non-standard cardboard boxes (cardboard packaging) are still, and most likely will be for a long time to come, folded by hand. Why is this process not fully automated? The costs and time involved in producing a special machine are disproportionate to the profits.
Modern cardboard packaging combines high quality, durability and, above all, functionality. They provide effective protection for shipments, regardless of their contents. In addition, they are distinguished by an attractive appearance which catches the eye.