Innovations in corrugated packaging: new technologies and opportunities

  Corrugated cardboard packaging is a container made of multi-layered material, in which alternating wavy (fluting) and flat (liner) layers are glued together. Such products differ from analogues by a list of technical features, in particular, lightness, strength, stability and an affordable price. These are the key parameters that determined the popularity of corrugated cardboard packaging on the world market.
Today, corrugated cardboard boxes, crates and trays are used for packaging almost all types of products and goods on the market. The material is inert and environmentally friendly, which allows it to be used for storage and transportation of food, medicines, clothes, household appliances, cosmetics, bulk goods, etc. All these qualities stimulate the active use and improvement of corrugated cardboard packaging. We will consider the main innovations later in the article.
A brief history of the appearance of corrugated cardboard
Before looking at current features, innovations and trends, it should be noted that the first corrugated canvases were created in 1856. Initially, this material was used as a lining for hats. At the same time, the first patent for double-layer corrugated cardboard, which was used for packing glass bottles, was received by an American in 1871. And three years later, a full-fledged machine for the production of material appeared.
Stronger and in demand today three-layer corrugated cardboard was patented in 1883, after which its mass production began in Europe. The five-layer material was obtained in 1916. Surprisingly, in Ukraine, the first factories for the production of corrugated cardboard appeared only in the 80s of the 20th century, which made it possible to replace plywood and wooden boxes.
Corrugated cardboard is currently the most popular packaging material and is widely used in various industries. Consumers are offered a wide range of corrugated cardboard products, which differ in shape, geometry, thickness, strength, stability and other technical characteristics. In addition, new technologies are introduced every year, which aim to improve the operational qualities of the product.
Modern types of corrugated iron
There are four main types of corrugated cardboard, which is actively used in the production of packaging:
1. Two-layer . The name of the canvas reflects its structure, which consists of one wavy and one even layer, connected to each other. It is a material with high elasticity, capable of rolling into rolls, since it does not have a second liner. The product does not withstand high mechanical influences, which is why it is relevant as a separator inside the boxes, increasing product protection.
2. Three-layer . It consists of a central fluting, on both sides of which there are liners. This design provides high transverse and longitudinal stiffness. It has an affordable cost and good resistance to negative influences. It is suitable for the production of boxes or can be used as additional tabs that isolate or hold the product inside the container. The material perfectly tolerates shocks, crushing and stacking, which allows it to be used for storage and transportation.
3. Five-layer . A more modern version with two wavy and three even layers. Modern varieties of the material can have a different combination of flutings, due to which they differ in height and pitch of the wave. This allows you to achieve the necessary technical parameters. A distinctive feature is high strength, as the material can withstand pressure of up to 100 kg per square meter. Such sheets are used for packing heavy equipment, furniture and products with large dimensions.
4. Seven-layered . Modern material with maximum strength, capable of withstanding a load of up to 200 kg/m2. Canvases are relevant for packing heavy goods, such as building materials, plumbing, electrical and other impact-resistant equipment. The excellent stability of the sheets allows them to be used in the production of decorations, advertising posters, signs, etc.
Even in the presence of more innovative alternatives, three-layer corrugated cardboard remains the most demanded and popular throughout the world. This is explained by its affordable price, ease of processing and excellent technical characteristics.
The main innovations in corrugated cardboard packaging
Since its appearance, corrugated cardboard has undergone a huge number of attempts at refinement and improvement, which made it possible to obtain the material in its modern form. Today, the production process is high-tech and automatic, which allows us to achieve excellent product quality at minimal costs. At the same time, manufacturers continue to search for new products, introducing more modern technologies. As evidence, it is worth considering the most current innovations in the production of corrugated cardboard.
Environmental friendliness
Corrugated cardboard is made from natural wood, which is a clean and safe raw material. Modern production methods allow us to use wood as rationally as possible, obtaining a maximum of useful cellulose without polluting the environment during the manufacturing process. Despite the fact that trees are a renewable resource, most companies managed to take a responsible approach to obtaining raw materials:
1. Many businesses incorporate secondary materials such as sawdust, shavings and wood chips into their manufacturing processes. This is an economically beneficial source of natural cellulose, oriented towards a full cycle of processing.
2. Another direction is the use of waste paper. It is the secondary processing of paper, cardboard and corrugated cardboard that significantly reduces the environmental burden.
Innovative production technologies in the context of ecology are aimed at reducing the negative impact on nature and maximum safety for human health.
Special attention is paid to the appearance of the container itself. Each manufacturer strives to create unique boxes and drawers that will differ from competitors in terms of shape and type of opening. Corrugated cardboard itself is a soft material that opens up almost limitless possibilities in modeling new types of packaging. In addition, manufacturers accept orders for the production of containers according to individual sizes. Thus, they can have a variety of designs and configurations.
Another key task of modern manufacturers is the modernization of production lines. Every company strives to equip its workshops with high-precision equipment. This makes it possible to produce high-quality materials with minimal consumption of energy, raw materials and labor resources. In addition, modern equipment makes it possible to create complex products with high precision.
In recent years, engineers have been developing corrugated cardboard with increased resistance to moisture, impacts and temperature changes. Developments make it possible to significantly improve the technical characteristics of the material and minimize the percentage of goods fighting during transportation.
To increase attractiveness, manufacturers use various methods of printing on the surface of the package. You can choose boxes with lamination, silkscreen, flexography, offset or UV printing. All this makes it possible to increase the attractiveness, aesthetics and functionality of the container, thereby increasing brand recognition and business profitability.
In recent years, QR codes, RFID tags and other technologies have been increasingly applied to corrugated containers, which allow for accurate tracking of their location in the warehouse or on the route. Such innovations make it possible to improve the quality of logistics and minimize the risk of product loss even in complex supply chains.
Hybrid materials
Modern combinations of corrugated cardboard with biotextiles or bioplastics are now appearing. Such associations increase the technical characteristics and strength of the package. At the same time, the obtained materials meet environmental standards and are absolutely safe for humans.
Promising developments
Now many companies producing corrugated cardboard containers strive to create innovative products. In addition to changes in shape and size, the main focus is on increasing the functionality of the packaging. Developments are currently underway to implement the following technologies:
1. Equipping containers with humidity and temperature sensors. This allows you to clearly control the storage conditions of specific products and thereby prevent their spoilage.
2. The use of sensors and chips to track goods during movement both in the perimeter of the warehouse and at the stage of transportation.
3. Installation of displays that allow you to get complete information about products, their movement, destination, etc.
All these developments make it possible to increase productivity, optimize logistics processes and reduce costs. As a result, the modernization of containers reduces the burden on the environment, increases product preservation and improves business profitability.
On the official website of the Ukrainian manufacturing plant "Prydniprovskyi" you can familiarize yourself with the possible packaging options and profitably order corrugated cardboard in the required quantity with prompt delivery.