October Carton & Box Reporter

Freedom Corrugated Adds Scrap System

KENOSHA, WI | Freedom Corrugated, Hazleton, PA, has installed a Scrap Trakker data collection and reporting system (similar to the one pictured) that is designed specifically to help corrugated facilities take better control of waste. Manufactured by RTC Technologies, Scrap Trakker is an automated system that replaces the manual process of collecting scrap data on the plant floor and significantly improves data accuracy, the company reports. Scrap data is compiled for each machine on each shift, providing reports that supervisors use to make better decisions, reduce scrap, and improve productivity.

Prior to SCRAP TRAKKER, Freedom Corrugated had a home-made scrap tracking process that worked but possessed one major flaw — data entry was very time consuming, according to the company. Compared to traditional methods, SCRAP TRAKKER collects corrugated and paperboard waste data faster, more accurately, and with fewer plant resources. Freedom Corrugated's process manager, plant manager, general manager, and supervisors will use Scrap Trakker in their day-to-day responsibilities.

Cosmetic Container Demand Expected to Rise

CLEVELAND, OH | The Freedonia Group has issued a study, Cosmetic & Toiletry Containers, which says US demand for cosmetic and toiletry containers is expected to increase 2.8%/yr to reach 25.5 billion units in 2012. Plastic materials will register the fastest growth in both units and value.

Growth opportunities will exist for paperboard containers, despite the more moderate prospects expected as a result of market maturity and competitive drawbacks. Demand for folding cartons will be constrained due to source reduction efforts, but continued usage with prestige goods and the upscaling of mass brands is expected to stimulate demand for higher value folding cartons. To learn more, visit www.freedonia.com.

US Cosmetic & Toiletry Container Demand
(million units)

% Annual Growth
Item 2002 2007 2012 02-07 07-12
Total Demand 20,020 22,250 25,500 2.1 2.8
Plastic 14.341 16,240 19,070 2.5 3.3
Paperboard 3,293 3,460 3,730 1.0 1.5
Glass 1,241 1,345 1,410 1.6 0.9
Metal 1,145 1,205 1,290 1.0 1.4

© 2008 by The Freedonia Group

Georgia-Pacific Program Drives Sustainability

ATLANTA, GA | Engineers at Georgia-Pacific's Packaging Systems Optimization (PSO) program helped water-heater manufacturer A.O. Smith Water Products Co. develop a comprehensive plan to reduce fiber through a major package redesign. Careful analysis of the packaging supply chain revealed that A.O. Smith could redesign the foundation of the box that secures the heater in place, called the locator base, by laminating the existing corrugated base and adding plastic clips to secure heaters.

These small changes drastically reduced overall corrugated usage by one-third while decreasing storage and optimizing logistics. The fiber reductions not only resulted in cost savings but also led to sustainability improvements, including a 1,423-ton decrease of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing overall fiber in corrugated boxes is an important first step for companies looking to become a favored Wal-Mart supplier.

Packaging Group Adds Management Info System

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND | An independent group formed from a merger of four specialty packaging organizations has implemented PECAS Vision from Radius Solutions to support its business objectives. The group, designated inspirepac, incorporates five business units and employs more than 250 people. It offers full design services and produces high quality flexo print, point-of-sale, retail-ready packaging, and corrugated packaging. The group wanted a standard application that could generate and provide access to management data and be rolled out across all facilities. It had to be an off-the-shelf solution that would fit the industry-specific processes of its organization. Phil Kirk, group IT manager at inspirepac, says, “We felt PECAS Vision had the flexibility to fit our needs. To my mind it best suited our total requirements.”

Independent Printing Adds Heidelberg Press

ASHLAND, OR | Independent Printing Co. (IPCO) is preparing for its upcoming 100th anniversary and planning for the future with a new six-color Speedmaster XL 105 press with coater from Heidelberg. The new press was purchased to expand the company's capabilities and increase productivity. Since its installation, the press is responsible for at least four new national accounts for IPCO, the company reports.

IPCO looked to Heidelberg press technology to improve performance at the company's Ashland facility. As a producer of printed materials on substrates ranging from paper to plastics, IPCO needed a versatile press. The company's leadership team traveled to Heidelberg's Print Media Demonstration Center in Kennesaw, GA, to test the XL 105 with its own sample job on plastic stock.

Along with the new press, IPCO installed Heidelberg's Prinect Image Control color management system, which is now an integral part of IPCO's label and re-run work. Prinect Image Control automatically evaluates mini spots during production and corrects any tonal and color discrepancies in the prepress stage, making it simple to stabilize tonal values and control overall image quality.

IP Expands Containerboard Holdings

MEMPHIS, TN | International Paper has agreed to a $6 billion purchase of the Containerboard, Packaging and Recycling (CBPR) Business of Weyerhaeuser, Federal Way, WA. The deal will create a global containerboard business with expanded mill and converting presence in key geographic areas.

According to IP chairman and CEO John Faraci, “Integrating Weyerhaeuser's CBPR business into our North American packaging platform fits very well with our strategy to improve our earnings, cash flow, and returns by strengthening existing businesses. We expect the combined packaging business will generate stronger cash flow and higher EBITDA margins than either stand-alone business.”

Containerboard Price Hike Likely to Hold

BRYN MAWR, PA | According to a survey of North American corrugated container producers by Longbow Research packaging and container analyst Joshua Zaret, 78% felt the July 1 containerboard price hike of $55/ton would be successful and subsequently passed onto box prices. The increase affected customers of all eight major North American containerboard producers, representing about 76% of North American containerboard industry capacity. Zaret said the increase is notable in light of weakening demand for boxes. He said 52% of survey respondents characterized current demand as “weak” in June compared to 27% who characterized demand as weak in May. To receive a copy of this report, contact David Evanson at 610-505-0832; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Smurfit-Stone Acquires Interest in Calpine Corrugated

CREVE COEUR, MO, AND CHICAGO, IL | Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. has announced the completion of its previously announced acquisition of a 90% interest in Calpine Corrugated LLC, an independent corrugated container producer in Fresno, CA. The company will consolidate Calpine Corrugated into its operations in the third quarter of 2008, including both assets and liabilities of approximately $55 million. No further charges or payments are expected as a result of the completion of the acquisition. For more information visit www.smurfit-stone.com.

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