Board Converting News, July 25, 2022

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 38 years July 25, 2022 VOL. 38. NO. 30

Designing Unitizing And Finished Goods Systems BY RICHARD ETRA

Mill Rock Packaging Acquires Impressions Incorporated New York City based Mill Rock Capital, a pri- vate investment firm, announced that its port- folio company Mill Rock Packaging Partners LLC has acquired Impressions Incorporated, a packaging and printing company specializing in the complete production of custom folding cartons and ancillary products for various end markets. Mill Rock Packaging is a growth-ori- ented specialty packaging company focused on strong design, innovation capabilities. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Impressions, is based in St. Paul, Min- nesota, and was founded in 1967 by Mark Jorgensen, Sr. The company’s core offering spans a broad range of high-end, eco-friend- ly, customized folding cartons for consumer staples, pharmaceuticals, health and beauty and other daily-use products. Impressions also offers lithographic printing and a host of value-added services, including product en- gineering, prototyping and post-print produc- tion. The company operates production facili- ties in St. Paul and Hutchinson, Minnesota. Impressions will operate as a sister compa- ny to Mill Rock Packaging’s other operations and become the leading edge to its nation-

As material is produced by converting equipment, it needs to be strapped and either loaded onto trucks or placed in storage. Convert- ing equipment, even in plants whose WIP and sheet handling are not conveyorized, almost always discharge onto main line conveyors that convey the material to the unitizers (strappers), which then discharge onto fork pickups or automated handling systems.

When designing main line conveyors, consider the number and size of units that can be produced by the converting equipment. Obviously, the conveyors and right-angle transfer devices must be wide enough to handle the largest items that can be produced. However, how many lineal feet of conveyor are required to handle all converting machines operating at the same time? That depends upon many factors: the pro- duction rate of each machine, how many units per hour the unitizers can handle, how fast the units can be removed from the unitizer dis- charge, and bottlenecks resulting from the cycle time of conveyor com- ponents such as right-angle transfers. If you don’t have enough floor space for very long finished goods conveyors, can you install parallel conveyors? Still not enough space? How about double decked conveyors, though that is expensive? Machine Production Rates Theoretically, all machines can be operating simultaneously at their maximum design speeds. In practice, however, actual run speeds are CONTINUED ON PAGE 24


WHAT’S INSIDE 8 NAM: Manufacturing Shrinks Again In Both May And June 14 GPI To Unveil New Innovation, Packaging Machinery System 18 Why Non-Recruiters Are Often The Best Recruiters You Have 42 PMMI: The Role Of Robots Grow At CPG Companies

2 July 25, 2022


AVERAGE CONTAINERBOARD PRICES The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout the United States the week previous to issue. Prices in some areas of the country may be higher or lower than the tabulated average. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser.

Tools and tooling – Education or employee incentive programs – Employee retention programs – Efficiency, productivity and safety innovations , and more. Share your innovative ideas! Boxmakers! Entry deadline - Friday, August 19, 2022 Open to all AICC Boxmaker members It’s easy to enter!

REGION E. Coast Midwest Southeast Southwest

42# Kraft liner

26# Semi-Chem. Medium

$1005.00-1010.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1050.00-1060.00 $1023.00-1032.00

Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del.

$940.00-990.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $975.00-995.00 $958.00-978.00

West Coast U.S. Average

SHEET PRICES BY REGION (AVERAGE) Per 1MSF, local delivery included, 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. Sheets

E. Coast Midwest South-SW S. CA N.CA/WA-OR US Aver.

200# 275#



$62.69 $82.80

$85.35 119.54

$73.13 101.29












107.46 118.45

114.69 129.32

116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56

141.08 148.46

122.76 131.80

CANADIAN SHEET PRICES (AVERAGE) In Canadian Dollars, per 1MSF, local delivery included, under 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. 200# 275# Oyster UC 275#DW 350#DW $78.56 $99.18 $9.00 $96.32 $105.83 CANADIAN LINERBOARD & MEDIUM The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout Canada. Prices may be higher or lower in various areas of the country. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser. Prices are Canadian $ and per metric ton.

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July 25, 2022

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Mill Rock Acquires (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1)

al expansion strategy. The combined platform comprises five converting facilities offering high-design paperboard packaging to an attractive range of daily needs-driven consumer markets, supported by a comprehensive suite of value-added services. In connection with the transac- tion, Impressions’ leadership made a significant invest- ment in Mill Rock Packaging. “Joining forces with Impressions is an exciting develop- ment for the clients, suppliers and associates of both or- ganizations,” said Mill Rock Packaging Vice Chairman and Mill Rock Capital Senior Partner Bob Feeser. “The trans- action marks our entry into the important Midwest market and will enable us to expand our product and value-added service offerings across the combined footprint.” “Mill Rock is the ideal partner to sustain Impressions’ longstanding commitment to quality, innovation and re- liability,” said Impressions CEO Mike Jorgensen. “Our shared vision for growth will benefit greatly from the ad- ditional resources and capability of the broader platform.” South Texas Box Maker Upgrades Abilities With Kolbus AutoBox Line Kolbus America announced that a South Texas based manufacturer has invested in Kolbus AutoBox equipment to expand its in-house product packaging capabilities. The specialized manufacturer, who is globally known for its women’s beauty products, recently installed a multi-faceted Autobox equipment line, including the ro- bust AB300 on-demand box making machine. The Au- toBox AB300 is equipped with the MultiCut MC300 and the FP300 flexographic printing module, as well as the ProGluer straightline gluer and RSC314 rotary slitting and creasing machine. Additional modules on the AB300 will providing additional flexibility. The AutoBox AB300 on-demand box maker is suited for short- to medium-sized runs of virtually all sizes and flutes for different packaging needs, including RSC styles, partitions, trays and more. The machine uses 75 percent less energy than conventional converting equipment and allows converters to produce custom flexo-printed pack- aging. The machine is quick to set within a few minutes and is easily operated, with no training required, with the interactive touchscreen interface. The Flexo Print FP300 unit can be programmed to place print on to different box panels, and is easily adjust- able across the width of a box, permitting high quality text, graphics and handling instructions. “This customer achieves superior quality control of their fine products, including the product packaging because it is all done in-house,” said Kelly Adams, Kolbus America Sales Manager. “The AutoBox AB300 line will provide the same control of product, with added flexibility and consid- erable cost savings.”


July 25, 2022

2022 Innovator Of The Year Award Competition Is Open

Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month March 2022

AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, and Board Converting News are accepting submissions for the 2022 Innovator of the Year Competition. This year’s category is open to AICC General Members (box makers) to showcase innovations developed since September 2017. The Innovator of the Year Competition is a video based competition. Winners will be selected by member vote at the AICC/TAPPI 2022 Corrugated Week Conference in San Antonio, Texas, during the general session on Tues- day, September 20, 2022. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, during the general session. The Innovator of the Year Competition provides an outlet for AICC’s boxmaker members to showcase their innovations that increase plant productivity, improve plant efficiency, enhance the workforce’s skill, safety and/or well-being or serves as the solution to a specific produc- tion or management problem. Previous winners include: Bay Cities in 2017, President Container Group in 2013, and Jellco Container Inc. in 2009. Competition entry brochure and entry form is available at . Questions can be direct- ed to Cindy Huber, AICC Director of Conventions & Meet- ings, at or (703) 836-2422.



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2022 2021

37.675 37.992


8.190 8.259


Industry Total

Year-to Date

March 2022



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2022 2021

102.648 102.938


8.019 8.170


Industry Total

Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)



Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change

2022 2021

3.1027 3.0967


8.4866 8.4625


Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)

Corrugator Plants Only


Percent Change Weeks of Supply

Percent Change

Mar. Feb.

2.2693 2.3081


3.4 3.5


Shipping Days




2022 2021

23 23

64 63

SOURCE: Fibre Box Association

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NAM: Manufacturing Shrinks Again In Both May And June

Manufacturing production contracted for the second straight month, declining 0.5 percent in both May and June, according to Chad Moutray, Ph.D. and Chief Econ- omist at the National Institute of Manufacturers (NAM). As such, the solid gains in output seen in the spring have waned, with growth stalling in the summer. Manufacturers continue to be challenged by supply chain bottlenecks, workforce shortages and soaring production costs. With that said, manufacturing activity has proven to be quite resilient over the course of the past year, and while manufacturing production has pulled back for two con- secutive months, it has risen 3.6 percent over the past 12 months. In addition, manufacturing capacity utilization has slipped from 80.3 percent in April, the highest since April 2007, to 79.8 percent in May to 79.3 percent in June, but it remains elevated. Manufacturing activity expanded for just the third time this year in the Empire State survey. Input prices decel- erated, remaining elevated but at the slowest pace since February 2021. Yet, manufacturers in the region felt pessi- mistic in their outlook for the next six months, with the for- ward-looking composite index notching the first negative reading since February 2009. CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

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NAM: Manufacturing (CONT’D FROM PAGE 8)

ticularly as higher prices dampen their purchasing power and overall household finances. Consumer prices soared 1.3 percent in June, the fastest monthly increase since September 2005. Growth in food and energy costs remained very solid, up 1.0 percent and 7.5 percent in June, respectively, with gasoline prices up 11.2 percent. Excluding food and energy, core consumer prices rose 0.7 percent in June. The Consumer Price Index has risen 9.1 percent over the past 12 months, the fastest year-over-year pace since November 1981. At the same time, core inflation (which ex- cludes food and energy) increased 5.9 percent year-over- year in June. The current forecast is for year-over-year growth in the CPI to be 6.4 percent at year’s end, with core inflation at 5.2 percent. Producer prices for final demand goods and services rose 1.1 percent in June. At the same time, producer prices for final demand goods increased 2.4 percent in June, the

Meanwhile, retail sales increased 1.0 percent in June. Gasoline station spending rose 3.6 percent, pushed high- er by increased prices, with 49.1 percent growth over the past 12 months. Excluding gasoline station sales, retail spending increased 0.7 percent. The data were largely positive across the board, sug- gesting that consumer spending remains somewhat re- silient despite numerous challenges. The real issue is whether that strength will continue moving forward, or if Americans will be spooked by inflation and an uncertain economic outlook. Along those lines, the Index of Consumer Sentiment edged up from a record low 50.0 in June to 51.1 in July in preliminary data. Despite marginal progress in the head- line number, consumers remain very anxious, with senti- ment near the lowest readings in the survey’s history, par-

strongest rise since March. For the month, energy prices jumped 10.0 percent, but with food costs edging up just 0.1 percent. Ex- cluding food and energy, producer prices for final demand goods increased 0.5 per- cent in June. Over the past 12 months, producer pric- es for final demand goods and services jumped 11.3 percent, the highest rate since March’s 11.6 percent pace, which was the largest increase on record. Core producer prices increased 6.4 percent year-over- year, decelerating for the third straight month from the record 7.1 percent in March but remaining highly elevated. Manufacturers cite rising raw materials costs as their top challenge, followed close- ly by supply chain and workforce challeng- es, with the very significant pace of price growth in this data over the past year help- ing to explain why. AF&PA Releases June 2022 Packaging Papers Report AF&PA has released its June 2022 Packag- ing Papers & Specialty Packaging Monthly report. Total packaging papers & specialty packaging shipments in June decreased four percent compared to June 2021. They were essentially flat when compared to the same 6 months of 2021. The operating rate was 86.4 percent, down 4.7 points from June 2021 and essentially flat (+0.2 pts.) year-to-date. Mill inventories at the end of June remained essentially flat (-182 short tons) from the previous month and were up 9,000 short tons compared to June 2021.


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Greif Adds 11 Additional Sites Achieving Zero Waste To Landfill In 2021, eleven additional Greif facilities achieved zero waste to landfill status, bringing the total number within the company to 45. The facilities joining the zero waste to landfill status include seven U.S. facilities, two APAC facili- ties, and two EMEA facilities. Greif now counts 55 facilities achieving diversion of at least 99 percent of waste to landfills. The company’s am- bitious target to divert 90 percent of waste from landfills from all production locations globally by the end of the fis- cal year 2025 is on target, with 136 of Greif’s 190 produc- tion facilities already achieving this target. “We have a growing number of colleagues led by our global zero waste team that work closely together to prog- ress our sustainability initiatives, and we are seeing an in- crease in internal awareness alongside the desire to do better,” says Aysu Katun, VP of Sustainability, Greif. “We are encouraged by the ambition and innovation that is coming directly from the operational side of the business.” Local onsite initiatives that are helping to achieve zero waste to landfill status typically involve thinking laterally, developing partnerships, and education. Some of these successful initiatives include: • Partnerships with fuel pelletizers who convert mixed waste and contaminants into fuel pellets for energy.

• Looking at materials in a circular way and engaging with vendors and customers that have plastic and met- al material that they want to divert from landfills • Collection, storage, and distribution of broken wood, pallet pieces, and other wood sources for delivery to mulch manufacturers.

Menasha Packaging Finalizes Acquisition Of G-P’s Color-Box

Neenah, Wisconsin based Menasha Packaging Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Menasha Corporation, announced it has finalized the acquisition of Color-Box, a business unit of Georgia-Pacific, LLC. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Like Menasha Packaging, Color-Box is a corru- gated packaging manufacturer specializing in high-graph- ic packaging solutions. Founded in 2000, Color-Box employs 550 and operates plants in Richmond, Indiana; Pelahatchie, Mississippi; and Madera, California. “Our two organizations are going to be an excellent fit,” said Mike Riegsecker President of Menasha Packaging. “By joining forces, we will be able to offer both an expand- ed geographic footprint, as well as enriched capabilities in the area of high-end graphic packaging solutions for our customers.” Menasha helps over 1,500 leading brands, from global leaders to bold new startups, go-to-market every day.

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Graphic Packaging International To Unveil New Innovation And Packaging Machinery System Atlanta, Georgia based Graphic Packaging International announced that it is set to launch its latest machinery system innovation, ClipCombo™, at this year’s drinktec exhibition being held at the Trade Fair Center Messe München in Munich, Germany, from September 12-16. ClipCombo™ combines multiple packaging solutions over a modular machinery system, an innovation that should be welcomed by the world’s leading beverage manufacturers, as the market increasingly leans to- wards optimized, fiber-based packaging solutions.

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A new and highly innovative machinery approach to beverage pack- aging, ClipCombo offers producers the ability to run multiple fiber-based multipack styles across the same machine. The concept promises to deliver value and flexibility, meeting today’s and tomorrow’s needs. Ma- chine options are available for either cans or PET bottles, offering multi- ple combinations, including: • Multi award-winning KeelClip™ plus EnviroClip™ fiber-based clips for can multipacks • GripClip™ plus EnviroClip™ fiber-based clips for can multipacks • Cap-It™ plus EnviroClip™ fiber-based clips for PET bottle multipacks Boasting high speeds of up to 400 packs per minute (dependent on application) and rapid changeovers as part of an impressive list of bene-

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fits, ClipCombo enables customers to differentiate between brands and position premium or standard options. Doug Hicks, Vice President of the Packaging Machinery Division at Graphic Packaging, looked ahead to the unveiling, saying, “We know many of our customers take their sustainability goals seriously, as do we.



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In Marketing, Two Is Better Than One

Graphic Packaging (CONT’D FROM PAGE 14)

We also know that markets change and there is a need to future-proof machine system choices. That’s why we’re introducing the ClipCombo, a machinery philosophy that enables customers to select from a range of existing and new packaging options as well as container and configura- tion choices. Packers can combine products over a single machinery system, and be confident they have the options needed as the market evolves. ClipCombo gives produc- ers the flexibility to run premium and standard pack styles on the same machine and switch between them quickly and efficiently. At a time when labor and space come at a premium, this approach reduces the need for both.” In addition, ClipCombo technology promises to lower capital investment for beverage packers, as the ability to deliver multiple pack styles with rapid changeover elimi- nates the need for several installs.

After a highly successful 18-year collaboration, Dwayne Shrader is splitting off from industry marketing firm Griffin Communications. Shrader will head a new company oper-

ating as Shrader Studios, a sole pro- prietorship with initial financial back- ing from Griffin Communications. Shrader Studios will specialize in corrugated industry advertising, PR, web services, trade show support, technical writing and training devel- opment. Griffin Communications will

Dwayne Shrader

in turn concentrate the majority of its efforts on video pro- duction, motion graphics and product & PR photography. “This is a major step for both Dwayne and me,” reports

Nick Griffin. “It’s certainly a new arrange- ment that both of us welcome. The two companies will exchange services across our specialty areas. As with most things,

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two is better than one from an operations standpoint and we will continue to provide seamless delivery of services for our clients. On the new arrangement, Shrader said, “I’m very thankful to Nick for our nearly two decades of working together and happy that we are able to structure our companies in a way that will ensure ongoing success for both of us.” Dwayne Shrader can be reached by email at and by phone at (410) 374-5124. Nick Griffin will continue with and can be reached by phone at (410) 296-7777.




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Why Non-Recruiters Are Often The Best Recruiters You Have BY JEREMY ESKENAZI, SHRM-SCP

20 percent success rate using resources you already have isn’t convincing enough, here are six more reasons why non-recruiters are the best recruiters you have: 1. They far surpass your post and pray method. We know a lot of recruiters do this – get the generic job ad posted everywhere, then wait. You may get hundreds of applications, but most of them are not the right fit or don’t have the right experience. You end up spending heaps of time reading resumes that not the right fit. This is not a strategic approach (or an effective one!). You need to do more than passively wait for people to come to you and in- vesting in your untapped recruiting potential is a fantastic way to build your pipeline of better candidates. 2. Your employees, hiring managers, and top perform- ers have a very clear idea of who they want to work beside and what it takes to be successful at your company. Once they know what roles you’re hiring for, give them tools to help you - train them on how to be a recruiter so everyone is looking for talent that makes the workday, the product, and the customer experience better. Everyone wins when you do this and you become less fixated on referral re- wards, and more excited about the benefit of the team. Don’t lose sight of that recognition for their efforts to help with recruiting – it is important too. It may not be as moti- vating to get the right talent if you’re offering a bonus for volume of resumes over spotted potential talent.

Not every recruiter can be an engineer, or hair stylist, or accountant. They know how to hire these roles, but not how to become them. On the flip side, it’s not as hard for

every employee to act as a recruiter. In fact, recruiting power in each em- ployee is often unrealized because we’re so busy relying on recruiters to be the only one recruiting. There was an incredible program once developed for a service indus- try. Every manager in this company

Jeremy Eskenazi

went through training to both spot and learn how to engage with potential candidates. A calling card was available to hand out to potential superstars and managers could fa- cilitate an introduction to a recruiter. The candidate would always get a call and the managers received a referral bo- nus if there was a connection with the candidate – even if they were not hired. The company paid managers for this time, and with a 20 percent success rate, a fruitful pipeline of high-quality candidates emerged. What they learned was just giving out the cards wasn’t enough – managers needed training to know what to look for! They needed a little of that magical recruiter eye. If a


18 July 25, 2022

The Best Recruiters (CONT’D FROM PAGE 18)

time, or extra time paid to do this work that is so valuable. Asking people to do work that is not in scope is a terrible experience and does not entice them to say nice things about your brand or the culture. It suggests you don’t val- ue their time! Think about a few hours per week that they can be compensated to call people, go on LinkedIn to ask people if they are interested, or follow up with their profes- sional associations. It will go a long way and help them feel good about helping in this effort. 6. They don’t need a lot to feel appreciated. Make sure you have a planned approach to show them that you value their effort, and that you are happy to have them helping bring the best people to join you. Beyond the splashy rec- ognition that you can get into, take notice of the simple things in being thankful for their effort. They are giving their time and expertise to the process and learning how to be a non-recruiter does take a little bit of investment. Spend your money on a solid program that is easy to work with, giving time and resources to the training, and help you employees develop the skills to look for what you need – it’s an easy way to show appreciation for the huge scale you can get in your recruiting efforts. As with all programs, you need every stakeholder to be on board for it to be successful. While you’re investing in great programs and recognition for this stretch role out- side of the recruiting team, make sure your recruiters are CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

3. You can motivate and inspire your own team helping find key talent in personal and visible ways. Who wouldn’t want to be celebrated for their part in building a great workplace for themselves and their peers? One way to do this is to share broadly the talent each employee has brought into the team and thank them for it. Thank them in front of the company and through gestures that don’t come with strings – this means you shouldn’t hold referral bonuses for months on end to see if the new person works out. Their job was to bring someone amazing into the or- ganization and they did that! 4. If you can work fast to meet these candidates the non-recruiters bring you, they will want to do it more and feel more credible wearing their recruiting hat. You may need to update your processes to be able to move faster to connect with this spotted talent. Don’t make them go through a long process or wonder if you’re going to get back to someone. This will not encourage them to bring you more superstars. Be ready to follow up with every sin- gle person the non-recruiters spot and refer! 5. If they have the time, they can be very effective. Think about the value of giving them one hour away from their day job to find you two more top performers like them. Giv- ing the non-recruiters time to act as recruiters means paid

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The Best Recruiters (CONT’D FROM PAGE 20)

on board with the plans. They are the best teachers and advocates to help make this a success, but they can also derail your efforts mightily. Don’t let your recruiters get ter- ritorial with their efforts. It’s critical that they understand the goal is not to replace them, or that their work is not valued. This is a way to scale the recruiting function and have the best people possible helping fill each open role on your team. If everyone can come to work with the mind- set that it is part of everyone’s job to attract the best talent – especially in mid and large companies – everyone wins! Jeremy Eskenazi, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CMC, is the founder of Riviera Advisors, a boutique talent acquisition optimiza- tion consulting firm. Riviera Advisors does not headhunt, it specializes in recruitment training and strategy consult- ing, helping global HR leaders transform how they attract top talent. Visit for more. DS Smith Removes 313 Million Pieces Of Plastic From Its Packaging UK and U.S. based DS Smith confirmed that it has “de- signed out” over 313 million pieces of plastics in the last two years alone as part of its plastic replacement program. The significant figure equates to more than three million units per week, as customers and consumers demonstrate demand for fibre-based packaging as an alternative to hard-to-recycle plastics. To meet this demand, DS Smith designers have worked with customers to create thousands of new innovations to replace plastic. Solutions have been created to remove everyday plastic items including ready-meal trays, plastic fruit and vegetable punnets and plastic six pack rings that pollute the planet. This all comes at a time when campaign groups are highlighting the amount of plastic that ends up as waste, making it more important than ever to remove them at the design phase. Samantha Upham, Sustainability Business Partner – Sales, Marketing & Innovation, commented, “With our help, customers are accelerating their ambitions to remove problem plastics from their products. By using our Circular Design Metrics, we can easily show not just where plastic can be replaced, but how circular their packaging is right now and where we can make improvements together. All 700 of our designers have been trained in our Circular De- sign Principles, which means we can design out problem plastics at inception stage and find alternative fibre-based solutions which deliver the required attributes.” Over the next year, DS Smith will continue to drive adoption of fibre-based alternatives amongst customers in response to consumer demand for plastic alternatives. In a recent survey commissioned by DS Smith, 4 in 10 consum- ers (41 percent) wanted packaging made from alternative renewable sources.

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22 July 25, 2022

Truck. Loads. More.

Corrugated printing has gone from basic to beautiful in 10 years. With the explosion of packaging demands and shorter print runs, speed has become the #1 capacity driver.

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Designing Systems (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1)

ing automatic scanning of load tags to control strap place- ment, and adding a person to assist in dressing loads. Unit height should be the maximum that allows for best truck utilization, and that is within customer specifications. Keep in mind that increasing height from 45-inches to 50-inches results in a savings of more than 10 percent in number of units to strap. This also reduces the length re- quired of the main line conveyor. Similarly, when possible, eliminate cross strapping as this requires units to be rotated. When possible, strap spacing should conform to the unitizer’s head spacing so that all or most straps may be placed simultaneously, and don’t require more than one platen cycle per unit at each stage. Finally, don’t specify more straps than necessary, particularly when they can’t be applied simultaneously. If you determine that you have optimized your process, and your unitizer is still not keeping up, do you have a two-stage system with an external turntable between the stages? Is it equipped with a minimum of three heads per stage, and at what spacing? Are the unitizer and your lay- out conducive to rapid change of strapping reels? Is au- tomated top sheet placement and / or printing on the top sheets practical in your application? Is it cost effective to upgrade your current equipment, or should it be replaced? Keep in mind that enhanced reli- ability and productivity resulting from advances in unitizer technology may justify new equipment.

affected by product design, board quality and crew effi- ciency. Furthermore, run speed doesn’t tell the whole sto- ry, as non-productive set up time reduces the overall rate of pieces produced. Hence, mix, blank configuration, and order quantity must be considered in calculating a more realistic rate. Although not completely within your control, scheduling can alleviate this problem. For example, try not to schedule large runs on each machine at the same time. Rather, schedule a mix of long and short orders so that set- up time on some machines will coincide with those long, If a plant routinely produces 250 units per hour, but its unitizer is only capable of 220 per hour, it is obvious that production will be affected. However, if the unitizer is ade- quate other than during intermittent surges, extending the main line may be sufficient to buffer these surges. The most obvious means of improving unitizer through- put is to add one or more parallel unitizers. Before resort- ing to this expensive and space-intensive solution, evalu- ate if your unitizer is operating at design speed. If not, is the cause mechanical downtime, inability of operators to keep up, unit height, or strapping patterns? fast-running orders. Unitizer Capability Before blaming your operators, consider whether strap patterns need to be entered manually, and/ or protective sheets are being placed by the operator. Consider install-


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Designing Systems (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)

AIR CONVEYING CORPORATION is a recognized leader in the industry of Pneumatic Conveying Systems and has been in business since 1968. As an equipment manufacturer rather than simply a sales organization, we have complete control over the quality of material and products which make up your proposed system. Our equipment is found in Printing, Folding Carton and Corrugated plants throughout the country and the world.

Unitizer Discharge Speed Adequate unitizer capacity won’t be sufficient if mate- rial cannot be removed at least as fast as it is discharged. How is material handled? Are strapped units loaded onto trucks or placed in storage by forklift or automated sys- tems? Is a significant amount of finished goods held in in- ventory for short or long periods of time, or is almost ev- erything direct-loaded on trucks? Ideally, there should be parallel unitizer discharge fin- gers (lines) with each dedicated to specific truck docks. Orders should be routed automatically to fingers that are as close as possible to the truck or storage location to which they are assigned, and in such a way as to avoid forklifts crossing paths. In most plants, two units are stacked before being loaded which requires additional forklift maneuvering. If keeping up with unitizer output, or the labor required, are problematic, consider installing one or more doublers to automatically place one unit on top of another, thus reduc- ing handling time. Does your customer base require extensive use of pal- lets? Verify which customers actually require them as you may be able to eliminate some pallets; don’t assume that just because pallets are common in your market that each customer requires them. For those actually requiring pal- CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

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Designing Systems (CONT’D FROM PAGE 26)

ual, though the industry is working on practical solutions to automate this task. Placing tags at the converting machine is a non-productive task that can require additional labor or reduce throughput. On the other hand, placing at the unitizer adds to the burden of the operator – again by in- creasing labor or reducing throughput. Some unitizers can print load tag information directly on top sheets; however, the size and amount of informa- tion is limited. Additional equipment such as stretch wrappers: Do you have enough volume of stretch-wrapped product that an off-line semi-automatic wrapper won’t suffice? If so, is the material requiring wrapping almost all produced by a single machine (e.g. a rotary die cutter)? High speed auto- mated stretch wrappers can be integrated into machine or unitizer discharges. Because they are slower than unitiz- ers but are generally capable of keeping up with produc- tion equipment, they should ideally be placed at machine discharges prior to the main line. However, if required on multiple machines, this may be impractical due to cost and space constraints. In this case perhaps the best solution is to install a single wrapper in a separate unitizer discharge line so that it does not restrict unitizer throughput. Be sure the frame of the unit you select does not restrict large un- wrapped material from passing through. Keep in mind that it is possible to build wrappers whose clearance between frames is larger than the wrapping mechanism.

lets, handling pallets and placing material on them slows the process. If this is a significant part of your mix, consider automatic pallet handlers and inserters. Imagine the sav- ings of an automatic system that is capable of discharging two units on a pallet to the forklift without the operator’s intervention. Try to minimize the types of pallets required, as handling many pallet configurations complicates mat- ters significantly. Bottlenecks Assuming unitizer capacity is adequate and material handling at the unitizer discharge does not create a bot- tleneck, can your conveyors transport the material fast enough? Are they running at 40 or 60 feet per minute? How many right-angle transfers are in the system, and what type are they? Old style pushers, aside from safety concerns, require the pusher bars to return to their original positions, thus essentially doubling the cycle time. Chain transfers are much quicker as they only have to raise and lower. Ball belt devices are even faster. Regard- less, the combined cycle time of each transfer and load separation is slower than that of the conveyor, and delays due to multiple transfers have a cumulative effect. Clever design can mitigate this: a single device may be utilized to transfer two units simultaneously to parallel lines. Miscellaneous Factors Load tags: Placement of load tags is almost always man-


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28 July 25, 2022

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Paper Manufacturing Exemplifies The Definition Of Circularity BY KATHI ROWZIE In today’s industrial marketplace, the concept of a circu- lar economy is finally inching beyond theoretical ideals

Designing Systems (CONT’D FROM PAGE 28)

Finished Good Storage Finished goods may be stacked on the floor, on racks, or in an automated storage and retrieval system. Unless virtually all your product is direct-loaded, provision for ad- equate finished goods storage is essential. Determine the space requirements based on volume and length of time that material is stored, and how units are stored. Avoiding handling damage is essential, but so is the ability to locate and retrieve it. Much time may be eaten up searching for and retrieving buried and/or lost material, which can also delay truck departures. Further- more, if not located in time, a second delivery may be re- quired, or material may end up being scrapped. Richard Etra is a 47-year veteran of the corrugated indus- try with experience in all aspects of box plant operations.

to real-world applications that will make our planet healthier and more sustainable. But becoming truly cir- cular doesn’t come easy or cheap. It’s a challenge that requires intent, investment and innovation. The pa- per industry figured this out decades ago, and it has been at the leading

Kathi Rowzie

edge of circularity ever since. In fact, paper manufacturing exemplifies the very defi- nition of circularity – industrial processes and economic

activities that are 1) restorative or regener- ative by design, 2) enable resources used to maintain their highest value for as long as possible, and 3) aim to eliminate waste through the superior design of materials, products and systems. Most alternatives don’t even come close. Take plastics, for example. Plastic packaging is made from a va- riety of plastic resins. These include poly- ethylene terephthalate (PET) soft drink and water bottles, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) milk and water jugs, film prod- ucts (including bags and sacks) made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and other containers and packaging (including clam- shells, trays, caps, lids, egg cartons, loose fill, produce baskets, coatings and closures) made up of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), poly- styrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and other resins (U.S. Environmental Protection Agen- cy). All of these resins are derived from non-renewable fossil fuels, namely natural gas, feedstocks derived from natural gas processing, and feedstocks derived from crude oil refining (U.S. Energy Information Administration). Single-use plastics also are incredibly energy-intensive to produce. In fact, plastic production accounts for more than three percent of total U.S. energy consumption and generates large amounts of carbon pol- lution (U.S. Department of Energy). Plastics are a rapidly growing segment of the U.S. solid waste stream and, critical to any discussion of circularity, very little of it gets recycled (U.S. EPA). Drawing on the most recent EPA data available and last CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

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