Corrugated board is one of the most popular and most frequently used packaging material. He owes his popularity to a combination of several characteristics at once. Corrugated cardboard has a low weight, low cost and at the same time excellent physical parameters. In addition, for the production of corrugated cardboard, you can use recycled materials - paper and cardboard made from waste paper, which is another advantage of this packaging material. However, it was not without drawbacks. The most significant disadvantages of corrugated cardboard include its low moisture resistance (as, incidentally, with other types of materials based on paper and cardboard).
Corrugated cardboard differs from the usual in its structure. In most cases, it consists of three layers: two extreme flat layers of cardboard (the so-called topliners) and one middle layer of paper, which has a wavy or corrugated shape and is called fluting. Thanks to such a multi-layer construction, despite the fact that the individual components of the corrugated cardboard are not reliable (like regular cardboard), together they provide the necessary stiffness and resistance both in the direction perpendicular to the cardboard plane and in the direction along the planes. If packaging material with improved physical properties and higher reliability is needed, then corrugated cardboard can be used in five or seven layers. In this case, the layers of cardboard and paper alternate one after another. The dimensions, quality and other parameters of corrugated cardboard, which are indicated by the packaging customer, determine the specifics of the production of this material and the number of technological steps.
The corrugated cardboard production business can be confidently called profitable and highly profitable, and proof of this is the constant increase in the production of cardboard and the consumption of containers from it in our country. According to numerous studies, cardboard is the most popular type of packaging material. Among its advantages, which were called by respondents, is the ability to reuse, affordable price, ease of use and long shelf life. According to statistics, cardboard and plastic prevail in the Russian packaging market. Moreover, cardboard and paper packaging occupies about 40% of this market.
Depending on its physical properties and structure, corrugated cardboard is divided into several classes, each of which is marked with a letter indicating the class number and the number of layers. The most widespread in industry was three-layer cardboard of classes T-21, T-22, T-23, T-24. Accordingly, corrugated cardboard in five layers is indicated by the letter P, and two-layer, respectively, is marked D. Corrugated cardboard is also divided by type of profile, that is, by the geometric dimensions of the internal waves. It is the number and type of corrugated layers that determine the most important characteristics of a corrugated cardboard. Ranges of sizes of height and width of waves are marked with Latin letters. Types of corrugated cardboard of different brands differ from each other in specific tensile strength with the application of a destructive force along the corrugations, resistance to mechanical compression of the corrugations and absolute resistance to bursting.
In addition, the range of corrugated cardboard manufacturers also includes microcorrugated cardboard, which is a three-layer corrugated cardboard with a thickness of 1.5 to 1.8 mm. Since microcorrugated board differs significantly less than ordinary cardboard material in thickness, for this reason it has slightly worse strength characteristics and lower shock-absorbing qualities. It is marked with the letter E and is used to make individual presentable cardboard packaging (in most cases, offset or flexoprinting).
Over 90% of the world's corrugated board has a sinus-shaped corrugation. Although for some purposes, cardboard with a V-shaped corrugation can also be produced. But this requires additional equipment, so such a corrugated cardboard is extremely rare (at least in our country).
For the manufacture of corrugated cardboard, certain materials are used, which include corrugating paper weighing from 100 to 140 grams per square meter. meter, cardboard for flat layers weighing from 150 to 235 grams per square meter. a meter of brown or white color and starch or silicate glue. The main source of raw materials for the production of such paper and paperboard is cellulose and waste paper. In our country, cellulose is produced at the pulp and paper mill of Russia by processing wood. Waste paper, as a secondary raw material, is imported from neighboring countries, since in our country there are not enough enterprises for the processing of waste paper waste. Obviously, the option of importing recyclables is quite expensive, therefore, for the production of domestic corrugated cardboard, cellulose is mainly used (70%). Such a corrugated cardboard has a greater weight than a material with a predominance of processed raw materials, but the quality of the packaging from it is much better.
Corrugated board is manufactured using special equipment. Simplified, this process can be represented as follows. First, rolls of corrugating paper and cardboard for the manufacture of flat layers should be laid down for twenty-four hours in a warm room with an air temperature of at least 15 ° C. Then the rolls are fixed on a roll (unwinding machine). Paper and paperboard unwound from the roll arrive on special heating cylinders and intermediate rollers, where they are moistened and evenly heated. Such preliminary preparation contributes to a deeper penetration of the adhesive into the thickness of the paper and better bonding with cardboard.
At the next production stage, paper intended for corrugation is sent under the corrugating press (in the corrugating machine). There, it is passed between gear shafts heated to 150-180 ° C. These shafts form a wavy layer of a predefined profile. Corrugated paper is then transferred to equipment that applies glue to its surface. This is done with the help of an adhesive shaft: adhesive film is applied to the upper points of the corrugations of one of the sides. The amount of adhesive applied can be adjusted by changing the position of the metering shaft. After applying glue, the corrugated layer of paper is connected to a flat cardboard. This is done under the clamping shaft, which tightly glues the cardboard layer with the corrugation tops. The resulting two-layer corrugated cardboard is placed on an inclined conveyor belt and sent to the storage bridge, and then back to the size machine. So the adhesive is applied to the other side of the corrugated paper. In a drying device, all layers of cardboard are glued together and dried using drying plates and a drying machine. The material may be heated by electricity or steam, depending on the equipment used. When drying under the influence of elevated temperature, excess moisture is removed from cardboard and paper, as a result of which the glue finally hardens. After the dryer, the corrugated board is transferred to the cooling section. These last two production processes are very important, since the quality of the finished material largely depends on them. At all previous stages, corrugated cardboard has the form of a long canvas. In the section of longitudinal-transverse cutting, corrugated cardboard is cut and cut using a system of circular knives. When cutting, the corrugated board can also be additionally compacted (corrugation for folding the corrugated box) with the help of groove couplings in a straight section of a certain width. During compaction, cardboard lines are formed on the cardboard along which sheets can be bent to obtain a given shape. Finally, at the last stage, corrugated cardboard is cut into sheets of the required length, from which the packaging itself is then made. Type D corrugated board is available in rolls or sheets, and types T and P - only in sheet form. For the manufacture of corrugated cardboard, cardboard is used for flat layers according to GOST R 53207-2008, and for corrugated layers paper according to GOST R 53206-2008. For gluing layers of corrugated cardboard, glue from soluble sodium silicate is used, corresponding to GOST 13079, glue from potato starch according to GOST 7699-78 and other types of adhesives. The approximate consumption of paper and cardboard raw materials for the manufacture of one meter of corrugated cardboard is 500 grams. In addition to glue, coloring pigments, which are used to apply images to cardboard, may also be needed.
Corrugated cardboard manufacturing enterprises also produce corrugated packaging of standard sizes or on order. In this case, it is assumed that there are additional steps that include (for example, two-layer cardboard) cutting into specified formats, laminating (printing on thick paper, calendering, pressing), embossing and punching, window sealing, box forming, packaging. In the case of corrugated cardboard with a large number of layers, at the last stage after scraping, the blanks are folded into boxes. This requires a special device for gluing boxes.
There are certain requirements for the room where the production of corrugated cardboard is carried out. Its area should be at least 750 square meters. meters. So much will be needed to place the production line. The temperature in the room should not fall below 18 ° C, and humidity should not exceed 80%. For the manufacture of corrugated cardboard, special heavy-duty machines are used - corrugators of various formats (up to 2800 mm) and productivity (speed can be up to 450 m per minute). One of the best and largest manufacturers of equipment for the manufacture of corrugated board is considered the Italian company Fosber, whose factories are both in Italy itself and in the United States. Opening the workshop will require minimal equipment, which includes the corrugated cardboard production line itself and flexographic printing machine. For example, a Chinese-made line on which a five-layer corrugated cardboard can be manufactured at a speed of up to 100 meters per minute will cost 10 million rubles. But you can buy a less powerful line with a capacity of up to 30 meters per minute, which costs about 3.5-4 million rubles. Moreover, this option may be preferable, because, despite high demand, competition in the corrugated packaging market is also great. Most likely, even with small volumes of production, you will not be able to find a sufficient number of standing orders to load your equipment completely.
A special flexographic machine for high-precision printing on cardboard with a productivity of about 3, 000 sheets per hour will cost 1.5-1.8 million rubles, depending on the manufacturer.
Manufacturing enterprises sell corrugated cardboard to various wholesale and wholesale and retail companies that use it for packaging food, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, tobacco products, household appliances and electronics, furniture, various manufactured goods, etc. Prices on corrugated cardboard vary, depending on the type of material. The wholesale price of one square meter can range from 10 to 22 rubles per square meter. As a rule, corrugated cardboard is delivered to wholesale customers in the form of finished boxes and windings on reels of 200 linear meters.
So, we calculate the main costs for the production of corrugated board. About 5 million rubles will be required to purchase equipment in the simplest configuration and low productivity. Another 300-500 thousand rubles are needed for its delivery, installation and commissioning. About 300 thousand rubles will be spent on the purchase of the first batch of raw materials (paper, cardboard and glue). Add to the total amount the same amount for registration of the enterprise, repair work, other expenses. The cost of renting a room depends on the area and location. Total, according to preliminary expenses for organizing the production of corrugated cardboard and corrugated packaging, about 6.5 million rubles will be required. When working in one shift and at least 50% production load, it is quite possible to produce about 160 thousand meters of corrugated cardboard. Accordingly, at a low sales price, the proceeds of a manufacturing enterprise may amount to 1.2-1.4 million rubles per month. The net profitability of such production reaches 17%, and the payback period is about two and a half years.Sysoeva Liliya (c) www.clogicsecure.com - a portal to small business business plans and guides