Corrugated Board is manufactured from a number of specially conditioned layers of recycled and/or virgin papers, called Fluting Medium and Linerboard. Reels of Fluting Medium and Linerboard are fed into a machine called a Corrugator machine.
The Fluting Medium paper is conditioned with heat and steam and fed between large corrugating rolls that give the paper its fluted shape in the Single Facer. Starch is applied to the tips of the flutes on one side and the inner liner is glued to the fluting. The corrugated fluting medium with one liner attached to it is called single face web and travels along the machine towards the Double Facer where the single face web meets the outer liner and forms corrugated board.
A number of layers of single faced web may be built up to produce double and triple wall corrugated board. The corrugated board is slit into the required widths and cut into sheets which are then stacked or palletised. The final stage of the process consists of printing and then slotting, folding and gluing the corrugated board to manufacture a corrugated box.
Most boxes are also printed in one or more colours to identify the product they are going to contain, the product manufacturer, the box manufacturer and also bar codes providing other information regarding the distributed goods. Different operations are carried out according to the customer’s specification and according to the type of packaging.
The two main categories are the regular slotted box and the die-cut box. The latter concerns packaging that requires a very precise cutting and which can have a complex design. Most of the regular slotted boxes are produced with an in-line flexographic Printer/Slotter/ Folder/ Gluer which, in one operation, prints, cuts, folds and glues the blank into its final shape. The die-cut boxes are manufactured on a rotary or flatbed die-cutter which cuts and creases the board.
After converting the corrugated packaging is put on a pallet and delivered to the customer. A corrugated box is composed of layers of paper: liner (linerboard) and fluting (corrugating medium). The four major paper grades used for the production of corrugated board boxes are Kraftliner, Testliner, Semichemical Fluting and Wellenstoff (recycled fibre based fluting) for which the data are found in the database. The composition of the corrugated box depends on the function that it has to fulfill.