Maistapack and Schumacher Packaging create environmentally-friendly tripleedge transport packaging
A swift journey from initial idea to the start of production, with expertise and commitment
For packaging expert Gottfried Maier, CEO of Maistapack GmbH from Bad Hall in Austria, high-quality transport packaging must be much more than just a sturdy, stackable box. It should be suitable for automated plants, have very good transport characteristics, contribute to sustainable business management and be able to be used as a high-quality advertising medium. And, with his latest development - Tripleedge - he has achieved all that. What's more: following productive cooperation between his own company, a mechanical engineer and European packaging specialist, Schumacher Packaging, they were able to bring Maier's development to series production in just a few months - the stackable Maistapack transport box made from corrugated board with tripleedge technology.
The triple fold makes boxes slip-resistant and stackable
MAISTAPACK, MAIers STAble, STAckable PACKaging, was established in 2016 by Gottfried Maier and develops complete solutions for secure, environmentally friendly transport boxes. In Schumacher Packaging, one of the largest family-run manufacturers of corrugated and solid board packaging, MAISTAPACK has found the ideal manufacturing partner. Together, the two companies have succeeded in developing the latest MAISTAPACK innovation, the transport box with tripleedge technology, from prototype to series production, and launch it on the market, in a very short time. The special feature of tripleedge boxes are the triple fold stacking corners on the top, which gives the box great stability and excellent load-bearing capacity. Together with the matching recesses in the base, these corners ensure that the trays fit together perfectly and are extremely slip-resistant in transport, even when placed in a tilted position. The sturdy supporting edges also provide robust packaging geometry, which prevents the box from bulging or twisting.
Machine handling as a deal-breaker
Uncomplicated handling is a must not only when transporting boxes; it also plays a key role in the manufacturing process and in packing processes. It was therefore clear from the start that tripleedge boxes must be able to be erected and equipped automatically and should be suitable for automatic palletising. "In order to bring this box format to series production, we would need the support of experienced packaging experts; we found these at Schumacher Packaging too. The company clearly demonstrated why it counts as one of the packaging industry leaders in productivity and technology", reports Maier, CEO of MAISTAPACK. "At the same time, we had to make the erecting machine compatible with tripleedge", added Maier.
Die cutting is an art in itself
Schumacher Packaging Group is headquartered in Ebersdorf bei Coburg in Upper Frankonia, Germany. However, over the years, the family-run company has grown on a European scale and today owns eight locations in Germany as well as plants in Poland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. "After the first contact between us and Maistapack around two years ago, we were both felt immediately certain that there were many great opportunities for collaboration between us", recalls Florian Wanner, Key Account Manager at Schumacher Packaging as he looks back at the start of their cooperative relationship. "Both companies, Maistapack and Schumacher Packaging, are very innovative, place great importance on their products having a positive impact on the environment and strive for a high degree of perfection." Such perfection is particularly important for the production of the tripleedge boxes; once at the customer's site, the blanks must be able to be drawn in to the machine, erected and then glued, all without issue. In order to achieve excellent compatibility between the box and erecting machine, Schumacher Packaging consistently made various adjustments, in order to ensure clean, fast production. Maier is certain: "Besides the high level of specialist expertise, the key factor for our mutual success was the excellent collaborative partnership and absolute reliability of Schumacher Packaging."
Thanks in particular to the professional skills of the Schumacher Packaging experts, the Maistapack boxes with tripleedge technology have already been on the market since the first quarter of 2018. The company HoWe supplies all kinds of bratwurst using these boxes. The transport packaging is now also being used by other businesses - including the meat and sausage industry - such as Houdek, Hubers Landhendl and Kupfer. "The deadline for launching these products on the market by the start of 2018 was set for us by the customers", notes Maier. "We therefore had only around twelve months to get from prototype to series production, to develop a suitable erector system and to build the first erecting machines for tripleedge. Schumacher Packaging fully demonstrated their strengths as an experienced SME during this intensive period", emphasises Maier. "They live and breathe packaging. When it comes to commitment and flexibility, no one comes close."
Practical, attractive but also eco-friendly – it's possible!
"Plastic packaging and transport material can often be replaced by recyclable, environmentally friendly corrugated board – on this, we and Maistapack were in full agreement, even before we started our joint project", explains Wanner from Schumacher Packaging. However, the new Maistapack boxes do not only prevent plastic waste, they also boast other benefits where the Product Carbon Footprint is concerned. In comparison with conventional solid board packaging, Maistapack boxes achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 30%. In terms of meat outer packaging, this equates to about 390 grams of CO2 per box. The triangular edge stacking system provides the trays with excellent stability and stackability, so there is no need for corrugated interlayers, transport covers, edge protection or stretch film. This reduces material usage by 30 to 40 percent and is therefore more environmentally friendly and saves costs. Less raw material usage also means less packaging waste and less waste transport, especially as Maistapack is reusable packaging, which makes it even more environmentally friendly. "The overall environmental balance includes transport distances", reflects tripleedge-inventor Maier. "We therefore felt it was quite important that one of the Schumacher Packaging production sites was close to our current client and would supply them directly", continues Maier.
Cardboard boxes as an ideal advertising medium
In today's colourful world, packaging must not only be practical, they must also be visually appealing to the consumer. It was therefore crucial for Maistapack to choose a partner who could also print eye-catching designs on the trays, according to the customer's requests. "Extremely high-quality offset printing is all in a day's work for Schumacher Packaging", says Maier, "which is another reason they were the ideal partner for us."
Well received on the market
Customers can choose to purchase or rent the appropriate erecting systems from Maistapack. Currently, over 30 machines are already in use in the industry. These businesses get a complete solution – cutting and printing of the Maistapack tripleedge boxes at Schumacher Packaging, completion of the boxes using the erecting machine at the customer's site and fully automated packing processes. The tripleedge customer saves time, effort and money and can also rest assured that they are using extremely environmentally friendly transport packaging for their products. Interest in the new Maistapack box with tripleedge technology is correspondingly keen. "They are currently being used for meat and sausage products. However, other sectors will undoubtedly follow soon, judging by the many requests received in the past few weeks", predicts Maier. "And if any new adjustments need to be made, we know that Schumacher Packaging is a competent, reliable partner for development projects.“