Cardbox Packaging is an international manufacturer of high-quality and technically sophisticated folding cartons with an annual turnover of around 45 million euros. The company operates production sites in Austria (Wolfsberg and Pinkafeld), the Czech Republic (Zádverice), and most recently in the United States (Pittston, PA). Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) supported the setup in Pittston with extensive consulting services and an overall solution package comprising machines, service, and consumables. Cardbox Packaging is supported and advised by the Global and International Account Group at Heidelberg.
The goal of Cardbox Packaging is to expand the business through the addition of new sites and to give each location a sustainable orientation. From the beginning, the company has counted on strategic partners for this purpose. “One of the main reasons for the success of our expansion strategy is that we brought the right partners on board, Greiner Packaging and Heidelberg. Both are innovative and customer-oriented – and that’s how we see ourselves too,” says Roland Schöberl, CEO Cardbox Packaging Holding. The joint venture with Greiner Packaging, one of the world’s leading providers of plastic packagings with sites around the globe, paved the way into the North American market. When another major customer, a brand owner based in Europe, indicated its intention to have its folding cartons produced at Cardbox Packaging in the future, the move across the Atlantic was a foregone conclusion.
However, the market in the US works differently to Europe in all regards, whether consumers, clients, or suppliers. Cardbox Packaging therefore intensified its collaboration with Heidelberg as a global partner.
Highly productive overall system
At the same time as it was moving into the new building, Heidelberg supplied the equipment and established a lean production system with short supply chains and an efficient material flow. All processes were thoroughly analyzed and geared to economic efficiency. A Suprasetter CtP system is used for imaging in prepress, while a Speedmaster XL 106 six-color press runs with double coating and full logistics in the pressroom. The sheets are finished with the Promatrix CSB die cutter and the Diana Easy folder gluer in postpress. The Prinect Production Manager workflow provides for integrating these processes. The CtP system was delivered with a plate supply contract, Saphira Pressroom Consumables are used and Cardbox Packaging also relies on the service of Heidelberg. “With the 36 Plus service agreement, we’re buying ourselves production reliability. We know from experience that it’s definitely worth it, because it helps us to avoid unscheduled downtimes,” says Roland Schöberl. The service package also includes production analyses of where and how further saving potentials can be realized.
Cardbox Packaging also benefits from a streamlined supply chain and much lower complexity. “Instead of negotiating with several suppliers, we get everything from one source, from Heidelberg. This makes a lot of things easier. We save process costs, and the reduction of the workload in day-to-day business frees us up to focus on key topics such as new offerings for our customers,” says Roland Schöberl.
Cardbox Packaging also built on the positive experience with Heidelberg equipment at its Austrian sites, with a Speedmaster XL 106-6+L with full logistics in operation in Wolfsberg, and a Diana Pro as well as a Promatrix CSB in Pinkafeld.
Around 20 employees work at the Pittston site, producing packaging primarily for brand manufacturers in the confectionery, food and cosmetics industries. “We respond flexibly to our customers’ wishes and offer customized, tailored solutions. However, the price is the ultimate deciding factor,” says Klaus Hockl, CEO Cardbox Packaging Holding.
Due to the intensive competitive pressure, costings are done very precisely and the effort involved in the job change is very accurately analyzed. Particularly with short runs, every second counts. All print jobs – even non-food jobs – are therefore produced using food-safe, low-migration consumables. This shortens the changeover times and reduces the amount of makeready required. At the same time, Cardbox Packaging can reliably meet the high requirements of its food customers.
Growth through know-how transfer and digitization of processes
Cardbox Packaging plans for further growth. “We know that our success depends on people to a large extent. On our employees and our partners,” says Klaus Hockl with conviction. Cardbox Packaging therefore attaches great importance to a modern working environment, a pleasant working climate, and continuous training. The company-wide transfer of know-how on technical and operational issues in printing plays a central role.
Cardbox Packaging regards the trusting partnership with Heidelberg as another lever for long-term success. “Heidelberg is actively driving digital topics like big data and the Internet of Things. This gives us many opportunities to enhance our performance and grow further – without having to make new investments,” says Klaus Hockl. Thus, integration of the Heidelberg Assistant is in the planning stage, as this software interface allows for coordination of the desired level of transparency, know-how transfer, purchasing via the eShop, and service.