In January 2017, global packaging and paper producer Mondi announced the expansion of its heavy-duty corrugated capabilities at the Mondi Simet plant near Poznań, Poland. On 20 June 2018, Mondi Simet opened its doors to international and local guests to unveil the expanded site and present the first figures of operation. The official event also comprised a greatly anticipated tour of the facility, during which the guests witnessed the state-of-the-art 2.8 metre Fosber corrugator with three single facers in action. With speeds up to 400m per minute, the corrugator delivers up to seven-layer corrugated board at a flute range from E to ACA to the converting equipment, which was also expanded. Mondi Simet covers now the value chain from corrugated board production and converting into boxes in-house for a wide range of heavy-duty, big-box, shelf-ready packaging and e-commerce applications. Senior management emphasised the importance of the expansion of Mondi Simet for the local community, the region and for the corporation.
Armand Schoonbrood, COO of Mondi Corrugated Packaging, explains that “Mondi Corrugated already enjoys a strong position in Poland with five plants in Szczecin, Bystrzyca Kłodzka, Dorohusk, Mszczonów and Świecie, but we needed a major hub to service the Greater Poland region and beyond. To address the growing needs of the Polish corrugated market, we installed the market’s most innovative corrugator, which helped quadruple Mondi Simet’s production capacity. This successful installation would not have been possible without the ongoing commitment of our knowledgeable workforce, local authorities and trusted suppliers who I would like to thank for their support throughout the process.”
After the plant tour, the guests participated in a range of workshops run by Mondi and Fosber experts. Mondi experts gave an overview of the most important packaging considerations and led through the supply chain, visualising how important it is to balance the direct and indirect cost of packaging and its impact on sales. They also introduced five priorities for packaging design that help producers score with decision-makers in retail: easy to open, easy to shelf, easy to identify, easy to shop and easy to dispose.
Additionally, guests could test eye-tracking glasses to find out how packaging design can grab customers’ attention. Jan Blankiewicz, Product Innovation Manager Europe explains: “Brands are constantly under pressure to stand out on the shelf. We evaluate the sales impact of different packaging concepts, thus supporting producers’ marketing and sales targets. We use eye-tracking solutions to identify how consumers’ eyes move across the shelves and create heat maps to find the ideal combination of shelf position and packaging design. We also utilise synergies in primary and secondary packaging alignment. Additionally, we offer display solutions that tap into the potential of secondary packaging solutions for targeted promotions.”
During the heavy-duty workshop, Mondi experts explained how large, paper-based containers can benefit the logistics chain. Rafał Miszczak, Product Innovation Manager Poland explains that “heavy-duty corrugated packaging can be used to transport and stack products as heavy as a tonne. When designed well, it saves time during assembly, takes up less storage space, simplifies transport in combination with integrated pallets and significantly reduces overall shipping weight. Our heavy-duty solution for car bonnets, for example, takes approximately two minutes to assemble compared to fifteen minutes for wooden crates.” Workshop participants also explored how 3D scanners are used during the packaging development phase to create precise replicas, e.g. when the product is too heavy or bulky to be shipped from the customer’s site to Mondi’s development centre.
In his closing speech, Krzysztof Jakubowski, the plant managing director, said “the expansion of Mondi Simet represents one of the biggest capital expenditure in the history of Mondi Corrugated Packaging. However, our story does not end here – we plan to expand our plant even further and reach an annual output capacity of 180-200 million square metres by 2020. We believe our strong product portfolio and network of plants in Poland provides our customers with the added value they need to remain competitive in e-commerce and stationary retail, as well as the automobile, furniture and industrial sectors.”