Raw Material Control.
Tangible benefits to your business, including greater choice, quality & price stability
GWP Group is proud to be one of nine members of Corrboard UK.
Allowing complete control over the raw material supply chain, plus consistent pricing, lead times and quality, being part of this pioneering project has seen a significant, positive impact on GWP Groups’ business.
More importantly, these benefits can be passed directly to – and could have a significant impact on – your business.
But what exactly is Corrboard UK, and what does it mean for your company?
Please use the links to the right for information about how Corrboard was founded, the direct benefits to your business, the Corrboard Alliance and even environmental advantages it offers.
01: What is Corrboard?
Background and overview on the Corrboard project
GWP Group is one of nine partners in Corrboard UK – becoming co-owners of the most technologically advanced corrugated sheet feeder in the UK.
Located in Scunthorpe, this new Corrugator is housed in a 320,000 square foot facility. The new equipment and venture as a whole provides a huge range of benefits for GWP Group. These should, however, also have a direct, positive impact your business as well.
So what is Corrboard – and what are these benefits – you ask?
Well, the critical point is that it allows all Corrboard UK partners to take ownership of the raw material supply chain. This means GWP Group now has complete control over the supply, quality and grades of corrugated board manufactured.
Ultimately, being partners in Corrboard UK will provide greater choice of material grades. It will also enable reduced lead times and noticeably better quality too.
The project also offers a vast range of environmental benefits. And there are advantages of working with a diverse range of like-minded packaging companies throughout the UK too. Foremost amongst these is the expanded the range of packaging products that GWP Group can offer your business.
Market conditions that led to the project
The packaging industry has long been plagued with what has been termed “light weighting”. This is effectively the substitution of papers in corrugated cardboard.
What this meant was that corrugated material was supplied with poorer quality, or even completely different material than ordered. This was without the knowledge of the sheet plant purchasing it.
It gets worse:
If challenged, the board manufacturers would simply argue that the same performance could be achieved with less fibre and / or lighter papers. Even when this clearly wasn’t the case.
This in turn meant packaging manufacturers such as GWP Group could not be certain of quality and performance. This in turn would see the packaging manufactured suffer in quality too.
Couple this with erratic and often unmanageable lead times and the result was frequently disappointed customers and higher costs.
The Solution: Corrboard UK
These problems with the supply chain were the motivation for the project. So, after much discussion, the nine partners worked alongside CSI Corrugated UK to setup Corrboard UK.
The project was initially conceived in 2010 and was code-named “squirrel”. This allowed for the project to be discussed whilst protecting the identities of the businesses involved. This later led to the Corrboard logo now seen on lorries, signage and websites.
Corrugated Synergies International (CSI) are the largest privately owned buyer of container board materials in the US. They were operated (or were partners with) 11 sheet feeders, 3 Box Plants and 15 Corrugators and Pre-Print facilities.
These were based throughout North America, Canada and South America. Corrboard was the first UK venture, and indeed anywhere in Europe.
Remarkably, this new company is the home of the first brand new Corrugator in the UK for over 20 years. It is located in Scunthorpe, on the site of the former Mondi Hypac corrugated case factory.
The total investment was of approximately £15 million. Each of the nine partners, including GWP Group, own an equal stake in the business. However the business is run independently so that decisions can be made to benefit all partners equally.
02: Integrated vs Independent.
The difference between integrated and independent packaging manufacturers
There are effectively two different types of corrugated plants / manufacturers. Both offer advantages and disadvantages, to customers and their own business alike.
“Integrated” companies are those which produce both the raw materials (corrugated board) and convert this into finished packaging products (boxes, cartons, etc.).
The key benefit this offers such companies is control over the quality of materials they use. They also benefit from economies of scale and reduced lead times, both of which they have complete control over.
However, usually being very large, they are frequently not able to offer low to mid volume packaging. They may also struggle to produce truly bespoke options for customers (unless volumes are high enough). Service levels and support tend to be much less personal too.
So what is the alternative?
“Independent” companies, unlike Integrated Plants, do not produce their own material. This puts them at the mercy of manufacturers of corrugated board, having no control over price, quality or lead times. All of these factors can affect the finished products and customer satisfaction.
Even when Integrated Plants began supplying much lower quality material to independents, they had little choice but to purchase from them.
Being generally smaller though, independents can cater for lower and mid volume work more easily. Independents can generally offer a much wider range of bespoke options due to the flexibility inherent in smaller organisations. They can also offer a much more tailored and personal service too.
Finally, not being tied to a single manufacturer of material, they can also usually specify a much wider choice of grades and material options.
The best of both
GWP Group previously fell into the latter category. So being an “independent sheet plant” allowed flexibility in terms of designs, options and order volumes. The size and focus of the business also allowed for a much more tailored and personal level of customer support.
However, with GWP Group’s participation in Corrboard UK, we are now able to count on the consistent quality and lead times that producing raw material allows.
In effect, GWP Group can now offer your business all the benefits of both integrated and independent plants. This means maintaining high service levels and a focus on innovative packaging design that has been present for our twenty five years of trading.
What does it mean for your business?
GWP Groups’ participation in Corrboard UK has a number of tangible benefits for your business.
Firstly, the quality of raw material now used is consistently high. This allows the manufacture of corrugated packaging to reach standards that cannot be bettered elsewhere.
This of course is coupled with both an experienced in house design team and a modern manufacturing facility. As such, this enables us to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with your packaging.
Being part of Corrboard UK also allows access to a wider choice of materials. This allows your business greater choice in terms of the range and type of packaging available.
This is further accentuated by the strong working relationship between the Corrboard partners. Each of the products unique to the specific partners can now be offered by all – something known as the Corrboard Alliance.
The reduced lead times of the corrugated material can also be passed directly onto your business. This is particularly important if you are taking advantage of a Just In Time Supply (JIT) service. Ultimately, it will allow you to get your packaging more quickly.
And finally, being in control of the manufacture and logistics of the corrugated material has also allowed for a number of environmental benefits.
For example, board is now shipped without pallets. This allows for 10% more board to be shipped per journey, reducing vehicle movement, fuel use and emissions by 10% too.
The bottom line:
Your packaging is delivered on time, in full, and with consistent high quality and performance.
Specific material grades & performance
The Fosber, 2.8 metre duplex corrugated installed at Corrboard UK allows for the manufacture of a wide range of board grades.
For starters, it runs E, I, B and C flutes, plus combined double wall grades. The corrugator also produces all commonly used paper grades including kraft, recycled and coated.
I Flute is an innovative new grade, manufactured exclusively at Corrboard in the UK. It has a profile between E and B flutes. The corrugated cardboard properties of this grade allow it to boast exceptional strength and an improved surface for printing.
It also means the reduction in “bulk” when used in place of B flute also improves its environmental credentials. This is seen through reduced transit, storage, costs etc.
Key benefits of controlling corrugated cardboard manufacture
Existing relationships and contingencies
GWP Group have however maintained relationships with select “third party “corrugated board manufacturers. This ensures that we can offer the entire range of flutes and grades within the UK market place.
In effect, GWP Group are now able to manage and control the supply of raw materials into our business whilst retaining external corrugated sheet support.
The partnership with other sheet plants has also seen the creation of a continuity disaster plan between all Corrboard partners. This provides an additional level of security for both GWP Group and your business.
A more sustainable approach to cardboard manufacturing
The setup of Corrboard UK also offers a number of environmental benefits.
Being the newest corrugator in the UK, it is also the most energy efficient. In fact, the Fosber equipment uses 40% less energy than older corrugators in the UK during the cardboard manufacturing process.
Besides this, a unique feature of the material produced by Corrboard is that it is not delivered on pallets. The sheets are transported as a bale, protected by sheets / wraps that protect the corrugated material. Eliminating the need for the wooden pallets reduces costs by approx. £1 million per year.
However, it is also possible to get 10% more board into a standard 40 foot trailer. This in turn reduces vehicle movement by 10%. The knock on effect of this is reduced fuel usage and lower emissions. This system has also seen less damage to boards in transit, reducing wastage.
Finally, there are also plans for an anaerobic digester which will produce enough electricity to run the entire plant. Any excess will be sold back to the National Grid. This will make Corrboard UK completely energy neutral.
Other advantages for Corrboard Partners
Although remaining independent, there are a number of other benefits for each of the companies becoming involved in a partnership such as Corrboard UK.
Firstly, it enhances the geographical reach of each of the companies. This is because high volume converted corrugated often becomes uneconomical if transported further than 80 miles.
The wealth of knowledge and varying capabilities of the partners can now be shared too. This collaboration has become known as the Corrboard Alliance.
For example, Corrboard Alliance members can benefit from a confidential trade supply of GWP Groups products.
Corrugated board coatings, advanced foam conversion capabilities and Correx® fabrication can be specified by the partners. In return, GWP Group can access products including high value luxury packaging, extra large formats and press quality printing.
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Please use the links above to find out more about GWPs’ involvement with Corrboard UK, or contact a member of our team to discuss your upcoming packaging requirements.