PPC Folding Carton Boot Camp shows converters how to make the most of paperboard

Quinn Garber, Southeast VP of Sales and Marketing at River Valley Paper Company (Akron, Ohio), leads the discussion.
Quinn Garber, Southeast Vice President of Sales and Marketing at River Valley Paper Company (Akron, Ohio), leads the discussion.

A group of newcomers to the paperboard packaging industry learned about the entire process of carton converting during the Paperboard Packaging Council’s (PPC) Folding Carton Boot Camp on May 8-9 at PPC’s world headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts. Among other insights, participants learned how waste paperboard is a valuable asset that needs to be managed and recycled. This process provides value to converters and the marketplace – and ultimately adds to paperboard’s exciting sustainability story. Quinn Garber, Southeast VP of Sales and Marketing at River Valley Paper Company (Akron, Ohio), explained that waste paperboard from carton converters’ plants is called “pre-consumer paper.” Although folding carton manufacturers optimize jobs to reduce paperboard waste, there’s usually some excess board that’s stripped away during the cutting process. Waste may also come from misprinted sheets or other errors.

Quinn Garber.
Quinn Garber.

The crucial aspect to remember, Garber explained, is that waste paperboard has value – and the industry should take advantage of that. Value depends on a number of variables. Board stock may be the most important. For example, white SBS board has the highest market value, while brown SUS comes in on the lower side. The type and amount of printing also affect value, with less ink coverage meaning more market value. Additionally, converters should consider the dynamics of supply and demand. For example, with decreasing volumes of recycled magazines and books, the demand for recycled fibre from paperboard has increased over the past several years. Garber concluded the session by highlighting great news for the industry. Paper and paperboard have historically been, and will continue to be, highly visible in municipal recycling collection efforts. “Paper is easily the most recyclable substrate, and that sustainable quality is important to consumers and brand owners alike,” he added.

Paperboard recovery was just one of many topics presented at the Folding Carton Boot Camp. The intensive two-day workshop covered the entire folding carton production process, from certified forest all the way to the store shelf. Industry experts explained the paper making process and also described the properties and application of inks and coatings. Prepress processes like CAD, layout and graphics were explained in simple terms, as were a variety of others – including tooling, embossing, foil stamping, stripping, finishing, gluing, windowing and rigid box manufacturing. The next Folding Carton Boot Camp will take place on November 13-14, 2018 and is open to both PPC members, non-members and students. For more information please visit paperbox.org/bootcamp.

About PPC’s Folding Carton Boot Camp. PPC’s Folding Carton Boot Camp is ideal for anyone new to cartons (even if not new to the industry) and non-plant personnel with limited experience outside a single plant operation. From making paper to customer delivery and all “folding carton” points and processes in between, this comprehensive program is “everything you wanted to know about folding cartons, but were afraid to ask,” said the organization. Attendees start by learning how paper is made and what different grades of paperboard are used to make packaging. The types of presses used to put ink and coatings on paper are next, and which machines best fit the end use. Next, industry experts introduce students to the complex prepress process, including an overview of CAD (Computer Aided Design), colour theory and carton design. Finally, participants learn how cartons are cut, creased and finished, including windowing and gluing. Fees are $1,195 (USD) for PPC members and brand owners, $695 for students and $1,795 for non-member converters. There’s a 5% discount for three if a company has three or more registrants. Each participant receives a copy of the popular Ideas and Innovation Handbook (a $150 value!), as well as a binder full of paper and carton samples, instructional information, speaker presentations, a comprehensive glossary of printing terms, as well as a certificate of completion that’s ready for framing.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.