Progroup and the independent sheet plant Krystals are starting to operate the new packaging park in Ellesmere Port, UK. It combines Progroup’s high-tech corrugated sheet feeder plant with the specialist packaging production that Krystals provides. The fact that their production and IT systems are interconnected considerably increases the level of flexibility and efficiency in the production processes. The board formats which Progroup produces are transported directly to the Krystals production facilities on time and with the precise quantity required via a transport bridge. This makes Krystals Progroup’s first packaging park customer integrated at the same site in the UK.
Growing together in partnership
“We are absolutely delighted that we are now able to successfully continue Progroup’s story in Ellesmere Port with our long-standing partner Krystals. The packaging park will enable us to continue to grow together,” says Jürgen Heindl, Chief Executive Officer of Progroup. “In spite of coronavirus and Brexit, the indications are that Progroup will continue to grow in England. The investments of more than £90m in constructing our new high-tech corrugated sheet feeder plant and in the packaging park demonstrate how committed we are to the site in Ellesmere Port over the long term. And this is already paying off. Compared to the previous year, we will be able to achieve healthy double-digit growth figures.”
Outstanding logistics achievement
“The direct link to our partner Progroup guarantees us a reliable product supply and minimises costs,” says Arron Shingdia, Managing Director of Krystals. “Progroup’s philosophy and our excellent partnership over many years were the decisive factors influencing our decision to make this strategic step. We look forward to the future of an even closer working relationship of a kind that is not often found. Our thanks go to the companies which were involved in the construction work on site. Despite the strict official regulations to protect against Covid-19, the work was completed on schedule. The mood on the project and the cooperation between all the parties involved was outstanding.”
Focus on sustainability
Progroup has been operating its PW12 corrugated sheet feeder plant, one of the most efficient and best-performing plants anywhere in the industry, in Ellesmere Port since January 2019. The BHS Corrugated line has a working width of 3.35m, meaning the plant is able to manufacture over 200,000 tonnes of corrugated board per year. The board grades which are manufactured are known as Next-Generation® products, which are manufactured entirely from recovered paper.
In the future, the corrugated board which is conveyed via the bridge link to Krystals will require neither means of transport nor any packaging. In the coming year alone, the companies will thus save around 1,800 truck journeys. “With the concept of the packaging parks, we achieve a considerable reduction in noise and CO2 emissions,” says Maximilian Heindl, Chief Development Officer and member of the Board of Progroup.
A series of new developments delivers a very high and constant working speed of 400m per min. This speed is possible for example thanks to the highly automated control system for the whole plant. The employees receive the latest operating information live on wearables that resemble smartwatches – either presented as graphics or via the headset. And the quality control is also done in automated fashion using the ‘Board dimension control’. This system performs the measurement check and ensures that the sheets have a quality level that is 100% reliable.