Mondi has always held Poland as being high on its markets for growth. In April 2016, it completed the acquisition of Simet SA and set about transforming it into a state-of-the-art facility. In January 2017, Mondi announced the expansion of its heavy-duty corrugated capabilities at the plant near Poznań, Poland and confirmed it would be investing in equipment that would allow it to become one of the leading suppliers of heavy duty corrugated packaging in the territory.
On 20th 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 saw the high speed Fosber 2.8m corrugator with three single facers in action. The new, highly productive corrugator offers speeds up to 400m per minute, producing sheet from microflute up to triplewall corrugated board, in a flute range from E to ACA triplewall.
Guests also saw the Bobst casemakers and speciality gluers in action, making a diverse range of heavy duty corrugated boxes, all printed with high quality decorative graphics.
Mondi Simet now covers 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 to the local community, the region and for the company.
Armand Schoonbrood, COO of Mondi Corrugated Packaging, said to guests, “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.”
Ribbon cutting at the ceremony.
After the plant tour, the guests participated in a range of workshops run by Mondi and Fosber experts. Mondi staff gave an overview of the most important packaging considerations and led them through the supply chain, visualising how important it is to balance the direct 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 of.
Additionally, guests could use eye-tracking glasses to find out how packaging design can grab customers’ attention. Jan Blankiewicz, Product Innovation Manager Europe said, “Brands are constantly under pressure to stand out on the shelf. We support producers’ marketing and sales targets by conducting shelf impact evaluations. 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 and offer off-the-shelf display 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 explained, “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. Corrugated solutions take approximately two minutes to assemble compared to fifteen minutes for wooden crates.”
Workshop participants also explored how 3D scanners and printers are used during the packaging development phase to create precise replicas 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 sqm 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 on the heavy-duty and SRP markets.”