Founded in 1947, Albany Packaging manufactures the highest quality folding carton products to well-known grocers, restaurants, convenience stores, apparel and retailers across North America.
For more than 75 years, this folding carton converter has specialized in the sheeting, printing, die-cutting, windowing, and gluing of paperboard. As business has grown over the last few years, it installed a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 145 seven-color press along with a Koenig & Bauer AllPro 145 folder gluer in 2021; this was to specifically help print and convert more and more packaging for its growing customer base.
Located outside of Toronto, the company operates from an 87,000 sq ft facility in Markham, Ontario. Headcount is now more than 50 skilled employees. Its customer base, which is situated throughout North America, is comprised of over 80% in food service and grocery products (including restaurants and bakeries); the remainder is produced for custom print and the apparel market.
“There is no doubt we have seen a massive increase in demand for packaging for food service, specifically food-on-the-go,” explains Daniel Engelberg, Sales & Project Manager, Albany Packaging. “As many different states and regions start to ban single-use plastic packaging, the demand for sustainable folding carton is increasing rapidly.”
He continues, “Take for example baked goods and donuts; previously, they would be sold in plastic clamshells, but now bakeries need to showcase them in windowed cartons to present the goods inside to consumers. Let’s face it, consumers are now very aware of why we need to take plastic out of the supply chain and seeing freshly baked goods in an attractive paperboard carton can only be a good thing in their minds.”
Sustainable packaging is a key component of Albany’s mantra. “As consumers continue to seek sustainable and eco-friendly packaging solutions, we’ve placed our efforts into forming relationships with paperboard suppliers that value and echo these environmental concerns,” says Engelberg. “As for production, we always make sure that our products are made of recyclable, high-density paperboard – allowing for improved durability and performance.”
Higher Capacity Needed
Albany had been running Heiber + Schröder for many years. “We had an old unit of theirs from the 1980s and it was a solidly built, reliable unit – but it simply came to end of life,” recounts Engelberg. “So we contacted Alain Ciclet and the team at Heiber + Schröder US to see which of their range would suit us best.”
“The MASTER is a window patching machine for massive production,” says contacted Alain Ciclet, Sales Director USA and Canada, Heiber + Schröder. “When it comes to speed and functionality, the Master is in a class of its own, with state-of-the-art technology. Its intelligent operating panel makes it easy to use. Perfectly build for the biggest performance, Heiber + Schröder machines are well known within the packaging industry for their high quality, along with first class service and support with full remote maintenance.”
The Master is a high-output machine, handling paper and board from 250gsm right through to 800gsm. It can also handle corrugated board in E and F flute. Depending on carton size, it can run from 12,000 to 40,000 pcs/hr (single lane) or 24,000 to 80,000 pcs/hr (two lane).
“We have been happy with the installation, which we completed in 2022,” adds Engelberg. “The operators adapted to the new technology easily and an excellent line of communication with not only H+S US, but also H+S Germany meant we hit the ground running. But already, we are looking at ways in which we can increase output further, including discussions with H+S about pre-feeder and finished carton stacker at the take off.”
So it seems business is good for Albany Packaging. The addition of a new Koenig & Bauer AllPro 110 folder gluer in the first quarter of 2023 is a sign that demand continues to grow and the customers are obviously happy with the quality and service levels. “We are not a massive company, but what we do is best in class,” concludes Engelberg. “Having the right equipment means we reduce waste and ensure fastest time to market. Working with companies like Heiber + Schröder and Koenig & Bauer is what solid relationships are built on – trust, support and maximum uptime.”