Significant investment in Hungary

Employing 10,000 people in 15 countries, the Prinzhorn Group is a leading European company in the recycling, paper and packaging industries. With an annual turnover of 2.9 bn, the group ranks among the top five in Europe. The Austrian, family owned company has three business units: Dunapack Packaging (corrugated packaging), Hamburger Containerboard (containerboard production) and Hamburger Recycling (collecting and trading of secondary raw materials). All three companies are present in Hungary, implementing a fully circular business model.

Dunapack Packaging has been one of the market leaders in the production of corrugated packaging materials in Hungary for decades. The company has three packaging plants, in Budapest (Csepel island) – celebrating its centenary in 2023; Nyíregyháza, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022; and the brand new Dunavarsány facility, which started producing corrugated board and packaging in September 2022. Dunavarsány is a town located about 35km south of the country’s capital city, Budapest. Prinzhorn Group employs almost 1,200 people in Hungary; of this figure, almost 700 work for Dunapack Packaging.

Dunapack Packaging have more than 1,500 customers that they serve in Hungary and other European countries; the biggest markets besides Hungary are Slovakia and Romania. From multinational companies to small local businesses, they have a diverse customer base, active in almost all sectors of the manufacturing industries. The most important sectors are FMCG – food & beverage, retailers, household, chemicals and cosmetics, paper industry, electronics, consumer durables and many more.

New Site Needed

Market demand for sustainable packaging continues to grow, and Dunapack, as a market leader, needed to be prepared to offer the most modern, and best value-for money packaging solutions for its customers. What followed was a green field investment project, that would result in new building, equipment and systems.

In 2019, the company started the project planning to build a state-of-the-art corrugated packaging plant, considering sustainability as the key element of future business development. On a site of 137,500 sqm, a new 33,652 sqm building was designed.

In the new facility, there is the raw materials warehouse, corrugator bay, converting hall, finished goods warehouse, cliché and die storage area and maintenance department. There is also a two-storey building with quality control and office space. The new plant created additional capacity, giving them the opportunity to serve new customers regionally and to strengthen their market position.

Plenty of Room for Growth

The building and construction works started in April 2021. In August 2022, Dunapack and its suppliers began with the installation of two new converting machines. “Things ran smoothly with these installations, as by September 2022, we started production in the converting hall,” explains Dennis Belkovsky, Cluster Managing Director. “Installation of the corrugator then started in October 2022, with the first test production beginning in December 2022. By January 2023, full corrugator production had started.”

At the heart of the new manufacturing facility is 2.8m Fosber S/Line 420 corrugator, rated at 420 m/min speed. The line benefits from plenty of industry 4.0 features, with SYNCRO process control system helping achieve optimum board production, thanks to its fully automatic process application. Dunapack also opted for a complete ProCare remote control system. ProCare is Fosber’s computer-based maintenance and diagnostic system. The program utilises a fixed console and tablet to display information for machine procedures and advanced data monitoring. The maintenance intervals are automatically flagged to be completed based on time span, amount of product made or number of sequence occurrences. The system monitors upcoming and completed maintenance items and illustrates the relevant step-by-step procedures through easy-to-follow videos and instructional photos. The ProCare system is modular, flexible, expandable, and can be configured to individual plant requirements. In addition, the Planned maintenance feature was specified.

The new Fosber S/Line has given the site in excess of 250m sqm of board production capacity – and the current converting park can easily handle 100m sqm per annum, meaning there is room for growth.

In the converting hall, Dunapack is running four machines at the moment; casemakers from BOBST and EMBA and rotary die-cutter from Bobst. The plant is equipped with a fully automated internal logistic systems from NE Engineering, and advanced IT solutions. The company’s Hungarian plants are sharing a common customer database and have central planning with Witron’s CPMS production management system, which helps to balance the workload among the plants and provide reliable and flexible service to the customer base. Automatic palettisers, strappers and wrappers are installed from Mosca and Pamminger. And to help ensure all stereos and dies are stored easily and securely, a full automated robotic system has been installed from bcm transtech.

The Bobst machines are all state of the art, either NT or RS in specification. The lines feature automatic anilox roll storage and exchange systems, as well as the REGISTRON S5500 Quality Control system. The machines are also fitted with best in class IR dryers from JB Machinery, with complete control loop. A dust extraction system and sound proofing helps keep the factory environment both clean and reduces machinery noise.

“With further investments, we will reach 150m sqm in converting capacity in phase one, and then after building the extension to the facility, we will reach 220m sqm converting capacity as phase two,” says Belkovsky.

Good Start Up Curve

“During the whole project, we kept the original timeline, all milestones were completed on time, including building construction, machine installations and plant start up, thanks also to our machine suppliers,” explains Illés Kurgyis, Operations Director. “Two new converting machines were installed by Bobst. The cooperation between our team and the Bobst installation team was very good, so the installation and commissioning was completed on time with the agreed conditions.”

“The Fosber team was passionate and motivated, they were flexible in case of managing unexpected situations as well. Installation and training went very well and an important aspect was that Fosber’s top management carefully listened to our feedback and experiences after machine start up, and they took the necessary actions to accelerate our ramp up,” says Tamás Krausz, Head of Corrugated Board production.

Kurgyis adds, “By November 2023, we reached the end of the ramp up phase, with all the machines running with the planned productivity targets. It has been a great project to be involved in.”

For the Future

“In the first phase, we still plan to install four more converting machines, and after the planned building extension in phase two, we plan to install six more converting machines,” confirms Belkovsky. “Certainly, the machines will be specified with the latest automation solutions. In the next few years, our main focus will be on increasing the energy efficiency of the plant, and using sustainable solutions. We are currently working on installing a comprehensive energy measuring system and an intelligent building management system to reduce our carbon footprint and minimise energy consumption. The company is also preparing for a solar panel installation,” he concludes.

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