High-tech over 28,000 square metres: Progroup starts operating state-of-the-art corrugated sheetfeeder plant

At the PW14 corrugated sheetfeeder plant the first sheets are officially being produced. With its new production facility in Stryków, Poland, Progroup is once again setting new trends when it comes to productivity and sustainability.

The new high-tech plant will produce up to 200,000 tonnes of corrugated sheetboard. Together with the existing PW07 plant next door, it will in fact have a production capacity of 825 million square metres per year. This means that Stryków is now one of the world’s biggest sites for corrugated board production. Progroup has invested around 72 million euros in the project at the site, which covers around 28,000 square metres, and created 50 new jobs.

World first in plant construction

Almost all standard grades of corrugated board can be produced at the PW14 plant, with a working width of 3.35 metres and a production speed of 400 metres per minute. At the heart of the corrugator machine is the Modul Facer® MF-A concept which was developed by BHS Corrugated Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH. It has been used for the first time anywhere with a working width of 3.35 metres at Progroup.

“We have always aspired to lead the way on technology in the industry. This means we need to test new generations of machinery with partners like BHS and work together to ensure they can operate stably,” says Maximilian Heindl, Chief Executive Officer of Progroup.

The MF-A concept delivers a highly efficient production process and corrugated board of the very finest quality. For example, it produces high-quality single and double-wall Next Board® corrugated board sheets with B, C and E flutes in all combinations. In comparison to conventional types of corrugated board, the Next Board® products benefit from much lower use of energy and raw materials and reduce CO2 emissions per tonne of corrugated board by 26 per cent on average – and also deliver better strength figures.

Efficient energy production

The lowest possible CO2 emissions are also achieved thanks to the modern combined cooling, heat and power plant. This involves using waste heat from the plant’s own power generation either in an absorption chiller to “produce” cold, or feeding the heat into the heating circuit, as required. This will save a significant quantity of fossil fuels.

“This means we are taking another step towards securing an independent energy supply that conserves resources,” says Heindl.

The manufacturer of containerboard and corrugated board sheets is already implementing lots of measures at its sites to improve the life-cycle assessment. For example, at its Eisenhüttenstadt site in Germany it operates a waste-to-energy power plant which supplies the paper machine next door with all the steam it requires and also generates electricity. This is done by thermally utilising waste materials – some of which come from the paper production itself. The company will be completely carbon-neutral by 2045.

Fully automatic high-bay warehouse

The plant also features a 32-metre-high, fully automatic high-bay warehouse with more than 14,000 storage spaces and four automatic storage and retrieval machines. It will be able to store up to two days of corrugated sheetboard production and thus enable perfect just-in-time deliveries by decoupling the time between the manufacture of the corrugated board and the production of packaging by the customer.

Sustainable packaging park

Gatner Packaging also benefits from this. The Polish packaging manufacturer has established its plant right next to PW14. Gatner Packaging and Progroup have already been cooperating successfully for many years at the Trzcinica site, and now they are doing the same in Stryków too: Progroup sends its corrugated board sheets the short distance to its neighbour, which can then process them directly without any consignments needing to be shipped by truck. A significant amount of CO2 emissions and freight costs are saved by the two companies having closely interlinked logistics and production processes. This creates an extremely sustainable packaging park.

PW14 together with PW07 and the PW10 plant in Trzcinica is Progroup’s third production site in Poland – and the family company’s twelfth corrugated sheetfeeder plant overall. Progroup is thus strengthening its position in the market in Central and Eastern Europe and consistently pursuing its growth strategy.