Connected, efficient and sustainable: Krystals starts operating packaging park in Ellesmere Port

Progroup, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of containerboard and corrugated board from Landau (Rhineland-Palatine, Germany), and the packaging manufacturer Krystals are starting to operate the new packaging park in Ellesmere Port (Great Britain). It combines Progroup’s high-tech corrugated board 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 corrugated 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 Great Britain.

Growing together in partnership: Successful packaging park model

“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 90 million pounds in constructing our new high-tech corrugated sheetfeeder 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,” says Jürgen Heindl.

Outstanding logistics achievement by the partners in Ellesmere Port

“The direct link to our partner Progroup guarantees us a reliable product supply and minimises costs. 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,” says Arron Shingdia, Managing Director of Krystals. “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.”

High-tech corrugated sheetfeeder plant with a focus on sustainability 

Progroup has been operating its PW12 corrugated sheetfeeder plant, one of the most efficient and best-performing plants anywhere in the industry, in Ellesmere Port, England since January 2019. With a working width of 3.35 metres, the corrugated sheetfeeder plant is able to manufacture over 200,000 tonnes of corrugated board per year. The corrugated board grades which are manufactured in Ellesmere Port are what 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 400 metres a minute. 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 corrugated board sheets have a quality level that is 100% reliable.

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