Quality upgrade for corrugated boxes

Boxing up quality and sustainability with Tottis Pack

For Tottis Pack, making the move from plain brown corrugated boxes to bright, attractive and sustainable packaging for foods like baked goods, fruits and vegetables meant switching from uncoated to coated liner. Metsä Board’s technical services experts worked hand in hand with Tottis Pack to help them feed the market’s growing hunger for high-quality, sustainable packaging that both protects the food inside and acts as an eye-catching branding tool. 

Tottis Pack, part of the Tottis family of companies, has been manufacturing a wide range of high-quality corrugated cardboard and other food packaging products at its 50,000 m² site in Florina, north-western Greece since 2001. Its modern equipment, commitment to quality and highly skilled workforce have seen the company grow to become one of the leading players in the Greek market.  

The company’s products are used to pack everything from snacks like croissants and biscuits to fruits and vegetables including kiwifruits and watermelons. 
Perhaps the most important ingredient of Tottis Pack’s success has been the high-quality raw materials it uses. In order to address the huge growth in demand for attractive, sustainable corrugated packaging that offers more than just protection for the goods inside, the company needed to upgrade its equipment ready to take on a new raw material: lightweight and strong coated kraftliner from Metsä Board.   

From plain brown box to powerful branding tool 

“When we started 20 years ago the market was really all about plain brown boxes without any special printing, but in recent years there has been a huge increase in demand for packaging that serves as both a transportation medium and a powerful branding tool,” says Zisis Grigoriadis, Deputy Plant Manager at Tottis Pack. “Today our customers want strength, sustainability and excellent printability in one, so the ability to produce packaging with coated kraftliner is a must for us,” Zisis continues. 

In 2017 Tottis Pack invested in a new converting machine to enable six-colour printing on coated kraftliner, a decision in which Metsä Board and its technical services experts played a very important role. “Before we even specified and ordered the new machine, we brought in Metsä Board’s technical services because we trust in their expertise completely. They are the experts in raw material performance, and they helped us a great deal in deciding what kind of equipment we needed and how it should be set up,” explains Zisis.   

Sweating the details pays off 

Supporting Zisis and his team in the transition were Technical Service Manager Frédéric Renaud and Technical Development Director Koen Verplancke, who focused their efforts on understanding Tottis Pack’s requirements, their converting machine and the team and their processes. 

“Corrugators are complicated machines, and no two are the same, so every project is unique. By bringing our knowledge and experience from working with converters around the world we were able to speed up the process of learning how to run our coated liner considerably for Tottis Pack,” explains Koen. “By sweating the details and helping the customer to really understand the coated material – how it reacts to heat, how the gluing process needs to be adjusted, and so on – we can make running these materials second nature for them,” he continues.  

“We performed a thorough assessment that can be roughly divided into three parts,” says Frédéric. “Firstly it was about understanding the customer’s current state and where they wanted to get to in terms of production levels and quality. The next step, which was the most time consuming, was to develop a deep understanding of the machine itself by mapping all the relevant parameters. Last but not least, we needed to get to know the processes and the team at Tottis Pack inside out.” 

A collaboration based on trust and transparency 

The goal was to create an environment where there was absolute trust between the Metsä Board experts and the customer team. “For us collaboration is rooted in trust, open communication and a free exchange of information,” says Frédéric. “Zisis and his team wanted to reach a top result, so our job was to work hand in hand with them at every step, using our knowledge and experience to provide recommendations that they understood and, importantly, giving them the confidence to put them into action. By sharing our knowledge we were able to help the customer speed up their transition from uncoated to coated liner and reduce waste in the process.” 

One of the things Zisis appreciates the most about the collaboration with Metsä Board is the proactive support and recommendations he and his team receives. “Right from the start, we have been able to trust their advice 100% and they are available always when we have challenges to solve or questions to ask. They know our machinery, team, processes and products inside out and they proactively suggest new paperboards that we could test out and different options for printing inks, for example. In a fast-moving industry like ours, this kind of partnership is worth its weight in gold,” Zisis concludes with a smile.