Progroup corrugated sheetfeeder plant in Ellesmere Port sets world record

Progroup, which is based in Landau in der Pfalz (Germany), is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of containerboard and corrugated board. Since 2019, the family-run company has operated its PW12 corrugated sheetfeeder plant in Ellesmere Port, England. It is one of the most efficient and productive plants in the whole industry. The high-tech corrugated sheetfeeder plant has now set a world record. It currently tops the world rankings with its output of 572,064 square metres in 8 hours.  

“The team has achieved an outstanding feat with its state-of-the-art machine. This world record not only vindicates Progroup’s strategy of investing regularly in the very latest sustainable technology. It also shows how well colleagues at PW12 work together. Very much reflecting our motto of ‘One Group. One Goal. One Team.’,” says Philipp Kosloh, Chief Operations Officer and member of the Board of Progroup.

Strong partners for a secure future 

PW12 is equipped with a corrugator from BHS Corrugated. The market-leading technology provider of corrugator machines is a long-standing and highly valued partner of Progroup. Together the two family-run companies champion innovations – to create a strong and secure future. “We continuously work together with Progroup to optimise the corrugator machines so we can achieve the best possible results. This is why we are of course particularly thrilled about the world record of PW12. It shows that our joint efforts are rewarded with success,” says Lars Engel, Managing Director of BHS Corrugated, in emphasising how the partnership works.

State-of-the-art technology for maximum efficiency

With a working width of 3.35 metres, the corrugated sheetfeeder plant in Ellesmere Port is able to produce more than 200,000 tonnes of corrugated board per year. A series of new developments delivers a very high and constant working speed of 400 metres a minute. This speed is possible thanks to the highly automated control system for the whole plant. This also includes the conveyor technology and internal logistics. The customised, fully automated transport system of PW12 helps to ensure that the corrugated board sheets are processed and stored with maximum efficiency.

The state-of-the-art high-bay warehouse with 14,500 storage spaces is operated virtually autonomously for example with four automatic storage and retrieval machines. The employees receive the latest operating information live on wearables that resemble smartwatches – either presented as graphics or via the headset. The quality control is also done in automated fashion using the “Board dimension control” from BHS. This system performs the measurement check and ensures that the corrugated board sheets have a quality level that is 100% reliable.

The success story continues

PW12 is an important part of Progroup’s growth strategy which the company will continue to pursue consistently in the future. “The market for corrugated board is booming. The trend is not just moving towards sustainable packaging materials, but purchasing behaviour has also changed and is increasingly shifting to e-commerce platforms,” says Progroup founder and CEO Jürgen Heindl. “Thanks to our long-term strategy, we are very well placed to continue to offer our customers the high reliability of supply and product quality they are used to in the future.”

For example, the implementation planning for the construction of a plant in the region around Douvrin in France as part of a renewal project has already begun. Furthermore, additional growth projects in Germany and Italy are at the implementation planning stage. This means that between 2022 and 2024 a total of four more corrugated sheetfeeder plants will start operating and further boost Progroup’s growth in the respective markets.

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Written by Dom Thorby