Carton Packaging

Folding carton, corrugated, paper cups, paper bags, or any box converting & printing application

The role of carton packaging has been constantly evolving over the past years. While the main priority of carton boxes has been to protect the goods, further needs have emerged such as the aesthetic appeal with more sophisticated designs and shapes, new and diverse materials to cater for sustainability, as well as additional processes and materials for adding security and traceability features.

On top of the above, shorter production runs, repeat orders, and flexibility are the factors adding more pressure to the carton packaging companies. Not to mention all the logistics-related processes which are added due to the extra shipping, handling, and delivery costs. This means that the carton box manufacturers need to be flexible and agile, to quickly adapt to their customers’ needs while maintaining the lowest possible cost per box.

Streamline complex day-to-day tasks

While the demands are increasing, the production costs of carton packing are affected and need to be controlled and reduced. From the perspective of the carton box manufacturer, the biggest challenge is to handle the management of the various interfaces between the different equipment, departments, and processes, and to do this at the same or lower cost. Carton producers can achieve this effectively by adding automation into the workflow and processes to streamline the multitude of complex day-to-day tasks. The carton packaging workflow of Overprint MIS has been built around dedicated data requirements and processes intuitively designed around folding carton packaging specific parameters.

Accurate cost estimation

Having an increased number of different jobs means that there will be an even more increased number of cost estimations and quotation requests. Overprint provides an easy way to fast-track and accurately make a cost estimation.

The Cost Estimation tool gathers information from multiple sources within the system, compiling a detailed job analysis document. This includes multiple parameters and cost centers such as materials, ganging, production and labor processes, customer-specific price lists, etc. The system will estimate the cost of materials and services as well as the set-up /production times needed to produce every product that needs to be quoted as per the customer’s request.

Machine Learning is also feeding the Cost Estimation engine making the cost estimation process much more accurate than what it would have been calculated by just theoretical forecasting.

Production Optimization

Overprint’s Job Tickets tool will provide suggestions for ganging job tickets that are of the same die-cut design. The orders will be added to the same job ticket for further processing using the same die plate. This ganging functionality will also calculate the repeatability of each job on the sheet, the number of products to be produced for each order, and the quantity of remaining products (in case the exact number of an order cannot be matched with ganging).

The Planning submodule is based on the print job technical specifications, availability of resources, and delivery time, providing several criteria options to the planner to optimize production. Other than manually planning production, there is the option of planning automation, which allows for JIT planning by prioritizing job tickets. The parameters for the job prioritization are used as filtering criteria to optimize production.

The planner can optimize production by instructing the scheduling functionality to combine all jobs that have the same colors, or jobs that have the same die cut or folding design. Apart from job prioritization, the scheduling functionality provides information on the time gain that prioritization will derive compared to a different prioritization. This can save setup time on printing or post-printing phases (die-cutting, folding/gluing, laminating).

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

Automated data collection and monitoring take place in the Monitoring submodule, through which production equipment and control systems are interfaced. During production, data such as setup time, production time, idle times, as well as material consumption and waste is tracked.

If the equipment is connected to the system via PLCs, Sensors, or JMF, then no user interaction is needed at all – just scanning the barcode of the material to track consumption and waste. RFID technology can also be used to track the materials throughout production as well as their consumption.

The additional benefits that come with this are monitoring machinery uptimes and downtimes, keeping track of employee productivity, and overseeing projects from beginning to end. The Business Intelligence & Reporting module will provide detailed reports and dashboards for the complete analysis of the OEE calculation.

Logistics & warehouse management

Moreover, with the integrated Warehouse module, via bar codes or RFID technologies, accurate and multi-level stock control of print and raw materials is maintained (including inks, varnishes, plates, die-cuts, cartons, etc.) along with finished-goods traceability. All materials that comprise the final product can be traced, a feature that is extremely valuable to the food and pharmaceutical markets.

Automation in logistics processes is accomplished by collecting warehouse and production data through barcodes or RFID tags providing information such as batch, LOT number, job ticket number, the number of carton packages, etc. Several mobile applications have been developed for portable devices to facilitate picking, packing, dispatching, and any other logistics process.


Having optimized your production workflow, you can take the time to contemplate on other important aspects of your business, like creating a packaging design that will stand out on the shelves.

Having optimized your production workflow, you can take the time to contemplate on other important aspects of your business, like creating a packaging design that will stand out on the shelves.

Optimize your production workflow