Interpac has developed a cardboard corrugator which does not rely on steam, making it a fraction of the size and cost of conventional machines. The business successfully closed its funding round on SyndicateRoom in October 2018.
Over the past half a century, the manufacturing of corrugated cardboard has seen little-to-no innovation. Conventional corrugators run on steam. They are expensive to acquire and consume huge amounts of energy (305 kWh/tonne). Due to the immensity of the machines, the corrugating process must be outsourced to specialist companies with dedicated factories.
Interpac’s cold corrugator is the first of its kind. It uses a dry process, eliminating the need for steam altogether and allowing it to be significantly smaller and cheaper than conventional corrugators (18m long and under £500,000 compared to 100m long and up to $10m). This is expected to reduce the energy used by over 90% to just 22 kWh/tonne.
The machine is sufficiently small and low-cost to move production to the point of need, significantly reducing transport costs along the supply chain. Since the Interpac corrugator does not require a dedicated factory, it enables sheet converters to have their own in-house corrugating facility. Interpac believes this on-demand production will significantly reduce packaging costs in a number of ways.
Firstly, the current supply chain requires paper to be transported to dedicated corrugating factories before being transported to sheet converters. Interpac’s solution cuts out the middleman, allowing the paper to be transported directly to sheet converters. Secondly, the Interpac corrugator uses less energy in its operations. Thirdly, it requires only one operator as opposed to the five needed by its predecessors.