Understanding corrugated fiberboard and having a definition of corrugated at your disposal can help growers and packers understand the science behind the boxes that are used to transport fruit and produce from farms all the way to the point of sale. Learn how this popular material is made from start to finish and discover why corrugated boxes from Fruit Growers Supply are the perfect choice for your agricultural or fruit-growing enterprise.

Photo of plants in corrugated boxes

What Are Corrugated Materials Made From?

Corrugated material consists of three fiberboard layers: two linerboards on the outside and a middle sheet sandwiched on the inside that features a wave-shaped pattern of arches known as flutes. These flutes are anchored to the linerboard with an adhesive glue made from cornstarch or another food-grade starch material. On the ends, flutes form rigid columns that are capable of supporting a great deal of weight. 

Fiberboard that conforms to this corrugated definition has several advantages: it is lightweight, has a durable structure, and offers solid performance when used to transport fresh fruits and other produce.

What Makes Corrugated Materials So Practical?

In addition to defining corrugated, it’s important to fully understand it as well. To do this, take a piece of paper and add waves to it (known as flutes). Glue the fluted paper to layers of strong linerboard and presto — you’ve got a tough piece of combined board that can take a beating while protecting what’s inside. This combined board is also easy to stack, easy to dispose of, and easy to recycle. Due to these and other factors, corrugated fiberboard has largely replaced wooden boxes in goods shipments since the early 20th century.

Meet Our State-of-the-Art Ontario Corrugated Manufacturing Plant

The largest and most important of our corrugated manufacturing plants is our Ontario plant, which produces 80 million citrus containers per year in addition to corrugated material for industrial and retail customers. 

By definition, each corrugated box produced needs to have just the right amount of protective and moisture-absorbing capabilities and the lowest possible weight to minimize shipping costs and prevent the spoilage of the fruit inside. To achieve the perfect conditions, the engineers in our design lab work on a number of possible packaging techniques until they get each model of the corrugated box just right.

Here is a flowchart that goes beyond the definition of corrugated and explains the fiberboard manufacturing process.

Standard ProcessFruit Growers Supply Specifics
Sourcing MaterialsIn a corrugated plant, only a few raw materials are needed. This includes corn starch used for glue, waxes or oils used for water resistance, inks used for printing, and the most important of all: paper.At FGS, we source our paper from sustainably managed forests that are replanted a maximum of two years after harvesting.
DesignDesigners create innovative containers that are able to be printed in 4 or 6 colors and cut with complex die-cutting using CAD (computer-aided drafting) software. This allows the designer to brainstorm a variety of different package designs.We invite companies to work with our design team to develop graphics that will aid in effective merchandising and brand promotion.
CorrugatorA roll of fluted fiberboard is glued between two liner layers by the same machine. The glue is then cured by passing the paper over heated rolls. By definition, a finished piece of corrugated is one fiberboard layer sandwiched in between two liner layers.The corrugator that we have at FGS is high-speed and can produce several types of fluting, including C, E, B, double-wall CC, double-wall CB, and double-wall EB.
Box BlanksAt the end of the corrugator, a slitter-scorer trims and cuts the corrugated material into large sheets called “box blanks.” Production workers use a computer terminal and printer to prepare a job ticket for each stack of box blanks produced by the corrugator. With the job ticket, workers can route the stack to the right fabrication machines, defined in the corrugated industry as “flexos.”Our automated manufacturing process means that box blanks can be created with a minimum of human intervention. This makes the process more efficient and saves you money while still delivering a high-quality product.
Printing and Die-CuttingPrinting dies and die-cutting patterns are prepared in a pattern shop on large, flexible sheets of rubber or tin. As each blank passes through the rollers of the flexo, it is trimmed, printed, cut, scored, and, in a printer-folder-gluer, folded and glued to form a box.At FGS, we use plant-based inks that are biodegradable and 100% food safe. This is yet another advantage of choosing our corrugated fiberboard boxes over alternative kinds of packing materials.
Quality ControlGlue strength, bursting strength, compression, and highly accurate dimensional tests define the quality of a corrugated box. A warp test determines the flatness of the box blank, ensuring that each blank will be able to travel smoothly through the flexo machines. Trimming, cutting, and scoring must be accurate and consistent for every box.The corrugated fiberboard boxes produced at FGS are tested regularly using official state and national standards.

Defining Corrugated through the Lens of Sustainability

With the demand for corrugated boxes growing around the world, sourcing our paper material sustainably is more important than ever. Although the standard definition of corrugated doesn’t typically incorporate these modern needs into today’s products, we find it extremely important. Fortunately, corrugated fiberboard is easy to recycle, and up to one-third of the paper pulp used in our corrugated boxes comes from clean, recycled paper products.

The other two-thirds of cellulose fiber used in our corrugated boxes comes from forests defined as renewable by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative 2015-2019. These forests are located in the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, and California and are replanted either immediately after harvesting or within a maximum of two years post-harvest. We define corrugated not only by quality but by sustainability as well!

Why Do Companies Choose Fruit Growers Supply for Corrugated Fiberboard?

Photo of a variety of vegetables in a stall

Now that you have a strong understanding of the definition of corrugated materials and a deeper knowledge of the material, you can turn to Fruit Growers Supply for your corrugated fiberboard needs. Here at FGS, we’re easy to work with, dedicated to being competitively priced to help you save money, and we pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service. 

The level of efficiency we achieve at our state-of-the-art corrugated facility allows us to focus on what matters most — defining quality in corrugated fiberboard and providing superior customer service to our customers.

If you are interested in exploring the advantages of corrugated materials for your fruit-growing enterprise or have more questions about the definition of our corrugated fiberboard, please contact us for a quote or speak with a representative to learn more.
www.fruitgrowers.com/cartons | (909) 256-0118 | info@fruitgrowers.com

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