Macfarlane Packaging is launching a new rapid box assembly system said to build cardboard boxes in less than three seconds and increase packing efficiency by up to 70%.

The patent-pending solution was created by Macfarlane’s Innovation Lab team and seeks to decrease manual box assembly times from the standard ten seconds to under three. Its 3D-printed units can reportedly assemble boxes of varying depths and up to 400mm x 300mm in size, which is thought to benefit online and omnichannel retailers producing high volumes of small packages.

The equipment will be made-to-order for customers and is compatible with Macfarlane-exclusive box designs. As such, it aims to provide a cost-effective alternative to crash-lock boxes, both in assembly and transportation.

Furthermore, Macfarlane’s boxes have apparently been optimised to utilise less material without compromising performance strength, thus increasing pallet fill and reducing CO2 equivalent emissions.

“With an increasing number of businesses trying to balance the complexities of supply chain efficiency and operational cost reduction alongside sustainability, this is a potential gamechanger for some Macfarlane customers,” said Richard Garratt, head of Design at Macfarlane Packaging. “The rapid box assembly system and exclusive box designs were developed at our Innovation Labs and represent an opportunity for customers to reduce pack times, reduce costs, cut material use and lower overall CO2e associated with their packaging.”

SICK recently expanded its deTec4 Safety Light Curtain technology with a Smart Box Detection system, seeking to protect operators and optimise continual and efficient output on packaging lines.

Meanwhile, Sidel’s RoboAccess_Pal S palletising unit combines cobotic and robotic technology to optimise manual operations for the food, home, and personal care sectors; and ABB’s SWIFTI CRB 1300 industrial collaborative robot reportedly expands load-handling capacity up to 11kg and offers palletising and pick-and-place features.

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