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We see corrugated boxes pretty much everywhere we look. Pizza comes in corrugated boxes, as do new appliances, new audio and video equipment, and packages sent through the mail. We save corrugated boxes for when we move, or flatten them when we wish to recycle them, but where do they come from and how are they made?

Corrugated boxes are made from what is called corrugated paperboard. When you examine the sides of a corrugated box carefully, you will see rows of air columns in the walls. The air is a cushion, but it is the columns that give corrugated boxes their strength and durability. This strength, along with light weight, is why corrugated boxes are used to ship virtually everything.

The process by which corrugated boxes are manufactured is interesting. First, paper, heat, adhesives, and pressure are combined to make the corrugated paperboard, or “board” as it is referred to in the industry. Corrugated board may be made up of one, two, or three layers of flutes (the columns) and liners (the walls).

Once a web of continuous corrugated board is made, it is cut into flat sheets for making corrugated boxes. Converting machines take the flat corrugated board and form it into corrugated boxes. Then, a flexo-folder gluer prints, creases, slots, trims, folds, and glues the box so that it can be shipped flat. Once the flat box arrives at its destination, it can be easily formed into a box. Then, die-cut machines will cut the corrugated board into a pattern. This leaves the box in a shape that the customer will be able to fold into the box shape.

Once the process is complete, you have ready-to-use corrugated boxes. These boxes are able to carry, contain, and cushion products sent virtually anywhere in the world.

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