They are all around us. Manufacturers use them to ship products to the stores. The stores use them to store and display the products they sell. Individuals use them to store the stuff they collected in the home or for some other use. Many of them end up in the trash or the recycling plant. People encounter them every day, but probably do not know much about how they are made. What is this thing that everyone is so familiar with? It is cardboard shipping boxes.
Despite the simple design of these boxes, the importance of them in today’s world cannot be discounted. It is worth taking the time to find out how they are made. The process is not very difficult, but it does require a few steps.
- The cardboard has to be made – Most cardboard is made up of a combination of raw materials and recycled material. The wood that is used to make a shipping box out of cardboard is ground into a pulp, water is added and the wood is pressed into paper. The paper is then turned into cardboard. Corrugated cardboard consists of two layers of paper that is glued to a piece of paper that has been fluted. The end result is a stiff piece of paper known as cardboard.
- The box is cut – Once the size and shape of the cardboard shipping boxes is determined, the sheets of cardboard are cut. A circular saw makes the cuts and scores that will allow a box to be folded into the desired shape. The cardboard remains flat until it is needed as a box.
- Scraps are recycled – Whenever the cardboard is cut, there are scrap pieces that are recycled and used to make more cardboard boxes.
- Boxes can be put together – Because it is easiest to store the boxes when they are flat, it is normal for the boxes to be put together right before they are needed to be filled. Once the boxes are filled, they can be sealed shut.
One additional process that can happen when making a shipping box is adding graphics. Because cardboard is made out of paper, it is perfect for adding additional printing. Adding graphics to boxes can be done at different points in the whole process.
Boxes are fairly easy to make, but that does not take away from the role they play in the world today. Without boxes it is hard to tell what people would do. They rely on them every day, so it is a good thing to know how they are made.