Toilet tissue was one of the panic buys at the onset of the global pandemic. Product shortages at the onset of COVID-19 led to stockpiling by consumers, which led to heavier demand that manufacturers couldn’t meet for a number of reasons. In the United States, the surge saw toilet paper sales spike to $10.435 million by October 2020, a nearly 20% increase over the previous year’s sales.1
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In the months after initial panic buying, concerted effort continues to be made in addressing toilet tissue supply chain, production, and other contributing issues. U.S. sales dipped by nearly 33% in March of 2021 compared to the same time period last year2, signaling supply and demand for toilet tissue coming back into balance.
But meeting supply and demand isn’t the sole takeaway from the crisis for tissue manufacturers. The global pandemic added emphasis to two existing trends driving the tissue market: e-commerce and sustainability.
The interdependence of e-commerce and sustainability
From March 2019 to March 2020, e-commerce sales of toilet paper jumped 190%.3 E-commerce indicators suggest toilet tissue is maintaining its popularity with online shoppers. “Toilet paper” ranks number 16 among the top 100 Amazon searches.4 Robust e-commerce sales is great news for tissue manufacturers, but it also brings up sustainability concerns around raw materials and packaging.
E-commerce and sustainability are intertwined. Servicing online shoppers necessitates packaging. Packaging raises sustainability sensitivities. Finding reasonable solutions for one could seemingly upend the other. However, global experts in supply chain management and transportation logistics suggest that innovative packaging equipment could hold the answer for a number of industries.
The latest breakthrough Kӧrber innovation for sustainable packaging has tissue manufacturers rethinking how they can reduce their carbon footprints and product costs in the e-commerce space.
Introducing the Valmet Casmatic Zephyrus Packaging Solution
The new Casmatic Zephyrus is a modular and highly automated packaging solution for toilet tissue products. The machine is made out of four main modules:
- Box former constructs the boxes
- Infeed receives the toilet tissue for packaging from the cutting machine
- Pick and place inserts toilet tissue products into the boxes
- Outfeed closes and glues the boxes
Flexibility and modularity are the key drivers behind the development of the Casmatic Zephyrus.
The result is a machine that:
- Is easy and quick to install in its entirety, or by specific module
- Integrates seamlessly between log saw and wapper
- Can produce in three different modes:
- Full production: rolls are all packed by Casmatic Zephyrus
- Mixed production: rolls are packed by both Casmatic Zephyrus and the traditional wrapper
- Bypass: all rolls pass through Casmatic Zephyrus to be packed by the traditional wrapper only
- Provide production capacity that can range from 45 to 180 boxes per minute
Leveraging Delta robots
The inclusion of Delta robots — a technology pioneered in the pharmaceutical field — is a tissue industry first, allowing for accurate, fast product handling. With these robots, the Casmatic Zephyrus can fill two product formats at the same time with the same product. It is also able to fill boxes with different products.
In addition to all of the e-commerce efficiencies, the Casmatic Zephyrus has been designed to process a wide format range using several types of carton and cardboard. That means you can enhance even the most environmentally sustainable aspects of packaging:
- The box can be made with recyclable cardboard
- Improved box stability during palletization may eliminate the need for secondary packaging
- Boxes can be easily opened and closed, keeping the toilet tissue uncontaminated and protectively stored
The new Valmet Casmatic Zephyrus allows you to be responsive to growing and often changing e-commerce needs while remaining sustainable. Contact the Valmet team to learn more about the latest breakthrough Valmet innovation for sustainable packaging technology.
1Statista, Toilet tissue sales in the United States from 2017 to 2020, Undated
2New York Post, Toilet paper sales reportedly drop after a year of panic buying, April 13, 2021
3Visual Capitalist, The Pandemic Economy: What are Shoppers Buying Online During COVID-19?, April 8, 2020
4Visual Capitalist, Ranked: The Top 100 Product Searches on Amazon, October 12, 2020
Written by Nicolò Squarzoni
Nicolò Squarzoni is a Product Manager at Körber where he is In charge of Packaging Machinery and Digital solutions. He received both a master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Bologna.