Intelligent packaging tested for sheeted paperboard transit

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Clever packaging concepts are not only made from Metsä Board's sustainable paperboard – the paperboard itself can utilise new types of intelligence too.

Last year Metsä Board tested intelligent pallet tags and software to track and record varying information when shipping paperboard sheets from the Simpele mill to Hull in the UK. Information was recorded and analysed from production at the mill site, during train transit and shipment all the way to port in the UK. The widening of the partner network with software provider Empirica Finland, as well as the learnings from the new technology, may bring benefits to Metsä Board's customers in the future.

Sensor tags that can record humidity, light and temperature were placed on top of the pallets. Empirica Finland provided the software that collected the data during the shipment. They also made a mobile app for collecting pallet data such as bar codes, QR codes and photos at the mill and at the ports in Finland and the UK. The photos taken by the port operators proved particularly beneficial supporting partner network interactions and with data for the final analysis.

"We gained a lot of useful information from the project and learned from the deviations in the data. We can, for example, use this information to see where challenges or issues in shipping and transit may arise and put measures in place to prevent potential incidents. In the future we can add more parameters to the list of data, for example, tilt, vibration and pressure," says Product Management Director Leena Yliniemi who was the project manager. The project team consisted of people from the mill, from the UK and from within the supply chain. "We intend to extend this research and further test this new technology; most probably we will look at routes from Finland to Germany."

Source: Metsä Board