Nestled in the small rural community of Ploessberg in Bavaria, southern Germany, Liebensteiner Kartonagenwerk GmbH is a family owned sheet plant. Current Managing Director, Bernhard Schön, is the third generation to run the business — his wife and children are also part of the management team. Established in 1948, the company produced wooden chip packaging materials, specifically for the local chinaware industries. Such companies as Rosenthal, Hutschenreuther or Nachtmann utilised Liebensteiner’s wooden chips for protecting products in transit for many years. It was not until 1968 that the company first ventured into corrugated. Being run by the second generation, the company bought a couple of basic converting machines, and with two employees, started making transit cases from corrugated board in a small factory only 200sqm in size. In 1978, Bernhard Schön took over the business from his father, and so began an impressive series of investments resulting in significant growth. In 1983 a new factory was built — to house its first in-line flexo folder gluer. In 1990, additional factory space was built, taking the production area to 5,000sqm. In 1999, an automated high-rack storage system was installed, primarily to hold large stocks of sheet board, prior to converting. “The concept of just-intime was perfected,” explains Mr Schön.
Rigid Containers, one of the UK's largest independent corrugated boxmakers, continues to invest in the latest converting equipment, the most recent installation being a six colour flexo rotary die-cutter. The machine in question - a Göpfert 16/24 Evolution - is capable of producing some of the best quality post print graphics on 32 corrugated. It has been installed at the company's flag-ship site in Selby, near to the existing four colour Göpfert Evolution that was installed three years ago.