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Unpacking FEFCO Formats: Decoding the Language of Corrugated Packaging

FEFCO, which stands for the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers, is a non-profit organisation that represents the interests of the corrugated packaging industry in Europe. One of the most notable contributions of FEFCO to packaging is the development of standardised packaging designs, known as FEFCO codes or FEFCO formats.

Cracking the Code

FEFCO formats can be likened to a universal language that cuts across geographical and language barriers. These formats are a structured system of codes that describe the various ways corrugated cardboard can be cut, creased, and folded to create specific packaging designs. Each FEFCO code corresponds to a unique packaging style, making it easier for designers, manufacturers, and customers to discuss and understand packaging requirements.

Decoding the Digits

A typical FEFCO code consists of four digits. These digits convey precise information about the design, shape, and structure of a packaging solution. Let’s take the example of a commonly used FEFCO code: 0201. The first two digits represent the main style of the box, while the last two digits provide additional details.

First Two Digits: The Basic Type of Box

The first two digits denote the main style or structure of the packaging. For instance, 02 signifies a slotted-type container – a regular slotted box, the most common box style used for shipping and storage.

Last Two Digits: The Subordinate Design

The last two digits refine the design further. In the case of 0201, the ’01’ indicates that the box has cut flaps, where the outer flaps are cut slightly shorter than the inner flaps, allowing for easier closure.

Versatility and Application

FEFCO codes cover a vast spectrum of packaging styles, accommodating various shapes, sizes, and purposes. From simple shipping boxes like 0201 to complex die-cut displays and trays, FEFCO formats span over 200 standardised designs. This versatility aids packaging professionals in finding or creating the ideal solution for their specific needs.

Efficiency Amplified

The beauty of FEFCO formats lies in their ability to streamline the packaging process. By utilising standardised codes, manufacturers can eliminate confusion arising from miscommunication and reduce the chances of errors during production. Designers can translate a client’s requirements into a specific FEFCO code, ensuring that the required packaging design is accurately conveyed. This efficiency translates to reduced production time, cost savings, and an overall smoother manufacturing experience.

Sustainability and Innovation

In an era where sustainability is paramount, FEFCO formats also play a role. By offering a diverse range of packaging options, these formats enable manufacturers to choose designs that minimise material wastage and maximise space utilisation. This aligns with the growing emphasis on environmentally-friendly packaging solutions.

Bespoke Packaging

At Sandland Packaging, we use FEFCO formats then manufacture them to the size required for the specific product. This enables us to harness the power of the range of FEFCO styles, but ensure our customers reap the benefits of bespoke packaging – namely that products are securely packaged, with minimal waste and maximum protection.

A great example of this is in this case study where we made our customer’s complex design a reality.

FEFCO formats stand as a testament to the power of categorising varied and complex designs making it easier to choose, design and manufacture perfect fit packaging. FEFCO codes remain an invaluable tool, ensuring everyone involved understands the basic packaging design they need.

For your copy of the FEFCO formats we can manufacture at Sandland Packaging – with added helpful notes and tips – please get in touch with our friendly team.

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