One of the finalists at this year’s clim@ competition offers an insight into its packaging design and production business. Manyfolds has an automatic system making boxes for chosen goods, with specialized folding techniques that reduce the sector’s environmental footprint. It eliminates the filling material and shrinks the excessive volume.
It’s ultracompact. The founders of Manyfolds say they can reach millions of users with their automated packaging design for goods that need to be shipped to customers. A copier-sized machine cuts and marks the corrugated board for folding so the items can be placed in the box for shipping. The startup based in Munich, Germany, saw its opportunity in saving packaging space, eliminating the filling material and protecting the products for delivery.
Manyfolds, which won the fourth prize at this year’s clim@ competition, pointed out that up to half of the volume in conventional packaging is unused – just air. It translates to too much environmentally harmful filling material and a share of damaged goods in returned e-commerce products of 20% in the United States, for example.
Cutting environmental footprint
On top of the benefits from stabilizing the items, delivery traffic is reduced. The firm stressed it is offering partners an affordable, instant solution to reduce their environmental footprint. As Manyfolds cuts excessive volume in boxes by two fifths, customers among retailers and small to medium manufacturers have smaller expenses for packaging, while waste and energy consumption are reduced.
The eco-friendly and disruptive innovation is available in the form of rental hardware and external production and Manyfolds is establishing regional partnerships
The size-optimized packaging is created via a free digital application and cloud platform. Customers upload two pictures of the item they intend to send somewhere and the algorithm comes up with a tailored solution.
Folding techniques are applied for the box to be suitable for fragile or heavy objects.
The product dimensions can also be taken from a database. Boxes are made for multiple items as well and Manyfolds says there are different design options available.
The box can be folded up as fast as a standard package and the folding of the inlays, the protective layers, even goes much faster than padding with bubble wrap, the company’s executives asserted.
The eco-friendly and disruptive innovation is available in the form of rental hardware and external production. The company has announced it would also establish regional partnerships, which means clients will be able to order packaging from nearby units.
What clim@ experience brought
Chief Executive Officer Frank Thomsen, Chief Technical Officer Sebastian Gutmann and Senior Software Architect and Chief Information Officer Christian Kusmanow
We were and currently are in quite a few national and international competitions – and frankly, the clim@ is still one of the best competition experiences we had so far. The supporting team is just great, we always felt valued and informed the whole time.
The fourth prize means a lot to us since the world-wide competition was so huge and awesome. This is really a great honor and an equally great confirmation of our work. And the international imprint of the competition will introduce us to an even wider audience and customer base.
Ideas for foldable furniture, cardboard displays
The creators originally examined the possibilities for the production of on-demand cardboard furniture with a highly automated system. They say the market niche was too small compared to the USD 250 billion in packaging.
But they don’t focus exclusively on the current business. Manyfolds still plans to extend the concept to other sustainable applications such as foldable furniture for aid organizations, ecological packaging for dangerous goods and cardboard displays for supermarkets.
The firm established in 2018 targets 60 new jobs in the European Union in the next five years, and more once it enters other markets.
Clim@ was initiated by the Green for Growth Fund in 2018. Finance in Motion organizes the competition on behalf of the GGF.