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Sonoco Alcore

Manufacturing Process

Learn how we make 100% recyclable cores

  • Step 1 – Raw Material Supply and Sourcing
  • Step 2 – Integrated Coreboard Manufacturing
  • Step 3 – Core Design
  • Step 4 – Core Manufacturing
  • Step 5 – Core Drying Process
  • Step 6 – Product Packaging
  • Step 7 – Scrap Coreboard and Recycling

Step 1 - Raw Material Supply and Sourcing

Did you know?
The main raw material used to produce a core is old corrugated containers (OCC).


Old Corrugated Containers (OCC)

A core is composed of recycled OCC, which is turned into coreboard and bound together using adhesive. Sonoco Alcore is an integrated manufacturer, ensuring that quality coreboard is used to produce your core.

Local Sourcing

Many of our paper mills, such as our Karhula, Finland facility, source OCC from local markets.

Structured Sourcing

Many of our paper mills have an OCC sourcing structure, ensuring the desired quality of OCC.

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Step 2 – Integrated Coreboard Manufacturing

OCC is delivered to our paper mills, where it is transformed into coreboard. During this process OCC is thoroughly cleaned, removing impurities such as plastics and metals. We use the OCC to produce coreboard, which is delivered to our manufacturing sites, making Sonoco Alcore an integrated core manufacturer. Depending on the type and quality of the core, we use a variety of board grades.

Material Reuse

At our Karhula paper mill, plastic impurities are removed and transferred to a local biomass power plant, where they are used to create energy.

Resource Stewardship

Wastewater is delivered to a local water treatment plant, where it is treated and ready to return to its source, the Kymi River.

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Step 3 - Core Design

Sonoco Alcore’s R&D team and core competency centres calculate the optimum build-up of the core based on your requirements. This allows our R&D team to specify the most effective paper grades, reducing the use of unnecessary raw materials and production-related energy costs.

Core Experts

We have core competency centres in Duren, Germany and Karhula, Finland. Both of these locations focus on optimisation projects, core testing and research and development projects.

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Step 4 – Core Manufacturing

Coreboard is wrapped around a spindle on a spiral winder and secured with our specialised adhesives. We manufacture our own adhesives, allowing us to optimise the amount of adhesive used and monitor its quality. Excess glue is collected and directed back into the manufacturing process.

Biodegradable Adhesives

Our adhesives come from natural or biological sources and are 100% biodegradable.

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Step 5 – Core Drying Process

The core is then removed from the winder and dried to solidify the glue, ensuring the core’s efficacy as an integral part of your manufacturing process.

Responsible Energy

Near our Grunsfeld, Germany plant there is local biomass plant that produces heat and electricity. We use this heat to warm the thermal oil used in our drying process, create a hot water supply at the plant and heat the main production hall.

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Step 6 – Product Packaging

As part of our quality initiative, we use standardised packaging for our core products throughout Europe, saving considerable material and decreasing waste.

Recycle and Reuse

At Sonoco Alcore we complete the following actions when possible:

  • Reuse packaging woods
  • Collect, inspect and reuse lifting hoists
  • Recycle pallet-related plastics

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Step 7 – Scrap Coreboard and Recycling

We collect scrap coreboard and leftover cores, which are sent to the paper mills and used to produce new coreboard.

Landfill Diversion

Scrap cores are collected at our Tavernerio, Italy, manufacturing site and taken to our Cirie, Italy paper mill, where they re-enter our manufacturing process.

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Case Studies

Our Products at Work

Hi-Radius Core

Our Hi-Radius core has a smooth, rounded edge on the unwinding end, which allows the producer to avoid using plastic caps. This solution is especially effective if our customer is spinning and texturizing the yarn in-house.

Read the case study


Sonoco Alcore will purchase Mondi's existing core equipment and then replace it with newer state of the art technology equipment. In addition, Sonoco Alcore will manage 28 employees responsible for core production on site.

Read the case study

Contact Us

We can help

Need help? Want to share an idea?

  • Get information about Sonoco Alcore
  • Request a tubes or cores quote
  • Request a paper supply quote
  • Inquire about becoming a supplier
  • Learn about employment opportunities

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