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Interview | Chairman of Meixun Machinery, Ying Shufeng: The Spring of honeycomb paperboard packaging is Coming!

Time : 2024-04-01 Hits : 8

For most people working in the corrugated packaging industry, honeycomb paperboard packaging is a product they have heard of but may not have a deep understanding of. Over the past twenty years, although honeycomb paperboard packaging has many advantages such as low paper consumption, high crush strength, and good moisture resistance, it has not attracted much attention in the packaging industry due to various reasons such as production capacity constraints and traditional concepts.

Nowadays, this situation is gradually changing. Thin honeycomb paper boxes with a thickness of only 5mm have been used in various fields, and 4mm thin honeycomb paper boxes are also emerging. The fully automatic honeycomb paperboard production line, with a width of 2.4 meters and a production capacity of up to 100 meters per minute, undoubtedly breaks through the production capacity bottleneck of honeycomb paperboard, making higher production value and profit possible.

"The spring of honeycomb paperboard packaging is coming!" Mr. Ying Shufeng, Chairman of Meixun Machinery (referred to as "Mr. Ying" below), said. For more than twenty years, he has been focusing on the research and development of more automated and efficient honeycomb equipment, promoting the honeycomb paperboard packaging industry to a broader development space, and has a deeper understanding and intuitive experience of the industry's development changes.

Mr. Ying Shufeng, Chairman of Mexun Machinery

▶Mr. Ying Shufeng, Chairman of Mexun Machinery.

Twists and Turns, Continuous Exploration of the Development Path of honeycomb paperboard packaging 

As early as 1998, Mr. Ying had already come into contact with honeycomb paperboard. At that time, in order to prevent white pollution, European and American countries banned the import of foam packaging. Honeycomb paperboard, as a new environmentally friendly sheet material, received attention from relevant departments, which also made Mr. Ying firmly believe that this was a promising sunrise industry. Therefore, he started his business in Wenzhou in 2002 and devoted himself wholeheartedly to the honeycomb industry.

However, the development of things is always tortuous and lengthy. Due to the short development time of honeycomb paperboard, slow equipment production speed, unstable product quality, and low market acceptance, related enterprises faced great operating pressure. "From 1998 to 2005, there were 39 honeycomb equipment manufacturers in China, and ultimately 90% of the companies either withdrew or went bankrupt," Mr. Ying said.

This industry situation was a double blow to a startup company. Just starting out, the entire industry fell into decline, and Meixun Machinery had a difficult start. From 2002 to 2004, although the company developed and produced the first fully automatic honeycomb production line, it was in a state of zero sales. The company's shareholders also decreased from the initial 6 people to only 2 people.

In countless late nights, Mr. Ying pondered the future of the company, and even had to work to earn money to subsidize office rent, website, exhibition, and other expenses. He firmly believed that what he had to do was not just a piece of equipment, but to overturn the market's application habits, cultivate the development prospects of honeycomb paperboard, and then wait patiently for the opportunity.

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Just as every dark tunnel has a dawn, after three years of hard work, Mr. Ying finally ushered in a turning point in the summer of 2005—receiving an order from a client in Chongqing, which changed the situation of zero sales. The company quickly leveraged this point to successfully open up the entire Chongqing market, achieving excellent performance by selling 7 honeycomb paperboard production lines that year.

After three years of trials, Meixun Machinery became stronger and clearer about its future development path. On the one hand, it continued to increase its technological innovation efforts, improve the production efficiency and automation level of honeycomb equipment, and on the other hand, it continued to explore new application areas of honeycomb paperboard packaging to help users expand the market scale of honeycomb paperboard packaging industry.

After 2005, Meixun Machinery, together with its users, promoted honeycomb paperboard packaging to replace foam packaging and bamboo and wood packaging, making great strides in heavy packaging such as white goods, furniture, automobiles, and building walls. In 2010, with the launch of the second generation of fully automatic honeycomb paperboard production lines, Meixun Machinery's market share in the thick honeycomb equipment market exceeded 90%, and it successfully exported to multiple countries.

However, for Meixun Machinery, although honeycomb paperboard packaging has proven its application value, the market size of the entire industry is still not large enough to support sustainable development. Through long-term exploration, Mr. Ying believes that thin honeycomb equipment is the future direction. "We need to take a slice of the corrugated packaging market to support the rapid development of the industry," he said.

Innovate and Develop Thin Honeycomb Production Lines, Cut a Slice of the Corrugated Market

Innovate and Develop Thin Honeycomb Production Lines

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Innovate and develop thin honeycomb production lines, cut a slice of the corrugated market.

According to Mr. Ying, around 2013, he found the growth bottleneck of thick honeycomb paperboard packaging.

When promoting honeycomb equipment abroad, he also found that the usage of thick honeycomb paperboard packaging worldwide was not large. "At that time, there were only 7 factories in the United States and only a dozen factories in Europe," Mr. Ying said. "So we started to make thin honeycomb equipment in 2015 and explore the blue ocean of the industry."

The blue ocean of the industry means unknown market space with sufficient growth potential, but it also means a blank market with nothing to imitate, only "feeling the stones to cross the river", constantly facing and breaking through challenges in countless R&D tests, to explore new answers, and to subvert traditional production concepts, and create a new era of development.

For a long time, the production workshop of Meixun Machinery was roaring, constantly experimenting with the performance of thin honeycomb equipment, transporting batches of waste paper out, and even attracting the attention of the park leaders. "At that time, the park leaders asked us, how come there is so much waste paper every day? Are you switching to packaging?" Mr. Ying recalled the R&D journey of thin honeycomb equipment, feeling deeply.

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Time favors the strugglers, and the stars do not disappoint those who strive. In 2016, with the use of Meixun's first-generation thin honeycomb paperboard production line, some honeycomb paperboard packaging companies successfully applied thin honeycomb paper boxes to home appliance companies such as Haier, Midea, and Smith.

In 2017, Meixun's fully automatic thin honeycomb paperboard production line covered the entire country and gradually became the mainstream equipment in the honeycomb paperboard packaging industry.

In the following years, Meixun Machinery continued to tackle the technical problems of thin honeycomb equipment, continuously updated and iterated its products, launched the second-generation fully automatic thin honeycomb production line in 2018, and laid out the third-generation fully automatic thin honeycomb production line across the country in 2023, achieving comprehensive optimization and upgrading in terms of equipment width, production speed, and operational performance.

Currently, Meixun's third-generation fully automatic thin honeycomb paper core production line has a width of 3 meters, a daily production capacity of 20 tons of 6mm paper core, and only requires 2 operators; the fully automatic thin honeycomb paperboard production line has a width of 2.4 meters, a production speed of up to 100 meters per minute, and can be operated by 6-7 people. Whether it's width, speed, or level of intelligence, Meixun Machinery firmly occupies the global leading position.

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▶HX3000-1100G fully automatic high speed honeycomb paper core machine

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▶HF2400-1100G fully automatic high speed honeycomb paperboard laminating production line

With the rapid development of equipment, the application field of thin honeycomb paper boxes continues to expand, from the initial home appliance field to many industries such as agricultural and sideline products, logistics, sanitary ware, electromechanical, furniture, daily necessities, photovoltaics, beverages, and vegetables and fruits, breaking not only the traditional view that honeycomb paperboard packaging is only suitable for heavy packaging but also attracting more attention to thin honeycomb equipment. At the same time, due to the advantages of light material and low paper consumption of thin honeycomb paper boxes, the profit generated is much higher than that of corrugated paper boxes. With a production speed of 100 meters per minute, the thin honeycomb paperboard production line can theoretically create a production value of 200 million yuan and a profit margin of up to 15 percentage points. To achieve the same profit scale, honeycomb paperboard packaging companies are much easier than corrugated packaging companies.

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The Spring of Thin honeycomb paperboard packaging is Coming, the Blue Ocean of the Industry is Within Reach 

With the technological progress of thin honeycomb equipment, the honeycomb paperboard packaging industry has seen gratifying development changes in recent years. Currently, a honeycomb paperboard packaging group with an annual output value of 800 million yuan has been born, and this group is the strategic partner of Meixun Machinery that has been working together for more than ten years, as well as the leading enterprise in the domestic honeycomb paperboard packaging industry—Xingrui Packaging.

Mr. Ma Nailuo, Chairman of Xingrui Packaging, has known Mr. Ying since 2006 and purchased the first set of Meixun honeycomb production lines in 2007. Up to now, there are nearly 20 Meixun honeycomb production lines in multiple production bases. In 2023, Xingrui Packaging established new companies in Foshan and Wuhan respectively to capture the growing market demand, and chose Meixun brand for honeycomb equipment.

Looking back on the cooperation with Xingrui Packaging, Mr. Ying expressed his deep gratitude. "We have cooperated for more than ten years, which has long exceeded the relationship between customers and suppliers and is more like true friends," Mr. Ying said. "As early as 2015, when I planned to make thin honeycomb equipment, many people were not optimistic, but after half an hour of discussion with Mr. Ma, we reached unanimous agreement."

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▶Mexun Machinery's office building cultural corridor.

Nine years have passed since then, and the vision of the "two lunatics" for thin honeycomb has become a reality. Xingrui Packaging's annual output value has reached 800 million yuan, and its products have won several world packaging awards, achieving unprecedented achievements in the honeycomb paperboard packaging industry. Meixun Machinery's technical strength has also ranked first in the world, with a leading market share and increasing operating income year by year.

"In 2023, our sales revenue increased by 30%-40% year-on-year," Mr. Ying believes. "This is mainly because the company is in an incremental market with great market potential and fast development." In recent months, Meixun Machinery has received visits from many professional honeycomb paperboard packaging companies and corrugated packaging companies, accompanying customers to inspect equipment and explore new blue oceans in the packaging industry.

Compared with the market size of about 300 billion yuan in the corrugated box industry, the application rate of thin honeycomb paper boxes is less than 2%. However, with the existing thin honeycomb production technology, it can be applied to 50% of the market in the corrugated box industry. "From the current situation, I have a premonition that the spring of thin honeycomb paperboard packaging is coming!" Mr. Ying said confidently.

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▶paper honeycomb carton

On the one hand, the market scale of thin honeycomb paperboard packaging is gradually expanding, full of infinite vitality. Batch by batch of professional honeycomb paperboard packaging companies continue to apply products to more fields, and the size of enterprises is gradually expanding; batch by batch of corrugated packaging companies, by producing thin honeycomb paper boxes, in the current frequent fluctuations in the price of raw paper and severe homogenization of corrugated products, expand profit space.

On the other hand, the independent innovation of thin honeycomb equipment is still strengthening, providing tremendous technical support for the industry's development. "Our thin honeycomb equipment can be as thin as 4mm, equivalent to the single corrugated product in the corrugated industry," Mr. Ying introduced. "In 2024, we will launch a series of new technologies and processes to assist users in further breaking through application boundaries."

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▶the award wall 

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Running the Enterprise like Running a Marathon, Climbing Higher Peaks 

In twenty-two years, after experiencing detours and hardships, Meixun Machinery has finally determined its own development direction, becoming a world-class honeycomb equipment manufacturer, and has also led the emerging honeycomb paperboard packaging industry to a broad development space.

Summarizing the gains and losses of the company's development process, Mr. Ying believes that the country's emphasis on the manufacturing industry is the foundation for the rise of the honeycomb paperboard packaging industry. The firm belief of the enterprise, the loyalty and cooperation of the team, and the support and care of the customers are the driving forces behind Meixun Machinery's achievements today. "Running a business is like running a marathon, painful yet joyful," this is his true feeling after twenty-two years of entrepreneurship.

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▶The marathon medals won by Mr. Ying.

In his view, the honeycomb paperboard packaging industry is a "blessed industry" that can reduce white pollution, reduce deforestation, save paper consumption, and improve resource utilization rate, which conforms to the country's advocacy of peak carbon and carbon neutrality. In this blessed industry, what Meixun Machinery needs to do is to persist in letting more people understand and understand thin honeycomb paperboard packaging.

Mr. Ying firmly believes that the market potential of thin honeycomb paperboard packaging will be released soon. "Like running a marathon, you have to believe that you can reach the end in order to reach the end," he said. He plans to develop better honeycomb equipment through greater technological innovation, to assist users in exploring the blue ocean.

Mr. Ying plans to build a more scientific enterprise system, strengthen internal team construction, "like a martial arts master, practice good internal skills, and solidify the basic skills," so as to lead the enterprise to climb higher peaks and travel further!

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