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Smyths Toys Adopts ‘right-size’ Auto-Packaging


Leading toy retailer, Smyths Toys, has implemented Sparck Technologies’ advanced right-size auto-boxing packaging systems to boost throughput for its ecommerce business, installing three Sparck CVP machines at its distribution centre in Corby, Northamptonshire.

Sparck Technologies has provided Smyths Toys with three of its market-leading ‘fit-to-size’ CVP packaging systems – two CVP Impack machines, each capable of forming and sealing up to 500 tailor-made cardboard boxes per hour, along with its latest high-capacity model, the CVP Everest, which can create up to 1100 right-sized boxes every hour.

Smyths Toys has over 100 stores in the UK and a busy website offering an extensive range of toys for all ages, from baby and preschool products to outdoor items and gaming.

The introduction of Sparck Technologies’ CVP auto-boxing machines is part of a major investment into state-of-the-art warehouse automation at the toy retailer’s Corby fulfilment centre, aimed at increasing capacity and improving sustainability. The move will see over 70% of orders packed automatically by Sparck’s CVP machines,

Commenting on the decision to invest in high-speed fit-to-size packaging technology, Stephen Kearney, Warehouse Manager at Smyths Toys, says: “We believe in automation and have invested in advanced technologies where we can see it will bring significant results. We needed to increase throughput for our fast-growing online business and the most obvious means of achieving the performance required, particularly for peak, was to leverage the speed and efficiency of right-size packaging technology.

“Importantly, these packaging systems are highly flexible, capable of producing tailor-made packages at speed, whilst being able to cater for single or multi-item orders with differing product profiles,” he says. “We could also see how fit-to-size packaging would help us further improve our position on sustainability through optimising package size and removing the need for void fill. Sparck’s CVP technology offered us the flexible solution that we were looking for.”

To optimise throughput and minimise waste all three CVP machines supplied to Smyths Toys have dual induct stations and double corrugate feeders for 600 mm and 800 mm card. Advancing environmental performance, paper tape is used for sealing packages, aiding the recycling of cardboard. Installation of the three machines took place in October 2022 in readiness for peak season.

Jo Bradley, Business Development Manager for Sparck Technologies in the UK, says: “We are delighted to be working with one of Europe’s most respected toy retailers and we look forward to developing a close partnership with Smyths Toys, supporting its growth objectives for the future.”

With the capability to tailor-make up to 1,100 boxes per hour, for multiple or single item orders, the CVP Everest and CVP Impack packaging systems offer automated solutions for ecommerce operations challenged by increasing order volumes and growing demands for sustainable packaging solutions. With installations across Europe, the US and Canada, the CVP Automated Packaging Solutions effortlessly create, fill, fold and label each parcel in one seamless process – reducing package volumes by up to 50%, cutting cardboard usage by 30% and eliminating the need for void fill.

Sparck Technologies is a global leader in the design and fabrication of advanced, fit-to-size automated packaging systems for high-volume ecommerce applications – award-winning sustainable packaging solutions that eliminate excessive packaging. We aim to make every parcel our clients send out a brand ambassador for their business. Based in Drachten, The Netherlands, Sparck Technologies supplies some of the world’s largest retail and industrial brands, supporting their ecommerce channels in multiple geographies with market-leading engineering know-how that combines innovation, reliability and unbeatable performance.


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