ECMA Code

The European Carton Makers Association (ECMA) in 1967 issued the first collection of standard folding box designs. This was an innovative achievement in the field of cardboard packaging. At that time longitudinal seams prevailed in the constructions. The computer-aided design system was not yet known.

The ECMA catalog was revised in 1992, in order to meet the major changes that have occurred in the industry itself and the changing needs of end-users.

With the development of digital technologies and the proliferation of computer-aided design systems, the catalog was completely redesigned in 2009. At the same time, eight-digit encoding of the templates is introduced.

The catalog does not contain strict standards for various details of the sweep, especially the auxiliary elements. Each company solves these problems independently.

Using ECMA Codes

Determine the size of the package.

The main dimensions of the boxes are defined as "L" (length), "W" (width) and "D" (depth). Measurements are made on a fully deployed box along the centers of the grooves that limit the corresponding side.

External dimensions are of great importance when the box is part of another package or when several boxes must fit in the transport container. For telescopic packaging and packaging of several parts, the dimensions are indicated for each element.

To determine the parties, the following rules apply:

  • "L" – the dimension of the side of the base located in a plane parallel to the axis of rotation of the top panel of the box.
  • "W" – the second measurement of the bottom.
  • "D" – height between base and lid.
For trays:
  • "L" – a larger size of the base.
  • "W" – smaller size of the base.
  • "D" – height, distance from the base to the top.

Two-dimensional drawings show felling, creasing and perforation lines. The drawings are always displayed so that the sealed (outer surface of the finished box) side is facing up.

Classification

In view of the large number of models of cardboard boxes, they were classified into different groups. This classification is based on the basic features of the shape of the boxes.

All models are divided into seven groups:

Group "A": Rectangular cardboard boxes.

  • The glue is located along a larger dimension ("D").
  • All external surfaces are perpendicular to each other (except for the gable top or other sealed packagrs).

Group "B": Rectangular box without a longitudinal glue seam.

  • No longitudinal gluing (packing type tray).
  • All external surfaces are perpendicular to each other.

Group "C": Non-rectangular cardboard boxes.

  • The glue is located along a larger dimension ("D").
  • At least one of the outer faces of the main body is not rectangular. The height, or the vertical face, does not necessarily have to be perpendicular to the base.

Group "D": Rectangular box without a longitudinal glue seam.

  • At least one of the outer edges of the package (the lateral surface or base) does not necessarily have to be perpendicular to the base.

Group "E": Packaging that is in direct contact with the product or intended for group packaging.

Group "F": Other folding boxes.

  • This category consists of all models not clearly falling into one of the previous categories "A–E".
Classification of group "F":
  • 10 – Special model similar to group "A".
  • 20 – Special model similar to group "B".
  • 30 – Special model similar to group "С".
  • 40 – Special model similar to group "D".
  • 50 – Special model similar to group "Е".
  • 60 – Special model with flat surfaces.
  • 70 – Special model with curved surfaces.
  • 80 – Inserts, partitions and dividers.

Group "X": Auxiliary devices for all groups.

  • Specific devices that can be used with all models of groups "A", "B", "C", "D", "E" and some models of the group "F".

Code structure

The model code always starts with a capital letter indicating which group it belongs to. Next, there are four pairs of codes associated with certain values for each group.

In view of the fact that group "X" contains a list of auxiliary devices, the fifth pair of codes is formed. Group "X" is optional and can not be a code for the full model.

The table provides an overview of the values that form the model code.

GROUP 1st group
(2 digits)
2nd group
(2 digits)
3rd group
(2 digits)
4th group
(2 digits)
Code "X"
(not necessary)
A Bottom closure system Top closure system Location of the bottom closure system. location of the top closure system. List
B Base form Closure system Number of dust flaps Lid type List
C General shape Base form Bottom closure system Top closure system List
D Use of glue Base form Fixation system Lid type List
E Product type Closure system Not used ("00") Not used ("00") List
F List List Not used ("00") Not used ("00") List