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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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|