ÉLITER | Things about Cartoning: A Full Guide of Carton Styles


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Things about Cartoning: A Full Guide of Carton Styles

Carton Styles and Cartoner: Things you must have noted when dealing with a cartoner project

When dealing with a cartoning automation project, no matter you are the representative of the manufacturer that will offer the equipment or the customer seeking an adequate packaging automation solution, understanding and getting equipped with knowledge about carton styles is a crucial issue to enhance communication during the project and show your professionalism not only in the packaging machinery but as well as the package itself.


After all,

HAVING NO IDEA when asked by your client

whether your cartoner is capable of packing ¨GABLE TOP and SNAP-LOCK BOTTOM¨ carton

would be extremely fatal to your professional image.


This guide is elaborated by ÉLITER´s professionals so that you can refer to it for any doubts about carton styles. Before reading this guide, we suggest checking in the first place our Guide for Cartoner

in the first place in case you have no idea yet about the structure of a carton and the terminologies of those parts and compose a carton.

I. Rectangle Sleeve

The sleeve is the most simple and economic packaging solution that is frequently used as a slipcover over a tray. The feature that there are no closure panels, dust flap, and so on makes it possible that contained products can be seen from outside. The sleeve is mostly found on products such as ready meals, dairy products, etc.


II. Straight Tuck End Carton / Aeroplane Tuck Carton

Rather than the sleeve that has no structure on the bottom or top, a Stright Tuck End Carton (STE) or Aeroplane Tuck End Carton is designed with top closure and bottom closure both tucks from the front to the rear or vice versa. STE is one of the most commonly seen styles of carton in the market.

Straight Tuck End Carton

III. Reverse Tuck End Carton (RTE)

The Reverse Tuck End Carton (RTE) is resemble to STE. The only difference is that the top closure and bottom closure tuck from different sides. That is to say, for example, the top closure tucks from the front to the rear and the bottom closure tucks from the rear to the front, or vice versa.

Reverse Tuck End Carton

IV. Seal End Carton

Seal End Carton is commonly seen on large size products such as cereal, muesli, corn flakes that you have for breakfast. A seal end carton has closure panels that joints by no tuck flap on both the rear and the front on the top and bottom. Seal End Carton are usually closed by packaging equipment such as a cartoning machine or cartoner.

IV.I. Partial Overlap Seal Carton

The Partial Overlap Seal Carton is a variant of the Seal End Carton. Just as it is called, the closure panels on the front and the rear are of different lengths that the short one overlaps only part of the longer one. The Partial Overlap Seal Carton is also called “Cereal Carton” – One of closure panel, usually the short one, has a Lock Tab, which can be nested into another closure panel to close the carton.

Cereal Cartoning

IV.II. Zipper and Seal End Carton

Zipper and Seal End Carton as well is a variant of the Seal End Carton. The only difference is that there is a zipper tear strip on the closure panel for the convenience of reclosure.

Zipper and Seal End Carton

V. Hang Tab Carton

Hang Tab Carton is typically used for small light products and is an ideal option to display products placed on the shelf. A Hang Tab Carton can also be an STE or RTE (refer to previous chapters). A cartoning machine is capable of packing the Hang Tab Carton yet calls for some customizable – usually some additional Pneumatic Cylinders and Steel Guide to fold the Hang Tab.

Hang Tab Carton

VI. Tuck and Tongue Carton

The Tuck and Tongue Carton is marked by a Tongue Lock stretching from the Front or Rear Penal and is to be nested into the opening at the joint line of the tuck flap and closure panel. Tuck and Tongue Carton is usually manually set up.

VII. Gable Top Carton

The Gable top Carton is marked by its recessed side panel and a gable-like top part which appears to be a triangle seen from the side. A panel from one side would cover part of the panel on the other side and be sealed by glue. Gable Top Carton is usually used for coffee products, tea, and confectionery.

Although it seems to be a carton style that is not commonly used, the cartoning machine is still able to pack it giving the condition that an extra pneumatic cylinder is installed to form the recessed part on both sides, and glue melter is also needed to seal the top.

Gable Top Carton

Take note that there is also a Gable Top Carton which carries a Lock Tab on the closure panel and is to be nested another panel.

Gable Top Carton

VIII. Auto-Bottom / Auto-Lock Bottom

Auto Bottom Carton is also called Auto-Lock Bottom. A self-supported bottom structure is used to improve the carton stability and capability of carrying heavy products. At meanwhile when the carton magazine is erected, the bottom would automatically take into form to compose a fully stable, self-supported, and self-locked form.

Auto Bottom Carton

IX. Snap-Lock Bottom / Klick Lock Bottom

Snap-Lock Bottom is also known as a 1-2-3 Bottom or Klick Lock Bottom for its ways of being closed. Three flaps are folded for closure and form a rather more stable structure. The cartoning of a Snap-Lock Bottom carton is feasible on a cartoner given the condition that extra several pneumatic cylinders are installed to fulfill entailed closure steps.

autobottom cartoning machine

Update pending

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Zixin Yuan
Digital Marketing Assistant zixin.yuan@Eliter-Packaging.com

Zhiwei Bao
General Manager zhiwei.bao@Eliter-Packaging.com

ÉLITER Packaging Machinery Co., Ltd
No.1088, Jing Ye Rd, Economic Development Zone, Dong Shan District, Ruian Wenzhou Zhejiang, China 325200
+86 (0577) 6668 2128