In the future, the Taiwanese manufacturer TCI Co., Ltd. will be using the highly flexible TLM packaging technology from Gerhard Schubert GmbH to package its functional drinks. The renowned world market leader in top-loading packaging machines from Germany once again distinguished itself with its modular, efficient robot technology. With this project, Schubert Robotics (Shanghai) has received its second order since the opening of the subsidiary in Shanghai at the end of 2018. Moreover, a contract for its third order has already been signed.
TCI Co., Ltd. was founded in 1980, and now has over 1,150 employees worldwide. In collaboration with their clients and partners, the company has created many best-selling products around the world over the past few decades. TCI produces functional drinks, preparations for solid active pharmaceutical ingredients (powders, capsules, tablets) and high-quality face masks at its site in Pingtung, Taiwan. The products can be found in several dozen countries globally. The company is at the global leadership status of Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) for liquid collagen formula synergene promising to help customers maximize the potential of each ingredient by utilizing patented synergistic blends yielded from in vivo & in vitro experiments. The manufacturing facility includes three production halls on a total area of 33,000 square metres. Due to its continued success, TCI is increasingly investing in the high-quality automation of its production. In the future, an automation solution from Gerhard Schubert GmbH will be used to package its functional drinks, as TCI relies on the highest quality and high speed of the automation line. The packaging machine is planned to be located at TCI's new S-grade (Safety, Standards, and Speed) Factory.
The robot-based packaging machine fills cartons with bottles of different sizes. Individual tools and advanced robot technology ensure that the products are handled gently and neither scratched nor otherwise damaged.
Schubert impressed TCI with its exceptionally compact line concept and the high system availability. The pioneer in the packaging industry also persuaded its customer with the high flexibility of its modular technology, which makes it easy to adapt the machine to future tasks. “It was especially important to us that we could use the machine to pack other formats and other products in the future without any problems,” explained Vincent Lin, Chairman of TCI. As an Original Design Manufacturer (ODM), this scalability aspect plays an important role for the Taiwanese company as many different product requests have to be met. Another important argument was the outstanding design: “The high-quality design of the machine is of enormous importance to us because we also want to communicate our high-quality standards to our customers,” highlighted Lin, who personally visited Schubert in Crailsheim in September 2017.
The functions of the new machine include erecting the cartons, inserting plastic trays (top and bottom), pre-grouping the bottles, and filling and closing the cartons. The packaging machine does all this on a compact footprint and with high efficiency. To start with, the machine packs two different bottle sizes (50 ml and 750 ml) in three different packing formats: 8, 10 or 12 small bottles per packing unit and one 750 ml bottle per carton. With a bottle size of 50 ml, the packaging machine achieves an output of 400 units per minute, with 750 ml bottles, 100 units per minute.
The smaller 50 ml bottles are grouped upright into the plastic trays and fitted with a top tray. The complete grouping is then transferred into the carton together with the top and bottom trays. This effectively protects the products from damage. The 750 ml bottles are packed horizontally into the cartons by the robots. Special plastic trays, which are positioned in the carton from below and above, ensure product protection.
With this investment, TCI can significantly increase the efficiency of its packaging process. Moreover, with the new Schubert machine, the company is well positioned to secure further orders as an ODM and to continue increasing its sales. Delivery of the Schubert line is scheduled for the end of this year.