Asolo Dolce automates processes with its new TLM bag packer.
The previous pre-glued boxes have been replaced by inexpensive flat blanks.
In the top-loading process, the pouches are packed into cartons efficiently.
The adjustable filling tool is equipped with NC motors.
The machine is equipped with Schubert’s GS.Gate industrial gateway.
In the top-loading process, the Cantuccini pouches are now packed into cartons extremely efficiently. Thanks to newly developed packaging and a consistent logistics concept, the system will definitely amortise for the Italian baked goods manufacturer within the planned financing timeframe.
One of the many specialities of baked goods manufacturer Asolo Dolce are the popular Cantuccini. The crunchy almond biscuits originated in Tuscany and are carefully crafted in the best baking tradition. The long-established family business also offers other classics such as puff pastries. Founder and managing owner Sergio Gallina and his wife Giuseppina Contarin greatly value traditional recipes and the highest product quality. They also use state-of-the-art production methods and export their baked goods to many countries around the world. In order to pack the bags filled with Cantuccini more efficiently into boxes, the owner was in search of an automation solution that would allow the costly packaging to be replaced by a more cost-effective alternative. Moreover, the new packaging machine would have to be seamlessly integrated into production and logistics.
Since 1994, Asolo Dolce S.p.A. has placed its trust in packaging machine manufacturer Schubert and automated all its production lines with the proven TLM systems. From the very beginning, Dirk Andrich (Area Sales Manager) supported the customer during this process and also consulted on the new packaging machine. The requirement was to pack the bags with contents ranging from 100 to 250 grams into boxes – a typical bag-in-box task. The new bag packer would also have to be fast, efficient, reliable and easy to operate. Asolo Dolce was particularly keen to be able to change formats between the different bag and box sizes quickly and easily. Another challenge for the development of the new boxes and packaging system was the consistency of the almond biscuit: Since the Cantuccini are rather large and have a relatively hard surface, each bag presents a different geometry that cannot be compressed into a standard format.
With a forward-thinking concept extending from the carton to the pallet, Schubert developed a TLM system as well as new packages that are ideally adapted to customer requirements. The formerly manual packaging of the bags now runs fully automatically. Instead of using the conventional side-loading method for bag packers, Schubert uses the top-loading principle for these applications. The bags of biscuits are not packed from the narrow side of the carton, but instead are placed in the cartons from above through the largest possible opening. This ensures that the packaging process is very reliable in spite of the irregular product geometries. For a format change of the boxes, only the magazine plate for the box blanks has to be changed. If, on the other hand, the size of the bags needs to be changed, the filling robot, which places the bags into the boxes, comes into play. In its adjustable tool, small NC motors move the grippers into the new position precisely and fully automatically. This makes the changeover to other formats very quick and easy.
The previous pre-glued and cost-intensive boxes have been replaced by inexpensive flat blanks. Thanks to Schubert packaging developers’ expert planning, the newly designed boxes were ready for immediate use. In the implementation phase, only the window on the front of the box was modelled. In order to consistently optimise the packaging process, the Schubert experts integrated the new TLM system into a comprehensive logistics concept that extends all the way to the pallet. The entire process is now perfectly aligned and therefore even more efficient and cost-saving. All in all, the new packaging machine for Asolo Dolce will pay for itself within a very advantageous time frame. Future requirements were also taken into account: In addition to the formats that are currently possible, the TLM line can also pack other bags or other box formats. Another very simple possibility is, for example, to pack two bags of Cantuccini into a box. Due to restrictions caused by the pandemic, Schubert broke new ground when it came to commissioning: The system was approved by Asolo Dolce via direct video-photo data transmission.
- Consistently optimised packaging process
- Fast amortisation of the system
- Format changes with only one simple change part
The bag packer at Asolo Dolce consists of three sub-machines. The bags are grouped together over a length of 5 metres, the flat blanks are erected, the boxes are filled and then closed. Two different boxes and bags of 150, 200 or 250 grams of Cantuccini are packed on the line. To achieve the high output of 75 cartons per minute, four cartons are processed simultaneously. Schubert’s transport robot, the Transmodul, links the individual packaging steps in the machine and moves the cartons seamlessly from one work step to the next. Parallel to the erecting and gluing of the packages, the bags are grouped. In the filling station, a filling robot places the pre-grouped products into the boxes. Then the attached lids are glued and closed by a closing robot.
A special feature of the packaging machine is the design of the filling tool. Instead of conventional pneumatic cylinders, the adjustable tool is equipped with NC motors. The advantage is that these motors require less maintenance than pneumatic technology. But above all they can be programmed very precisely. This means that the tool can be adapted fully automatically to different bag formats. This means that the filling robot does not require a tool change for changing over to another format, and the adaptation can be carried out by simply changing the programme. For all formats, the new TLM bag packer achieves its full performance at 75 cartons per minute. The machine is also equipped with Schubert’s GS.Gate industrial gateway. The machine’s performance, amongst other things, is transferred to Schubert’s Grips.world platform for analysis via a secure data link.
- Output of 75 boxes per minute for each format
- 2 box formats, 3 bag formats
- Filling tool is adjustable by motor
- High machine efficiency
- Transmodul in use