Short time-to-market: extremely agile system packages cosmetics in flexible formats and quantities – fully automatically
- Highly accurate “gripping into chaos” thanks to the 3D camera system
- Two filling stations for precise filling of 2-phase products as well
- Fully integrated labelling station
Schubert modernises the filling and packaging process at Laverana Naturkosmetik
Flexible formats and small quantities attractively filled and packaged:
Smaller order quantities, limited editions, personalised products – the shift in the retail shelf landscape is also affecting the pioneers in natural cosmetics. The greatest wish from Hannover-based Laverana was to be able to fill and package the cosmetic products of its successful Lavera brand flexibly and at attractive prices, even in small quantities. Schubert-Cosmetics, together with Laverana, successfully turned what was previously only a visionary idea into reality as a compact complete system.
For over 30 years, Laverana has been meeting the beauty needs and wishes of customers from all over the world with the production of its high-quality natural cosmetic products from the Lavera brand. The manufacturer is known for its commitment to the highest standards of quality in the purely natural ingredients of its cosmetics, its packaging and production processes. Many national and international awards for its products bear witness to the company’s ongoing success in continuously redefining the world of cosmetics and pursuing visionary paths. The existing lines at Laverana were not designed for the high-level agility and the shortest possible time-to-market that is in demand today. Instead, every product or format change required a complicated and time-consuming retooling of the machines. In view of being able to produce as efficiently and far-sightedly as possible in the future, Schubert was commissioned to build a machine as a complete line on which the large format variety of cosmetics from Laverana could be filled and packaged fully automatically. In addition to existing formats, the machine also had to have the necessary flexibility to pack entirely new formats in the future. No sooner said than done! The natural cosmetics manufacturer currently packs 10 different formats on its vision system in variable quantities and with a throughput of some 60 bottles per minute – including quick format changes and 3D printed format parts available at short notice.
High-level agility and quick implementation of future formats
This is why Schubert developed an entirely new, fully automatic line for filling and packaging cosmetics for Laverana, which sets standards throughout the industry. Due to the overall line’s exceptionally high level of agility, it is now possible for Laverana to continue to produce profitably and at attractive price points with ever smaller lot sizes – through personalisation, e-commerce or test markets. Agility here is all about fast format changes, a high level of format diversity and low format costs, as well as quick implementation of future formats to further reduce the time-to-market. The foundation for this is 3D printing. With the exception of the magazine plate, all change parts are 3D printed parts. This allows costs to be significantly reduced and format changeover times to be minimised.
Customers are also able to print spare parts or new format parts themselves. Quality is ensured by the print jobs created by Schubert Additive Solutions. All the necessary parameters are stored here in the Quality Management System and the quality of each format part is checked beforehand by a Schubert expert – which is why these print jobs are also referred to as Certified Print Jobs.
The cosmetics industry has been awaiting this machine for a long time. Thanks to Schubert, it has finally become reality.”
Managing Partner at Laverana, October 2020
A direct hit every time
The agile vision system with high line efficiency was built based on Schubert’s proven TLM system components. All individual parts of the packaging, such as bottles, caps, brushes and pumps are fed via a belt without format parts. Here once again, Schubert stands out with its exceptionally high quality management throughout the entire production process. Schubert’s new proprietary 3D camera system records the unsorted and partially superimposed objects in three dimensions. A pick & place robot picks up these components with high-level accuracy (“gripping into chaos”) and places them on the Transmodul. This takes the components to one of two versatile programmable filling stations, each with six filling stations. Thanks to the two filling stations, cleaning times can be bridged or even 2-phase products of different viscosity can be filled with absolute precision.
After filling, a check is made to ensure that all bottles have the desired weight. If this is not the case, the corresponding filling point can be readjusted fully automatically by the shift register. The containers are then closed, labelled and printed. The new labelling station, fully integrated into the packaging machine, applies either a front and back label, or a 360° label. For final packaging, the outer carton is erected and loaded with the products in just one step. Without a single external interface, the finished pallet with the packed products is ready for dispatching at the end of the efficient line.
Full speed ahead with 3D printing
In addition to the short format change times, another key reason for the outstanding agility of the vision system is 3D printing. With the exception of the magazine plate, all change parts are 3D printed parts. In the future, Laverana will be able to print spare parts or completely new format parts itself – quickly, economically and flexibly. Print quality is ensured by Schubert Additive Solutions’ Certified Print Jobs reference..
- Compact line monoblock layout
- Filling 60 bottles per minute
- 10 vastly different formats (e.g. tubes and pots/jars) on just one system
- Format changes in 12 to 25 minutes, depending on format
- Short time-to-market thanks to 3D-printed format parts
All individual parts of the packaging are picked up by a pick & place robot with high-level accuracy.
3D printed format parts, which can be exchanged quickly, make the vision system extremely agile and flexible.
The fully integrated labelling station applies front and back labels, or 360° labels.