Confectionery & Snacks

Flexible pick and place robots in a combination of a picker line and packing line

An incident-light scanner checks not only the alignment but also the quality of the Mozart-Kugeln®.

The individual Mozart-Kugeln® pass in rows of seven through the image scanner, which checks the quality and alignment of the balls.

In packing line operation, the products enter the system via lateral feed belts.

Several robotic arms, equipped with suction tools, carefully take the Mozart-Kugeln® from the lateral flow conveyor belt and place them into the praline boxes.

The pick and place robots align the Mozart portraits on the gold foils identically before inserting them into the trays.

In this close-up of the box of pralines, you can see that the robots align the balls with the Mozart portraits identically before placing them into the tray.

In the new cartoner, the traditional boxes are erected without glue.

You can see how the cartons are erected in the cartoner fully automatically and without glue.

The process also includes the application of the cushioning paper and the insertion of the warranty card.

During the packaging process, robots also place the cushioning papers and warranty card into the boxes as an extra measure of protection.

REQUIREMENTS

Fully automated, flexible and future-proof packaging for the next 10 years

Reber once again relies on flexible pick and place robots from Schubert for extensive production optimisation

Exquisite confectionery such as the genuine Reber Mozart-Kugeln® deserve an equally exquisite wrapping. For many years now, the long-established Reber company has been relying on Schubert packaging machines for this purpose. In order to pack the fine specialities even more efficiently in their diverse boxes in the future, two new TLM packaging machines with state-of-the-art pick and place robots have been integrated into production. The two lines increase packaging output by close to 30 per cent and are designed to be so flexible that the supply of Mozart-Kugeln® is guaranteed for at least the next ten years.

Brief indulgent moments for connoisseurs all over the world – the genuine Reber Mozart-Kugeln® are as popular and famous today as their namesake, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. For the German market leader from Bad Reichenhall, tradition and quality are values that are upheld even in our fast-moving times: The company still produces its full range of Mozart-Kugeln®, confectionery pastries and confectionery chocolate at its headquarters. Half a million Mozart balls leave the factory every day and are exported to more than 50 countries. This turnover would not be possible without highly efficient processes, excellent product quality control and agile, completely reliable packaging equipment. This is why the company once again turned to Schubert with confidence as part of a comprehensive production optimisation project, to be able to integrate a high-performance packaging system into its highly efficient processes. The new system had to be able to cover all current and future market trends for at least ten years, while ensuring high machine availability and reliability. At the same time, the manufacturer wanted to retain its tried-and-tested, high-quality packaging of Mozart-Kugeln®, which consists of many individual parts.

SOLUTION

How does the solution meet the requirement?

Focus on flexibility and production reliability in the pick and place process

Schubert solved these demanding requirements with its modular machine concept with a customised, extremely flexible customer solution consisting of two packaging machines – one for primary and one for secondary packaging. For primary packaging, the combination of a picker line and a packing line was designed. If single-sort formats are to be packed, the picker line operates. If, on the other hand, mixed boxes are to be packed, the lateral infeed belts are used and the system is switched over to packing line operation. For the secondary packaging, i.e. the praline cartons, Reber now uses a Schubert cartoner. It is located as a separate system in the production area, but is directly connected to the upstream pick and place machine from Schubert. Depending on the format, the filled trays either run into the new cartoner or to existing equipment. Thanks to the separate systems, which can be integrated into the overall production in various ways, the overall availability of the packaging solution is exceptionally high. This is because Reber can now not only process its current product range fully automatically and reliably, but also common special formats such as Christmas editions or all future products and formats.

AT A GLANCE

  • Highly flexible packaging process due to modular machine concept
  • High format variety including change between pure and mixed assortments
  • Gentle product handling through innovative pick and place robots

WORDS OF EXPERIENCE

“Now we can not only package our core products very efficiently, but in the future, we will also be able to produce assortments with up to four different products as well as other innovations.”

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Combination of a picker line and a packing line

The combined picker line and packing line consists of six machine frames; the products come directly from wrapping machines via feed belts into the Schubert pick and place machine. Several incident-light scanners check the quality of the Mozart-Kugeln® already wrapped in foil. The Schubert image processing system also detects the film imprint on the wrapping paper and passes the information on to the robots. Eight pick and place robots then pick up the products from the product belt or optionally from the side belts, turn them into the correct orientation and place them correctly aligned into the trays. This ensures that the portraits of the world-famous namesake of the Mozart-Kugeln® are always facing the same direction. Moreover, the robots’ individually adapted suction tools ensure exceptionally gentle product handling. For Reber, the machine builders chose the F4 pick and place robots from Schubert’s system components. With their wide working area at right angles to the belt, the Scara robots are especially well suited to this special machine layout and for switching between the picker line and the packing line. Also, together with Reber and the tray supplier, the existing trays were converted to automatically destackable variants.

Cartoner with additional support functions

The artistic packaging of the Mozart-Kugeln® is fully automated. It consists of carded box bases, which are erected without glue, as are the separate lid parts. For this purpose, the filled trays in formats of 6-packs, 12-packs or other variants are fed into the cartoner downstream of the pick and place machine. In this compact system consisting of four TLM frames, the box bases of the secondary packaging are erected, carded and the filled trays inserted. A cushioning paper is then placed on top to protect the fine marzipan balls. A guarantee card is also inserted into each box, with which Reber attests to the authenticity of the Mozart-Kugeln®. Finally, the erected lid is put on. The Schubert Transmodul transport robot connects all process steps without interfaces. Up to seven boxes can be filled at the same time. The optimised packaging process therefore achieves a performance increase of more than 30 per cent. The high flexibility in the formats of the trays and cartons is a further advantage of the investment in the improved automation. It ensures the ideal conditions for further innovations with the new overall system.

OVERALL PERFORMANCE
  • Primary packaging as a combination of a picker line and packing line
  • Secondary packaging as cartoner with special functions
  • Special formats and up to 4 further product innovations possible
  • Quality assurance through Schubert image processing
  • 30 per cent increase in performance
  • Transmodul in use

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