Flexible pick and place robots in a combination of a picker line and packing line
- 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
Reber once again relies on flexible pick and place robots from Schubert for extensive production optimisation
Fully automated, flexible and future-proof packaging for the next 10 years
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.
Focus on flexibility and production reliability in the pick and place process
Die hohen Anforderungen löste Schubert durch sein modulares Maschinenkonzept mit einer individuellen, äußerst flexiblen Kundenlösung aus zwei Verpackungsmaschinen – eine für die Primär- und eine für die Sekundärverpackung. Für die Primärverpackung wurde die Kombination aus einer Pickerlinie und einer Packstraße konstruiert. Werden sortenreine Formate verpackt, arbeitet die Pickerlinie, sollen dagegen Mix-Schachteln verpackt werden, kommen die seitlichen Zuführbänder zum Einsatz und die Anlage wird auf den Packstraßenbetrieb umgestellt. Für die Sekundärverpackung, also die Pralinenschachteln, nutzt Reber jetzt einen Schubert-Kartonierer. Er steht als separate Anlage in der Produktion, die aber direkt an die vorgeschaltete Pick and Place Maschine von Schubert anschließt. Die befüllten Trays laufen je nach Format entweder in den neuen Kartonierer oder zu bereits vorhandenem Maschinenequipment. Durch die getrennten Anlagen, die auf verschiedene Weise in die gesamte Produktion eingebunden werden können, ist die Verfügbarkeit der Verpackungslösung insgesamt besonders hoch. Denn Reber kann auf diese Weise nicht nur die aktuelle Produktpalette vollautomatisiert und produktionssicher verarbeiten, sondern auch gängige Sonderformate wie zum Beispiel Weihnachtseditionen oder alle zukünftigen Produkte und Formate.
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.
Head of operations at reber gmbh & co. Kg, january 2021
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.
- 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
An incident-light scanner checks not only the alignment but also the quality of the Mozart-Kugeln®.
In packing line operation, the products enter the system via lateral feed belts.
The pick and place robots align the Mozart portraits on the gold foils identically before inserting them into the trays.
In the new cartoner, the traditional boxes are erected without glue.
The process also includes the application of the cushioning paper and the insertion of the warranty card.