A compact tlm case packer for packaging in flexible quantities
- Integrated directly into the production chain on site
- Reliable recognition and packing in the correct formation
- 30 per cent storage space savings thanks to one-piece cardboard packaging
Ritter Sport switches to a cost-efficient, in-house solution for packing its 100-gram bars
Ten to 13 100-gram bars are packed directly in the correct formation:
In order to sustainably optimise the production of its 100-gram bars into ‘Shelf Ready’ packaging, Ritter Sport is now using a fully automatic TLM case packer that reliably recognises how many bars, depending on the thickness of the variety, need to be sorted into the cartons. This innovative solution from Schubert replaces an otherwise outsourced solution.
Until now, the bars had been packed in a bulk container at the headquarters in Waldenbuch, Germany. This then had to be transported to another building for ready-to-sell packaging. There the products were first unpacked and then packed into the two-piece sales boxes. In order to save costs in logistics and cardboard packaging, our customer was searching for a solution that would pack the 100-gram bars directly in the right formation ready for sale and reliably detect whether 10, 11, 12 or 13 bars had to be sorted into the carton. This was the specific question with which Ritter approached us. Ritter Sport and Schubert have enjoyed a long-standing, close partnership. In fact, seven TLM systems in Waldenbuch were sourced from Crailsheim. Within a very short space of time, Schubert developed a machine solution for this ambitious assignment that was both compact and flexible.
The three-millimetre challenge was solved flexibly and compactly
As a fully automated in-house solution, the new TLM system takes over the previous packaging process and is directly integrated into the on-site production chain. In order to be able to carry out sorting in the correct number according to the bar thickness, variable grouping tables are used, which can be changed quickly and easily with only one tool part. This means that no time-consuming format changes are required during operation. The cartons used for the ready-to-sell packaging of the 100-gram bars are also innovative. Together with the customer, we designed them so that they only consist of one-piece, flat blanks that are erected and shaped in a single work step. This makes the entire packaging process much more efficient, while saving Ritter an additional 30 per cent of storage space. Moreover, the system is designed so flexibly that it can be connected to the existing packaging machine via an additional swivel belt to be able to take over alternative packaging tasks if required.
This really is a fantastic ‘toy’ that Mr Müller and his team built for us. And it corresponds exactly to our mission as an innovative and sustainable company that sets new standards.
Managing Director and Supply Chain Manager at Ritter Sport, October 2019
Intelligent technology for individual packaging sizes
The new machine consists of a TLM F3 collating device for removing the carton blanks from the magazine, three F2 robots to erect, fill and close the cartons, as well as a downstream turning unit in a single frame. It is also designed so flexibly that it can be optionally and, depending on the production order, connected to the existing packing machine via an additional, height-adjustable swivel belt for packing in alternative cartons. As a rule, the 100-gram bars are fed directly from a flow-wrapping machine to the Schubert system on a single track at a speed of 400 bars per minute. The bars are then sorted by thickness via a pre-formatted grouping chain into the right numbers to fit inside the carton.
The new TLM system turns things upside down
However, before the chocolate bars are filled into the cartons, they must first be erected from the one-piece blanks, which are stored flat in a magazine. Because the cartons no longer consist of two parts (base and lid), the entire packaging process is significantly simpler and faster. The flat blanks are removed from the magazine, glued and pressed through a folding frame by an F2 robot. The erected module carton is placed upside down on a vacuum conveyor which transports the boxes through the system to the grouping table. There, an F2 filling robot takes the products and inserts them upside down into the carton lid. Another F2 robot then closes the attached base part and places the carton in the turning unit which turns the cartons 180 degrees and places them on the discharge belt.
The Overall Performance
- A compact machine with 3 F2 robots and a turning unit
- Single-lane feeding with 400 bars per minute
- NC grouping table for pre-grouping 10 to 13 bars per carton
- Overhead packaging of the products in carton lids
- Turning by 180° in the turning unit ready for output
All functions of the new TLM system are combined into a single frame.
Pre-formatted grouping tables are used to sort the products in the correct quantities.
An F2 filling robot places the 100-gram bars into the lid of the box from above.
An F2 robot closes the specially developed one-piece cardboard box.
In the turning unit, the ‘Shelf Ready’ Ritter Sport cartons are turned through 180 degrees.