With so many different and frequently changing products, flexibility is the key to success in confectionery packaging. For over 50 years, Schubert has been developing and producing modular automation technology for the flexible packaging of confectionery such as chocolate, biscuits, bars, pralines, ice cream, nibbles and savoury snacks. Our passion for innovation drives us to continuously develop new and even better solutions – delivering a clear competitive advantage to our customers.
We know that the confectionery sector is facing a number of changes. Rising costs for raw materials and energy are having a significant impact on the already fierce competition. Consumers’ growing health and environmental awareness is creating new demand for sugar-free varieties and more environmentally friendly packaging. The implementation of legal requirements such as the Health Claims Regulation is another contributing factor.
Confectionery manufacturers not only need to adapt to new types of products and packaging, they also have to establish highly efficient, adaptable packaging processes. With our intelligent and highly flexible automation solutions, you can master these complex requirements when packaging your confectionery.
In confectionery packaging, machines and lines should adapt to your processes – not the other way round. This is why we focus on modular, robot-based automation solutions. Our packaging machines for confectionery and snacks support your production process with flexibility and outstanding efficiency.
Our robot-assisted top-loading machines (TLM) dependably perform all the operations involved in picking and packing chocolate bars, pralines, biscuits, cakes, crackers, crisps and many other products.
Customised robotic tools ensure gentle and efficient handling of products, reliable and continuous line operation, and minimal waste due to breakage or incorrect positioning.
Whether for primary or secondary packaging, our systems can easily handle frequently changing formats and different packaging materials – ranging from conventional to fully recyclable.
Automation with pick & place machines enables you to benefit from a cost-effective and competitive process when packaging confectionery and snacks. Schubert’s packaging lines also ensure an entirely future-proof solution thanks to their flexible conversion and expansion options as well as their long service life.
With proven innovative strength and in-depth industry knowledge, we can achieve the very best for you with our pick & place technology. All components from a single source, as well as perfectly coordinated and integrated solutions, ensure long-term competitive advantages for your company.
Robots are at the heart of every pick & place packaging line. Depending on specific requirements, they are selected from variants in either Scara or Delta design and equipped with customised, quick-change tools.
The counterflow principle in picker lines, patented by Schubert back in 1996, is now standard throughout the industry. Tray destackers and chain conveyors complete the overall system. Special image processing systems ensure optimal quality assurance.
More about our pick & place machines
Our packing lines for packaging confectionery work with several lateral feed belts. This allows you to run a variety of products in the packaging line simultaneously. The pick & place robots can be flexibly programmed to always pick the right products from the infeed belt, always place them in the right position in the pack – and therefore pack a wide variety of assortment packs quickly and easily. This technology has proved extremely successful, for example, when packaging praline or biscuit assortments. The advantages of pick & place machines, such as simple scalability and optical quality control through image processing systems, can of course also be applied to our packing lines.
The Schubert lightline machine series is the ideal introduction to your next level of production. It delivers high-tech at attractive investment costs. Schubert’s lightline combines preconfigured machine modules into efficient and compact packaging machines. As a manufacturer, you benefit from short planning and assembly processes as well as the fastest possible operational readiness. Proven functional principles and intelligent machine control ensure maximum system availability over the machines’ entire service life.
Confectionery packaging with lightline:
- High performance range
- Pre-configured for standardised packaging tasks
- Low investment costs
- Short delivery times and quick commissioning
- Highest quality in accordance with proven Schubert standards
- Future-proof investment
More about the lightline series
In addition to the final packaging of confectionery, Schubert offers solutions for the integration of primary confectionery packaging tasks by combining both processes into one compact system.
For example, our Flowmodul flow-wrapping unit can be seamlessly integrated into the TLM line to pack both bare and tray-packed confectionery into flowpacks.
To integrate other primary packaging solutions into the TLM technology, the Transmodul transport robot seamlessly bridges the interfaces between the respective packaging processes.
As a key technology, the Transmodul also offers the possibility of linking packaging functions from different machine manufacturers.
A possible structure of a Schubert packaging solution
Up to 1620 freshly baked biscuits are conveyed per minute on a wide product belt directly from the production line to the 72m-long TLM packaging line. It consists of two identical flowpackers connected in series for primary packaging of the biscuits into flowpacks, as well as two identical sub-machines, each consisting of a cartonpacker and a Flowmodul, for secondary packaging either into cartons or into multipack flowpacks.
The biscuits are stacked in each of the two flow-wrapping machines using pick & place robots and placed into the Flowmodul’s feed chains. Schubert’s image processing system, developed in-house, ensures that only products of flawless quality are picked up and placed into the feed chains.
Immediately after being packed into flowpacks, the products are transported on belts to the sub-machines for secondary packaging – which are also fully integrated into the line – where they are packed either into flowpack multipacks or cartons.
A total of 32 different packaging formats can currently be accommodated on the line. The customer can easily have the line set up for additional or other formats at any time.
These integrated process steps can be adapted in many ways:
- Scalability: Simple upscaling or downscaling of the system – production capacities can be flexibly adapted thanks to the modular design.
- Combinability: Quick changes to the product range – with TLM packaging machines, a wide variety of products can be easily combined to create product assortments in changing packaging sizes.
- Quality: Reliability thanks to image processing software – cameras for detecting rejects and defects can be easily integrated into each process step, ensuring virtually 100 per cent quality.
- Variants: Quick adaptation to new materials – whether plastic, paper, non-adhesive cardboard boxes or recycled materials: Schubert machines and systems are equipped for any material.
The Flowpacker combines two key benefits in confectionery packaging: easy handling of a wide variety of packaging types and trouble-free processing of new, sustainable materials. With the Flowpacker flow-wrapping machine, you can achieve the quickest response times and very quick adjustments with minimal effort. As a fully integrated solution, the Flowpacker saves up to 70 per cent space – with extraordinary flexibility. You can switch between sealing technologies, product formats, or proven and new packaging materials virtually at will, easily and quickly. This makes the Flowpacker the tool of choice for positioning yourself for the future: flexible, durable and reliable.
Compared to mechanical flow-wrapping machines with conventional feeding, the packaging system from Schubert offers unique customer advantages when it comes to confectionery packaging. A TLM frame from Schubert seamlessly combines pick & place robots with a horizontally positioned flow-wrapping unit to create a single line. The infeed system features pick & place robots, replacing long infeed belts. This enables the flow-wrapping process to be compactly and completely integrated into the line. State-of-the-art image processing technology in interaction with the entire line enables machine efficiency levels of up to 99 per cent and virtually 100 per cent product quality.
More about the Flowpacker flow-wrapping machine
In addition to robot technology, state-of-the-art vision systems are also at the heart of our machines. Vision systems ensure high and reliable machine performance at every stage of the process – from pick & place to end-of-line inspection. Confectionery manufacturers therefore benefit from both high process speed and precision.
A continuous process flow without unplanned downtimes is an important factor when it comes to the competitiveness of any production. Especially confectionery packaging, with its high number of variants, slight deviations in product appearance and high assortment flexibility, needs a good eye for fast-running processes – a job that is no longer possible for humans at modern line speeds.
In the future, Schubert will also use neural networks and AI to control products such as confectionery and snacks. A simple and clear allocation is not always a given – especially for products with many process parameters. Statistical processes with a complex system of random samples and inspections are therefore replaced by 100 per cent control.
The vision system’s AI achieves what humans and conventional systems can no longer do. Without programming, it recognises relevant product characteristics and automatically determines evaluation parameters.
More about the pick & place vision system
Confectionery packaging with Schubert means that you benefit from a comprehensive portfolio of expertise, services, consultin and support. We want you to be able to package in the most efficient, high-quality, cost-saving and sustainable way possible. Which is why we direct our spirit of innovation and research far beyond the actual technology. Because only a complete package of machine, process, packaging and service can bring you a result that satisfies both you and us.
Schubert 4YOU Services ensure greater machine availability and sustainability in confectionery packaging – after all, the availability of packaging machines is an essential factor behind competitive production. In this context, our focus is on both technical and digital services. With the 4YOU CARE (Connection for Analytics, Reporting and Efficiency) Services, Schubert also ensures the right connectivity in your production – via the GS.Gate industrial gateway, which is integrated into the machine as standard.
Systematic collection and targeted evaluation of machine data create the foundation for process and performance improvements. Weak areas in the process are not always obvious. Especially with highly sensitive products such as confectionery, problems can occur at many points. A systematic analysis provides a solid database. The consistent inclusion of upstream and downstream equipment and processes also opens up scope for optimisation potential – for example, for product quantity in the infeed. One hundred per cent process monitoring and predictive maintenance together increase your efficiency, quality and plant efficiency (OEE). The result is fewer unplanned downtimes, less waste, reduced resource consumption and more sustainability.
The market trend for sustainable packaging materials will continue in the future. In confectionery packaging, plastic can now often be replaced by cardboard – for both primary and secondary packaging. For example, dividers for stacks of biscuits can also be easily created in a cardboard tray. Carton trays for wrap-around save plastic film and create additional space for marketing communications.
To automate the packaging process, you need materials that are machine-compatible. At Schubert, we are experts in cardboard packaging of all kinds. Wherever the use of plastics is not urgently required for reasons of impermeability or product shelf life, packaging made of cardboard is already being used today: for example, perforated masks for cups, trays with integrated dividers, scaling ramps for biscuits, inserts for product fixing or wrap-around cartons for bottles.
We are convinced that although plastic film have their justification for certain applications, it is often possible to develop a machine-compatible functional alternative made of cardboard for the confectionery packaging. For your packaging development, we at Schubert draw on a pool of basic designs and a variety of packaging types. Drafts are created and coordinated using a CAD system. During this process, we also manage communication and coordination with the manufacturer and packaging supplier.
Turnkey solutions ensure that you benefit from minimal effort and a seamless introduction to new technology. Schubert takes care of all project phases:
- Needs analysis
- Conceptual design
- Execution and installation
- Personnel training
- Maintenance and adjustments in the ongoing process
Complex planning processes often pose a challenge – especially when they take place during ongoing operations. With Schubert at your side, you can dispense with additional personnel and time-consuming coordination of various service providers and service suppliers when it comes to confectionery packaging. We understand the confectionery industry and we know what’s important – from occupational safety and hygiene regulations to the complex requirements of the market.
We support you at all levels, from conceptual design and preparation for internal decision-making, to the implementation and maintenance of your lines.