Confectionery & Snacks

Product-friendly and flexible automation

A TLM praline packaging line, consisting of six sub-machines, automates the packaging process at Mieszko.

The infeed conveyor incorporates a newly developed vibration unit that gently repositions the pralines on their flat undersides.

Only flawless products are put into the provided plastic trays by the F4 robots.

F2 robots place the filled trays in double-walled boxes. Padding papers are inserted to protect the products.

Alternatively, folding cartons are used, which are kept open by a spreading tool for easier insertion of the plastic trays.

Requirements

Fully automatic assembly of praline assortments and packing them into boxes

New vibration unit ensures that the hemispherical pralines are presented on their flat undersides

Polish confectionery manufacturer Mieszko relies on innovative and flexible automation solutions from Schubert

The Cherrissimo pralines from Mieszko are a popular treat in Poland. In order to meet the increasing demand, Mieszko is increasingly focusing on automation with a new TLM praline packaging line from Schubert. This product requires a large variety of formats – from small gift boxes to large praline assortments. The pre-sorting of the pralines wrapped in coloured foil also runs automatically so that they can be picked up properly by the pick & place robots. For this purpose, Schubert developed a new vibration unit, which gently places all pralines on their flat undersides.

 

Solution

How does the solution meet the requirement?

Gentle product handling

At Mieszko, a TLM praline packaging line consisting of six sub-machines is now in operation. A vibration unit is integrated into each of the three infeed paths. These newly developed units consist of three conveyors positioned one behind the other and ensure the correct orientation of the different types of pralines. The first infeed conveyor supplies the wrapped pralines in an unsorted pile. When being transferred to a second conveyor, the products are no longer positioned one above the other, but next to each other in a single layer. The third conveyor, which follows on immediately from the second, moves two steps forward and one step back in an abrupt motion. This motion is so perfectly balanced that any pralines lying on their round side are turned onto their flat underside, whilst correctly oriented products remain as such.

Numerous packaging combinations

More than 20 different packaging combinations can be processed. The filled trays can be placed on the system both in double-walled boxes and in folding cartons. The folding cartons are kept open by a spreading tool. This makes it easier to use the plastic trays. Other packaging variants, such as trays for very small batches that are inserted by hand into the chain, are also possible.

At a glance

  • Automated pre-sorting
  • Gentle product handling
  • Numerous packaging combinations

Quote

“The line’s outstanding flexibility is ideal for us. I am also very pleased with the tool-free conversion between formats.”

Technical details

High degree of automation and fast format conversion

In the first sub-machine of the praline packaging line, the plastic trays are placed into the chain. This is followed by three TLM modules with integrated F4 robots, which are supplied laterally via infeed conveyors with an integrated vibration unit. The pralines, gently oriented in the correct position by a vibration unit, pass through an expanding insert for separation. A reflective light scanner detects the position and orientation of the products. Only flawless pralines are placed into the provided plastic trays by the pick & place robots. Subsequently, F2 filling robots place the filled trays into erected double-wall boxes and, depending on the format, insert padding papers to protect the products. Alternatively, folding cartons are used, which are held open by a spreading tool when inserting the plastic trays. It is also possible to package unwrapped products by pushing them from the tray to the feed belts without using the vibration unit. Conversion between the different packaging combinations is tool-free and possible within 15 to 20 minutes.

Overall performance
  • 3 infeed conveyors with a vibration unit
  • 6 sub-machines
  • 500 pralines per minute
  • Unwrapped and foil-wrapped pralines
  • More than 20 formats
  • Tool-free format change in 15 to 20 minutes

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