Confectionery & Snacks

An automation solution for baked goods of the highest quality

A new picker line automates the packaging process at Guschlbauer.

The pick & place robots pack the baked goods in different formats.

In collaboration with esbe plastic, Schubert developed exceptionally thin plastic trays together with Guschlbauer.

The Schubert vision system ensures the perfect quality of the baked goods.

TThe picker line packs up to 20 formats.

Requirements

Packaging a wide variety of baked goods into thin plastic trays

Automation and new packaging for various formats

Guschlbauer, a bakery from Upper Austria, is meeting the increasing demand for its baked goods with an automated packaging solution: Now the delicacies are packed fully automatically in trays and flow-wrapped bags in a picker line.

Croissants, wafers and sticks, punch cakes, coconut domes and punch cubes – the range of products offered by the traditional Austrian confectionery Guschlbauer is as varied as the tastes of its customers. With a total of 20 formats, production and packaging had to be adapted to the increased demand. The prerequisite was that the automation would have to be possible without compromising on product quality and that it would need to be integrated into the existing machinery. In the course of the modernisation, the packaging also had to be designed to be more resource-friendly.

Solution

How does the solution meet the requirement?

Integration of a fully automatic picker line into the machinery

With robot-supported automation, logistically better packaging formats and newly developed trays made of exceptionally thin plastic, Guschlbauer can now flexibly meet the increasing demand. The new picker line supplements the existing machines in the family business and is integrated into the entire process. As before, the baked goods are assembled directly from the oven in the assembly lines, filled and partially coated with chocolate. They then run into the new packaging line. There, the pick & place robots pack up to 480 baked goods per minute in a wide variety of formats.

Development of new plastic trays with esbe plastic

With the support of Schubert partner esbe plastic, Schubert and Guschlbauer jointly developed new plastic trays. In order to use cartons and pallets more efficiently, the packaging and formats were entirely revised. Now the outer dimensions of the packages in the same format group are identical, so that the products can be stacked easily. With special Schubert technology, exceptionally thin trays can be used, which saves on raw materials. All baked goods are picked up by the robots with individual gripping tools and placed in the trays. When changing the format, the tools for the different baked goods can be changed quickly. This makes packing the numerous formats particularly easy.

During the packaging process, an incident light scanner takes over the quality control, so that only perfect baked goods are packed.

At a glance

  • Resource-saving thin plastic trays
  • Individual tools for various products
  • Reliable quality control

Added value

“Guschlbauer had already had very positive experiences with two of our assembly lines.”

Technical Details

Flexible formats and best product quality

The picker line at Guschlbauer consists of six sub-machines. The products are fed in multiple lanes, after which a scanner records their shape and position and transmits this information to the control system of the pick & place robots. Baked goods that do not meet the quality requirements or are damaged are not transmitted and therefore not picked up by the pick & place robots and placed into the packages. The trays for filling are stored in a magazine, also in multiple lanes. Due to their exceptionally thin plastic wall, the trays have to be turned slightly when they are lifted so that only one tray is pulled out at a time. Baked goods and trays move towards each other on conveyor belts using the counterflow system. If they are at the same level, pick & place robots pick up the fed products from the product conveyor and place them in plastic trays. For each of the products, an individually developed, exchangeable tool is used, which gently picks up the baked goods and places them in the tray. After the trays have been filled, they are packed in one of the two downstream flow-wrapping machines. Alternatively, the products can also be set down individually on a separate deposit belt, where they are packed into flow-wrap bags without a tray. As additional protection against production downtime, the trays can also be fed into the line manually if required.

Overall performance
  • Tray and flow-wrap bag packaging on one machine
  • 4, 5, 6 or 8 products per unit
  • Up to 20 different formats
  • Output of up to 480 products per minute
  • Pick & place robot with individual tools

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