Modularity

Fast format changes thanks to customised tool solutions from Schubert

Manufacturers who process many product formats or who work for fast-moving industries need highly flexible packaging machines. Fast format changes and the capability to integrate new formats into the packaging process at low cost are absolutely essential here. But every company defines its specific requirements differently. With this in mind, Schubert offers each of its customers an optimally adapted mix of adjustable and exchangeable tools – with innovative solutions such as micromotors and new change levels.

Schubert consistently pursues the concept of the modular TLM machine right down to its individually designed robot tools. Decades ago, Gerhard Schubert already had a clear idea of what makes for a perfect format part: The more precisely a tool is tailored to the product, the better the product handling. The faster the format change, the more efficient the production. Whether interchangeable or adjustable robot tools – Schubert offers both and designs a tailor-made customer solution from its modular technologies. If Schubert is involved in a project at an early stage, the experts work together with the customer to finetune the desired packaging. If the packaging dimensions are standardised, for example by limiting a dimension to only one length, this has a direct effect on the number and production of format parts. Planning with foresight can simplify the packaging process and save costs.

Less complexity in packaging means lower costs for the customer for format changes. Schubert expert Wolfgang Sedlak (Head of Tool Design) and his team, develop customised solutions with interchangeable and adjustable tools.

Flexibility with interchangeable and adjustable tools

As standard, Schubert machines have a coded tool set for each format, which is immediately ready for use without adjustment. Those who prefer high process reliability and fast format changeover are well served by interchangeable format sets. The complete tool is always changed in order to be able to pack a different format with the machine. If, on the other hand, you want to save on storage space, it is better to use adjustable tools that can be adapted to other formats manually or with the aid of motors. This requires sufficient space in the machine for the adjustable format parts. In order to offer the greatest possible flexibility to customers, Schubert also designs the adjustable tools in such a way that they are completely interchangeable as a matter of principle. This also enables the processing of formats that are slightly outside the intended scheme.

Fast format changes – this is the requisite with which Schubert develops robot tools. Here is an NC filling tool with 20 drives and changeable suction tools.

Adjustable tools as a future-proof investment

Adjustable tools can be worthwhile from three formats upwards, bearing in mind that the storage of interchangeable tools requires a lot of space. This makes it relatively easy to adjust the tools from the outside if there is sufficient space available in the machines. A future technology on which Schubert is also currently working is the integration of motors into the F2 tool. The microdrives enable finely controlled movements and precise adjustment of the tools. Such adjustable units are a safe investment for the future, as they allow a high degree of flexibility and reduce follow-up costs for additional formats.

Adjustable tools such as this carton sealing tool with manual adjustment are often worthwhile from as few as three formats if there is sufficient space available in the packaging machine.

Further advantages through additional change levels

Even more flexibility comes into play for both the adjustable and the interchangeable robot tools through additional change levels. For this reason, Schubert has integrated one or even two additional interfaces for changing, which are located closer to the product. This offers customers numerous advantages:

  • Instead of a large tool, small units can be exchanged.
  • If complete change units are exchanged, which are pre-equipped with interchangeable tools, a format change can be carried out in just a few minutes.
  • New formats can be implemented cost-effectively and with short delivery times thanks to the small tool units.
  • Small tools require less material and less storage space for the tool sets. Their low weight ergonomically assists the machine operators during format changes.
With additional change levels in the tools, Schubert offers its customers the possibility of even faster format changes. Here is a ‘change layer’ carton closing tool.

Conclusion

Schubert’s tools are also modularly designed and can be individually combined – like all other Schubert technologies. As the best solution, Schubert recommends a customised mix of all variants, which is considered individually for each customer and each machine, and designed on the basis of the specified criteria. Regardless of the combination – the high flexibility of the tools opens up many options for Schubert customers in the future, including 3D printing.

3D format parts can be changed easily and quickly, as on this gripper tool. Using the part streaming platform from Schubert Additive Solutions, customers can print out such parts with certified print jobs themselves and use them immediately.