The flexible Schubert machine packs the tampons into numerous carton formats.
Robots ensure that the demanding process of aligning the boxes is carried out safely and reliably.
In just a few steps and in less than 20 minutes, one operator can change the system over to a new packaging format.
Contract manufacturers vouch for their customers. It is all the more important that the quality is right – for the products as well as for the packaging. Especially when it comes to hygiene products, manufacturers cannot afford to make any compromises. Austrian producer Rauscher, a manufacturer of branded products and private-label tampons, was looking for a packaging machine with the highest possible flexibility, which also delivers outstanding performance and ideally sets the private-label manufacturer up for the future.
Rauscher has decades of experience in the production of feminine hygiene products. The Austrian supplier produces tampons both as a brand and as a private label and therefore attaches special importance to excellent packaged quality. After all, the products vouch for the name of numerous customers around the world.
Steady growth made a second packaging machine necessary for the production of tampons of various sizes in the spring of 2019. The expansion required much more than just an increase in capacity: The focus was on the greatest possible flexibility of the packaging material. The machine had to be able to process a wide variety of packaging materials: elegant boxes with sensitive soft-touch varnish as well as sustainable cartons made of grass paper or special designs such as boxes with a viewing window. The project managers even came up with variations such as gift wrapping or special Christmas editions.
Flexibility was also required in terms of packaging sizes: Rauscher requested the option for boxes with a base area for 4, 5, 6 and 7 tampons. The company was keen to ensure that format changes could be carried out quickly and with a minimum of personnel. The individual format tools had to be designed accordingly.
With intelligent robot technology, the packaging machine from Schubert offers maximum flexibility and equips Rauscher for all the demands that the future may bring. The solution consists of three frames in which the packages are erected, filled and sealed. All process steps are flexibly and efficiently linked together via the Transmodul, the transport robot from Schubert.
The demanding processes run so quickly on the TLM packaging machine that up to 930 tampons per minute are filled into twelve different box formats. The available packaging sizes are divided into four different base areas, each of which is available in three heights. In order to make the format change as simple as possible, only one folding box is used for each basic size which can handle different heights.
The tools for the erecting process are changed at the secondary level – and so are smaller, can be changed individually and are much easier to exchange. A change can be made in less than 20 minutes thanks to these details. Bayonet locks ensure that all components fit securely.
In order to equip Rauscher for all eventualities and to satisfy as many customer requirements as possible, the packaging machine has an option for extending the formats: If required, the brand manufacturer can also pack boxes with quantities of four to 80 tampons on the TLM system. Packaging in large packs is just as feasible as are small travel sizes or giveaways.
- Flexible packaging machine currently for 12 different formats
- Future-proof with options for further packaging variants
- Robot-assisted technology for maximum reliability and performance
In the first frame of the packaging machine, three robots erect flat blanks into complex folding cartons: An F3 robot unstacks four blanks at a time from the magazine during each cycle and transfers them to an F2 robot. This F2 robot then positions the flat blanks for erecting and passes them through the box-folding frames. The four erected boxes are then withdrawn from the folding frames by a further F2 robot and placed onto a Transmodul.
While robots fold the blanks, the film-wrapped tampons are fed to the line in two lanes. Between production and the packaging machine, two centrifuges take care of separating the unsorted tampons. Via two grouping chains, the personal care products arrive at the filling station lying flat and correctly aligned. Regardless of the size and type of tampons, the filling robot always uses the same suction tool in the second frame – this considerably reduces the effort required for format changes. For filling, the robot picks up 32 tampons, re-pitchesthem together into groups of eight and then places them into the boxes layer by layer, alternating between the two grouping chains.
Once the boxes have been filled, the customers instructions for use are added to each package in the third frame and then the boxes are sealed. Three robots carry out the complex process: An F3 robot removes four information leaflets from a magazine at a time and transfers them to an F2 robot, which places them into the boxes. Afterwards, the same F2 robot assists in closing the lids: It uses suction cups to pull the front of each pack slightly forward so that another F2 robot can insert the lids of the boxes. This ensures that each box is closed properly before they leave the machine.
- Output of 930 products per minute
- 12 different formats
- Efficiency of 97 per cent
- One filling tool for all formats
- Transmodul in use