Sustainable innovation research: “made in crailsheim”
This is one reason why the R&D budget is the manufacturer’s largest single investment budget, in keeping with a long-standing tradition. Eight to 10 percent of the company’s annual turnover is invested in this key area on a regular basis, totalling some 22 million euros in 2021. Currently, close to 50 employees in R&D are working to secure the family-owned company’s position as a leading manufacturer in the packaging industry and to further strengthen it for a more sustainable future for the entire industry.
Ralf Schubert explains the development focus: “The targeted expansion of our portfolio prioritises the further development of key technologies for the future. Today, digital solutions such as our GS.Gate industrial gateway enable a comprehensive exchange of data between the machine, the customer and us, and are therefore enabling very efficient and more sustainable process optimisation.” This technology can also be used to integrate the Titan digital twin – a 3D model of a Schubert packaging machine that is controlled in real time – and can be extensively tested before new process steps are implemented. The company is also ramping up its research activities in 3D-printed parts manufacturing and robotics technology. AI projects in robotics and image processing are intended to ensure the future viability of Schubert’s systems and to advance the development of the tog.519 collaborative robot to market maturity.
Advances in digital services, such as virtual machine approvals, AR-supported processes and digitally supported commissioning at the customer’s site, have proven their worth and will continue to be a focus in the coming years. Moreover, the establishment of industrial, on-demand 3D-printing processes for additive manufacturing and a consistent focus on sustainable packaging solutions with a strong consulting component strongly favour positive business development.