lightline is the Schubert machine series for exceptionally fast, cost-effective and future-proof automation. The preconfigured machine layouts significantly reduce delivery times and investment costs. The three models – the lightline Cartonpacker, lightline Pickerline and lightline Flowpacker – are already being used successfully in various industries. They ensure efficient production processes at Schubert customer locations with the option of processing sustainable packaging materials.
Manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods such as food, confectionery, cosmetics, detergents and personal care products are faced with the challenge of addressing high competition pressures, changing market trends and the move away from plastic in the packaging of their products – with economic constraints, in the short and through to the longer term. One of the best insurance policies is evolving towards automation with flexible, future-proof packaging machines. The lightline machine series from Schubert is exceptionally fast and cost-effective. The machines can be delivered and set up in a very short time thanks to their preconfigured layouts and the use of proven TLM system components. With their flexible robot technology, they also process sustainable packaging from cardboard trays to paper-based flowpacks. Durable components and the option to retrofit new products and formats into the system make it a secure investment. All three versions – the lightline Cartonpacker, lightline Pickerline and lightline Flowpacker – pack products in the most efficient way possible and in the best quality, supported by robots. They offer an ideal opportunity to position yourself in the market both quickly and sustainably with future-proof packaging processes. Customers from a variety of sectors have already experienced this in practice.
The lightline Cartonpacker is a Schubert case packer in a single machine frame. This enables it to save close to a third of the space required by freely configured systems. The preconfigured Cartonpacker is available in four versions for four different carton types: Boxes and trays with and without lids, wrap-around cartons and RSC cartons. The Cartonpacker is designed for one type of product at a time, e.g. for bags, cartons, bottles or cans. Depending on the carton type, the lightline Cartonpacker is equipped with a suitably designed erecting, filling and sealing tool. Schubert also ensures flexibility within the machine variant: Each product type can be packaged in different formats. The products and packaging are put through a fully controlled process. The erecting, filling and closing of the cartons is performed by high-precision robots. Their tools can be exchanged, which allows the lightline Cartonpacker to be used for a wide range of products and industries.
Manufacturers of fruit gums, coffee capsules or ice lollies are already using the lightline Cartonpacker in their production to pack the bags and mixed packs of sweets or the boxes of coffee into outer cartons. Cosmetic products and pet food are also now being processed with the compact Schubert line. At contract manufacturer Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream, the lightline Cartonpacker is also part of a complete secondary and tertiary packaging line. The Yasso brand of ice cream, which is well-known and extremely popular in North America, is produced there. For shipping, the ice lollies packed in flowpacks are first packed into boxes of 4 using the Schubert cartoners. Two lightline Cartonpackers are then used to pack eight 4-count boxes each into a shipping carton. Each of the two Cartonpackers has a capacity of 450 products or 14 cartons per minute.
Other very well-known products that run through a lightline Cartonpacker are Niederegger’s marzipan chocolates. The filled praline boxes are packed into 5- and 10-count cardboard trays, either American cases or display boxes, at a speed of 12 cardboard trays per minute. The format changeover can be completed by a machine operator in just five minutes by simply changing the robot tools and the magazine. Kai Röblitz, Operations Manager at Niederegger, was very satisfied with the successful commissioning of the new line: “The compact lightline Cartonpacker is an ideal addition to our automated processes. We are now able to further increase our production output.”
Schubert’s extensive experience with pick & place processes has also been applied to the lightline Pickerline. As with the other pick & place machines from Schubert, the lightline version is scalable in its performance through the number of integrated pick & place robots. Depending on production requirements, customers can choose between various robot types, from the Scara F4 to the Delta T5 robot with a fifth axis for tilting the products. Whether in Scara or Delta design – all pick & place robots carefully pick up each individual product, align it correctly and place it gently into the trays. It doesn’t matter whether you want to package wafer-thin almond biscuits, biscuits in various shapes or melt-in-the-mouth chocolates. This is because individually designed robot tools make the packaging process exceptionally safe and gentle, even for naked products of any consistency. Schubert’s 3D image processing and the machine’s counterflow principle ensure that only flawless goods are packed and that all trays are completely filled. A changeover from plastic trays to recyclable cardboard trays is also easy to implement with the lightline Pickerline.
At an international confectionery manufacturer and patissier, for example, a lightline Pickerline with eight robots packs pastries and sandwich biscuits into plastic trays. The manufacturer works with five different product formats, with ten products being placed into each tray. The machine processes up to 530 biscuits per minute. To save space in production, T4 robots in Delta design were selected. This shortens the overall length of the high-performance system by one metre down to just 7.95 metres.
Schubert stands for optimised processes, integrated into a single line. The lightline Flowpacker brings this to life in a very unique way, where the infeed of the flow-wrapping machine, in the lightline version, is also handled by pick & place robots. This means that all the advantages of the lightline Pickerline, such as scalability, selection of different robots, product variety and quality inspection via image processing, are found in the lightline Flowpacker – as well as a fully integrated flow-wrapping unit. Whether flat or lying on its side edge, stacked or already pre-packed products – the Flowmodul packs nearly any configuration and almost any product. Depending on the product characteristics and the desired film, the flow-wrapping machine is equipped with one of four sealing technologies. Automated format changeovers and film roll changes greatly simplify operation.
Several Schubert customers have already experienced that the lightline Flowpacker is ideally suited for processing delicate baked goods – from small bakeries in Alsace to large companies with a very high throughput of goods. For example, Canadian bakery company La Petite Bretonne, where up to 1.2 million Micro Croissants® roll off the production line every day. The small chocolate-filled Mini Chocolatines in the range are also packed in a lightline Flowpacker. Four T4 robots gently pick up the pressure-sensitive baked goods and place them into the Flowmodul’s feed chain. Thanks to state-of-the-art sealing technology, the heat-sensitive products can be packed into flowpacks using the heat-sealing process. With an output of up to 280 Mini Chocolatines per minute and an efficiency of 99 per cent, the line achieves an exceptionally high level of efficiency. Managing Director Serge Bohec is extremely impressed with the packaging machine: “For a high-performance production line, this is the best flow-wrapping machine in the world!”
As high as the output at La Petite Bretonne needs to be, the lightline Flowpacker also has to work just as flexibly for the much smaller Alsatian bakery: The fine hand-crafted pastries are never identical, but this does not pose a problem for the flow-wrapping machine, thanks to robot technology. To ensure that even the packaging is flexible, the latest sealing technology with ultrasonic longitudinal sealing and heat-sealing via a flying cross-sealing unit is integrated into the system. This means that the lightline Flowpacker can not only switch from plastic to cardboard trays, but also from laminated films to recyclable mono films or paper-based films – without any loss of quality – at an output of 100 products per minute. Fast and reliable format changes also make the system user-friendly.