Packaging processes are becoming increasingly complex due to greater product diversity and smaller batch sizes. Gerhard Schubert GmbH (gerhard-schubert.com) is responding to this trend with ‘simplicity’. With this in mind, the acknowledged market leader in digital packaging machines has been capitalising on its own intelligent machine control systems for decades. The sixth generation of VMS packaging machine controls is a standard component in each and every TLM packaging machine without an electrical cabinet. It ensures optimal performance and maximum flexibility throughout the machine’s entire service life.
In the future, Schubert will supplement its TLM packaging machines with a data box. It represents the first stage of the emerging GRIPS.world digital platform, which will improve both internal communication and communication with customers, while sustainably increasing overall packaging line efficiency. Schubert will be demonstrating the flexibility of its high-performance technology at the interpack fair with four TLM packaging machines processing confectionery and cosmetic products. In addition to the Flowmodul – Schubert’s new flow-wrapping component – visitors will experience a new TLM carton erecting system which defines a fresh new benchmark in terms of performance and format conversion. The Schubert Group will be celebrating a premiere with the presentation of its new expert team, Schubert-Cosmetics. Under the SPS umbrella (Schubert Packaging Systems), the experts in systems engineering and engineering consulting, the corporate group now also bundles its expertise for cosmetics manufacturers.
Digitalization in view
At this year’s interpack, Schubert is presenting its new data box and possible applications of the anticipated GRIPS.world platform. This web-based platform combines all the important functions for monitoring and documenting machine data under a single user interface.
Customers, suppliers and the TLM machines themselves, along with Schubert Group employees, will be able to access the GRIPS.world platform. One component is the data box, which analyses important machine data. The data box, which will also be available to other machine builders, provides the machine manufacturer and its customers with an interface to retrieve relevant information on various areas such as maintenance, control and machine performance. Valuable knowledge for the future can be derived from the data – enabling improved machine performance and customer processes. For example, over the long term, through preventive maintenance and monitoring of machine functions, the data box allows overall system efficiency and production performance to be maintained at a high level throughout the entire lifecycle.
A key element will be the machine’s digital twin. This is a three-dimensional image of the TLM machine which can be moved in real time using the original code of the VMS packaging machine control. Customer advantages include significantly accelerated design sequences and reduced delivery times. At the same time, for example, it will be possible to digitally carry out the complete validation of a pharmaceutical machine in advance. It will also be possible to use the digital twin to implement new product formats.
Comprehensive systems for fewer interfaces and increased productivity
In its new developments, Schubert is also targeting integrated systems that are more compact, more flexible and more efficient than conventional systems. The most diverse packaging processes are mapped in a single TLM machine so that interfaces between process steps are simplified or entirely eliminated. For TLM machines, there are fully-integrated thermoforming, sealing, punching and filling units – all without electrical cabinets – for the primary packaging of products, e.g. for shampoo bottles or coffee capsules. This is made possible, among other things, by the Transmodul transport robot, developed by Schubert, with which the interface between primary and secondary packaging can be bridged.
A partnership with KHS for the beverage industry
The Transmodul even connects processes between packaging functions from different machine manufacturers. In collaboration with KHS, a complete system was developed for flexible bottle packaging, which stands out with exceptional flexibility, accessibility and simplicity.
The Flowmodul – the eighth system component
As the eighth system component, the new Flowmodul enables the packaging of products such as biscuits, bars and other articles in flowpacks – seamlessly – within the proven TLM systems. Image recognition, pick & place robots and the Flowmodul merge into a single system. This system also achieves best marks in terms of space requirements, quality control and flexibility. At the interpack, Schubert will be showing a picker line with five F4 robots, which place biscuits in the Flowmodul’s product feed system. A total of 500 products run through the packaging process. The chain speed is controlled by the intelligent robots and continuously adapted to the product flow.
Format diversity for confectionery manufacturers
Schubert will be presenting further flexible application possibilities for confectionery manufacturers using as an example a TLM system consisting of five sub-machines, which packages filled cone-shaped wafers into cartons. The maximum output of this system is 250 wafers per minute. Another exhibit is a line consisting of four sub-machines, which packs biscuit-filled trays into two-piece tins or boxes. With this application, Schubert demonstrates the advantages of automation, which results in considerable savings in personnel costs and extremely gentle product handling. The maximum output of the exhibited machine is 55 tins or boxes per minute with eleven different formats. With this application, customers capitalise on flexibility in production planning and high overall system efficiency.
A central contact point for cosmetics manufacturers
At the interpack, Schubert will be introducing the new Schubert-Cosmetics business unit, where a team of dedicated specialists work exclusively on the needs of this sector. In the future, manufacturers will have a central contact for all questions regarding the filling and packaging of cosmetic products. Schubert-Cosmetics combines the expertise of the Gerhard Schubert GmbH and Schubert Packaging Systems. The team develops, designs and delivers solutions ranging from individual machines to complete systems.
Schubert brings many years of expertise to the special needs of the cosmetics industry. Special hygiene requirements require interface-free total solutions – from filling all the way through to palletising. Schubert machines’ modular design in conjunction with the Transmodul enable all processes to be directly linked – from component feed to filling to final packaging – and can be implemented in a single system. With different filling systems – including gravimetric dosing or the new filling system with eccentric screw pumps – Schubert-Cosmetics can respond to customer-specific tasks and product requirements with high-level flexibility.
For cosmetics manufacturers, the newly developed high-performance erector is also capable of processing up to 50 RSC cartons per minute. This machine’s carton magazine is able to handle a wide range of carton sizes and automatically converts between one, two or three-lane versions. The compact TLM machine to be introduced at the interpack packs shampoo bottles into cartons.
A look at the big picture
In addition to the Gerhard Schubert GmbH experts and the specialists from Schubert-Cosmetics and Schubert-Pharma, Schubert Packaging Systems (SPS) will be informing trade fair visitors on its comprehensive range of services in system building and system engineering. As a systems builder, SPS is a cross-company supplier of turnkey packaging solutions to many different sectors including confectionery, food, beverages, baked goods and technical consumer goods. Supplier-independent engineering consulting is part of the portfolio as are engineering studies, project management and line optimisation.