As company owner Spiro Sayegh faced the challenge of developing a line for an entirely new packaging for his company International Delights’ bakery products, the Gerhard Schubert quickly has developed a highly flexible system works, and it can also be used at any time for other product and tray formats.

Texte AlternatifNine different layouts and approaches were developed together with the customer before the ideal solution was found. For the most part, space requirements, ease of use and considerations regarding possible future products and packaging played an important role. Schubert sales engineer Giorgio Calorio communicated directly with the owner of the mid-sized company in Clifton, New Jersey (USA), for whom doing business with packaged products was new. Until then, his company had sold baked goods to restaurants and bars – as fresh products which were simply placed in plastic bags and cardboard boxes for transportation.

The challenge the company faced was to supply their products to large grocery retail chains as a new business area. As is quite common with American companies, the machines for manufacturing and packaging products were developed simultaneously. Both the space requirements for the Schubert system as well as the packaging process, including packaging speed, had to be altered several times in the project design phase and adapted to the changing parametres of the manufacturing process.

Texte AlternatifThe Schubert line, which eventually proved successful, receives the products – croissants, Danish pastries and pains au chocolat – from the cooling or freezing coils and places them on a conveyor belt at predetermined intervals with three F4 robots. This feeds the products into a flow-wrapping machine. Subsequently, another robot distributes the packaged baked goods on two belts.

The dual-lane transport reduces the belt speed of the line, so that a large amount of products can be packaged in a gentle manner. An F2 and an F3 robot are used to form the trays. The F3 robot takes the flat-lying tray blanks from the magazine and transfers them to the F2 robot. This leads the blanks over gluing nozzles, Texte Alternatifpresses the blank through the folding unit and setting the finished erected carton tray on a Transmodul’s size part.

Two F44 robots then fill the cardboard trays with the products packaged in flow-wrap bags or, optionally, unpacked. There are two different packing formats for six- and twelve-packs. The twelve-packs contain two layers of six products each, whereas the six-packs are filled with only one layer consisting of six products. Two further F2 robots work together to close the flaps and their palletising is then done on subsequent machines.

Texte AlternatifThe system concept was designed so that the packaging of the products could either be changed to clamshells (thermoformed plastic trays) or plastic boxes (for supplying to restaurants). This flexibility enables the customer to save space and to quickly adapt to changing market requirements, without having to purchase a new machine every time. “This is especially important in the baked goods sector, where retailers need to offer something new practically every month to in order to survive against the competition,” explains Giorgio Calorio.

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