Gerhard Schubert’s new MD reveals latest equipment ranges
Neill Barston meets Marcel Kiessling, the new managing director of Gerhard Schubert to discuss its latest series of digital machinery and services including its Grips.World system making an impact at Interpack.
Having just taken up the role of managing director at Gerhard Schubert Marcel Kiessling enthused that its latest equipment unveiled at Interpack is set to offer some key technology breakthroughs.
As he explained, one of its main differentiators amid a competitive market has been an ability to draw complex packaging systems together in one solution.
Mr Kiessling, who has gained more than 25 years of senior industry experience including working previously for Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, explained the company had presented a broad range of innovative equipment at the show.
Describing the event as “a big success in all aspects,” he said visitors had been impressed with the company’s open and transparent booth design, with customers able to discuss applications across its complete product range.
He said: “We have increased the number of contacts at the show compared to the previous Interpack. Of special interest was the new Flowmodul wrapping technology integrated with a robotic picker line. We also had many visitors at our Grips.World area, where we presented the new digital platform.
“We believe in the integration of different packaging steps, both primary and secondary packaging for handling, footprint, and efficiency reasons.
“This is shown through examples such as our picker line for cookies, where we put the sandwich cookie with two layers and cream and put it on the chain and go into the flow wrapper.
“The wrapper is integrated into a packaging machine with one HMI (human-machine interface), and one control system. So we flow wrap the product, and from here we could easily go into the end packaging with a carton, placed into a box and even palletise it. This is about integrating secondary packaging and the primary step in one machine with one unified control. This is very important for the company, and one of the key directions we are taking and it is something that is only feasible with our modular technology.”
In terms of its stand-out products for Interpack, he believed its flowmodul flow wrapping component had attracted particular interest, adding that Schubert had become renowned for its automated packaging machines, with its picker lines and accompanying robotic systems proving successful.
According to the managing director, another of its major focuses had been in developing digital systems that brought together processes across its portfolio.
He added: “One of our main launches has been the digital web platform ‘Grips. World,’ that allows interface with our customers, suppliers and machines. We have showcased this interface at Interpack in which we collect machine data and performance information from those machines that is then channelled through a secure gateway. From there, it is filtered through data analytics that are then placed into a private viewing gallery.
“This is a hands-on, very specific application, where digitisation and networking have benefits for their customers. For example, let’s say you are a head of engineering of a multi-national producer of cookies – and you have three locations, one in Charlotte, Dusseldorf and one in Birmingham. You are interested to know how they are running and performing, so using this system you can see in all three locations at what capacity machines are running at any one site. So you can now forecast if production targets will be made for any one day.
“In addition, you can also see more information on machines that gives the machine data, so you can look and see if there have been any machine failures.
“You can also see when the next scheduled maintenance is – this is very significant because transparency helps to keep your performance levels at their peak and allows predicted maintenance,” added Mr Kiessling.
He explained that another influential development had been achieved in ordering new parts through its online Grips.World system – which could now integrate with 3D printing techniques to produce replacement components more efficiently and quickly than conventional methods.
Packaging lines from a single source
As the Schubert team explained, manufacturers prefer to cover their entire packaging process – from primary to secondary packaging and to palletising – with a completely ‘closed’ solution.
Batch sizes are becoming smaller and manufacturers’ markets in the most varied sectors are becoming increasingly segmented. With the Schubert machines’ modular design working seamlessly in combination with the Transmodul, the company can directly link packaging processes – from product infeed through to final packaging – within a combined compact system.
Schubert has a large portfolio of system components to supply numerous primary packaging processes. Alternatively, technologies available on the market can also be efficiently integrated into the TLM systems.
The machines’ modular design and flexibility offer customers more efficient, space-saving, simple and economical solutions.
This is made possible, for the most part, by the Transmodul, which is Schubert’s mobile transport robot. Thanks to the Transmodul, the product and packaging material are always under control from the infeed right through to the pallet. The result is outstanding reliability of the entire packaging process – nothing is left to chance and many conventionally required mechanical interfaces are no longer needed.
The Transmodul also enables the bridging of interfaces between primary and secondary packaging – as a key technology, it also connects the packing functions of different machine manufacturers.