Maximum flexibility in flowpack packaging
At last month's ProSweets exhibition, German packaging specialist Schubert presented its latest development in TLM technology – the Flowmodul.
“Several current orders, combined with the many Flowmoduls already installed, proves that we correctly identified and understood our customers’ needs with our flow-wrapping component,” says Ralf Schubert, managing director of Gerhard Schubert. “At the fair, the trade visitors' interest in this innovation was extremely high.”
The flow-wrapping component, which is fully integrated into the TLM picker line, has successfully established itself in the market since its launch in 2016. It packs many different types of products such as candy bars, biscuits, cakes, 3D chocolate figures, yoghurt cups, ice cream, puff pastry and confectionery waffles.
The combination of F4 pick-and-place robots, 3D image recognition and one or two flow-wrapping components within a TLM system are what make this system so successful, the company believes. It saves space and, thanks to short changeover times, enables the efficient handling of small batch sizes and a large variety of products. 3D image recognition ensures that the robots only pick up flawless products and place them in the flow-wrapping component’s feed chain.
3D means that not only the rotational position, shape and surface of the products to be packaged are detected, but also their height, which for many products, including sandwich biscuits – as demonstrated at ProSweets – is an important quality criterion. An infeed chain speed of 60 metres per minute, fully automatic flight carrier changing with exchangeable cassettes for further formats, and format changeovers within one to ten minutes ensure exceptional system performance and low downtimes.
With the latest Flowmodul model, Schubert has further simplified accessibility for maintenance and cleaning work, and made the suspension of the film rolls more ergonomic. This makes the Flowmodul even more user-friendly and more efficient for technicians and machine operators. Schubert is currently working on a new sealing technology which will also enable the use of heat-sealing film in the future, even for sensitive products such as chocolate.