Case-Study: Gently Handling Delicate Confectionery

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

In looking for a packaging solution for their products, Italian confectionery manufacturer Bonomi found the TLM packaging systems from Schubert to fit their needs. By Ralf Schubert, Managing Director, Gerhard Schubert GmbH

Bonomi, a confectionery manufacturer, produces typical Italian products such as Sfogliatine (puff pastry with icing) and ladyfingers for a number of large supermarket chains. It packs different products and formats at its site in Roverè Veronese, Verona, Italy. Whether macaroons to be enjoyed with cappuccino, ladyfingers for Tiramisu or puff pastries to savour, the company's products bring the “dolce vita” to life—far beyond the country's borders.


A Need For Versatility


Renato Bonomi was actually quite satisfied with the existing competitive technology for packaging Sfogliatine and ladyfingers. But over time, these packaging systems proved to be insufficiently flexible in handling different product formats. When planning the acquisition of new packaging machines, they therefore turned to packaging machine manufacturer for a solution.

The family-run business opted for packaging manufacturer Schubert’s flexible TLM technology, which allows different products to be packaged using a single machine taking up very little space. A unique feature of the technology is its gentle product handling with customised robotic tools.

“We were able to convince the customer that the combination of F44 pre-grouping with the Transmodul conveying technology represents overall a more compact, more accessible and especially a more flexible solution,” says Antonino Lanza, who supervised the project as Schubert sales engineer.

“The customer immediately understood the advantages of the TLM technology whereby standard components, simple mechanics and an intelligent control system are brought together. And since Bonomi can also benefit from the investment over the long term, he finally decided on our technology and ordered several identically built systems,” remembers Mr Lanza.

The assignment’s specific challenge was to package the flowpacks in different configurations: lying flat, standing on the short side or standing on the long side. Schubert solved this challenge with a combination of a pivoted product belt, well thought out tools and intelligent control, informed Mr Lanza.

Puff pastry and ladyfingers are by nature very delicate. With this in mind, along with high-level system flexibility, gentle product handling was also decisive for the confectioner. Ultimately, damaged goods are synonymous with financial loss. The investment further pays off as it guarantees undamaged goods; the vacuum cups used that suck in the packs do not exert any pressure on the fragile contents.


A Flexible Product Orientation


The packaging systems solutions pack flowpacks in different sizes of 135, 200, 400 and 500g—either in display cartons or in pre-glued RSC cartons. The flowpacks can be grouped into the display cartons in different orientations—and three sub-machines enable this. “Quick and easy format changing was very important to us. Overall, the machine is easy to operate and we need only one employee at the packaging system,” says Renato Bonomi, owner of Bonomi .


A Proven Packaging Process


On the product infeed conveyor, a Schubert 3D scanner detects the position of the packages and passes this information on to the two F4 robots, that pick up the products in the first sub-machine and pre-group them on the belt.

In the next step, a key advantage is the ability to pivot the product conveyor belt. If products are packed standing, the product belt is oriented such that an F2 filling robot can pick up the formations in the correct orientation and place them in the cartons. The erection of the base section is carried out in interaction between an F3 robot and an F2 robot.

In the third sub-machine, an F2 robot removes the boxes for the cover from the magazine and closes the open cartons. In this way, the system achieves an output of up to 115 packages per minute.

Reduced Mechanical Parts


These machines also come without an electrical cabinet—the number of electronic parts has been greatly reduced, leaving only the few essential components. At the same time, efficiency, availability and the system’s use of identical parts are further increased, and the operation and maintenance of the machine are easier than ever.

A big plus is the fact that the solution’s modules can be easily combined or replaced. With Schubert systems, extensions are intrinsic to the system’s design concept. “In the future, thanks to the modular design of Schubert machines, we will be able to integrate further modules to achieve higher volumes or more formats at any time,” confirms Mr Bonomi.