High Performance With A Small Footprint
Friday, November 29th, 2019
Dutch delicacy manufacturer, Van Wijngaarden, opts for compact TLM technology with automatically adjustable robotic tools for high performance.
Van Wijngaarden, based in the Netherlands, is a market leader in the mayonnaise segment. In addition to its nationally renowned Zaanse mayonnaise, the family-run company offers a wide range of sauces, ketchups and dressings. The spicy sauces are filled into jars, PET cups and bottles as well as into squeeze tubes.
The manufacturer supplies its products to the retail trade and to customers in the food service sector. Van Wijngaarden needs different packaging formats for its broad customer portfolio. A few years ago, the company’s continued success made it necessary to automate the packaging process. For its new machine, Van Wijngaarden has opted for TLM technology from Schubert for the second time.
Format Variety Automatically Packed
The new packaging machine was required to pack 15 different packaging formats and 13 different products into cartons and trays—a task that Schubert was able to accomplish without any problems thanks to its flexible TLM technology. Georg Koutsogiannis, Project Manager and Sales Account Manager Benelux, and his team accompanied the customer right from the beginning during the planning and implementation of the project.
In addition to flexibility in terms of formats and products, a small footprint and quick changeover times were decisive for the customer. As a result, Van Wijngaarden received a high performance compact packaging system with a high degree of automation and flexibility. The entire system requires only 7 x 4 metres of space and needs only one operator.
On the new packaging line, jars and PET cups and bottles with mayonnaise and salad dressing are packed into cartons. The three modules combine case packers as well as tray packers. The entire packaging process takes place fully automatically—from erecting and filling the cartons to closing and transporting the filled end packages.
Adjustable Robot Tools
In order to be able to handle such a wide range of products with different packaging formats on a single machine, frequent format changes are unavoidable. With conventional technologies, a tool change would lead to expensive production interruptions. But for the Van Wijngaarden system, Schubert engineers developed an automated solution that does not require the replacement of robotic tools: a new integrated, inductive servo technology on the robot tool enables fully automatic tool adjustment. Format changes can be made in 10 to 15 minutes.
The automated format changeover virtually eliminates human error, since possible maladjustments and downtimes cannot occur in the first place. The high performance servo technology also contributes to the high efficiency of the solution with its short start-up curve and fast commissioning. All production data is stored in the system so that the delicacy manufacturer can begin production quickly and smoothly even in the event of short-term customer orders. This allows the tool settings for the different formats to be called up immediately.
Flexible Formats And Packaging Processes
For final packaging, the product formations are first arranged on the grouping table. The 250 to 1,000 millilitre containers are then gripped by an F2 robot and placed in layers into boxes of 6 or 12. This high performance robot tool is equipped with flexible servo technology and can be adjusted fully automatically. Irrespective of whether 6-packs are packed into the 2 x 3 variant or 12-packs into the 3 x 4 variant, the system achieves an output of 150 products per minute. A total of 25 or 12.5 full cartons per minute come off the conveyor belt.
Instead of pre-glued RSC cartons, which require more storage space and would therefore entail higher costs, Van Wijngaarden can use carton blanks in the TLM line. In the erecting machine, a robot removes the flat carton blanks from the magazine, glues them and erects them. The machine has an additional magazine with an F3 robot to be able to seal cartons with a separate cover on request. Conversely, the products can be packaged as shrink-wrapped packs into the trays and cartons. Further carton formats can be added to the range at any time.
Ready For The Future
By being able to produce additional carton and product formats, Van Wijngaarden is able to respond quickly to market demands from its customers and benefit from a future-proof investment.
“In addition to our gut feeling, the objective figures also speak for the machine: high savings through fast changeover times and a high degree of flexibility ensure that the purchase quickly pays off for us,” says Jeffrey van der Laan, Project Manager at Van Wijngaarden, summarising the advantages of the new system.
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