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Flexible automation solution for cardboard packaging from Schubert for new ZeroPiù Balocco biscuits

 

The long-established Balocco S.p.A. confectionery company based in Piedmont, Italy, has opted for sustainable FSC® cardboard boxes to package its new ZeroPiù Balocco biscuits. With the Multipacker from Schubert, the company has invested in a flexible packaging system for flowpacks and cartons that can process both paper and plastic. 

 

For three generations, Balocco has been dedicated to sweetening the lives of millions of consumers around the world. The Balocco family’s passion for sweets dates back to 1927, when Francesco Antonio opened his first confectionery shop in Fossano, located in the heart of Piedmont. Today, with production and logistics facilities covering 75,000 square metres, the company is the second largest player in the domestic market for breakfast biscuits and seasonal cakes such as Panettone or Pandoro for Christmas and Colomba for Easter.

In 2010, the company embarked on an ambitious investment plan with new technologies to improve its environmental performance. The Fossano site and the logistics centre in Trinità are equipped with photovoltaic systems that generate some of the electricity consumed, while the rest comes from other renewable sources. Now, the company aims to significantly reduce the use of plastic in biscuit packaging by replacing plastic flowpacks with recyclable paper packaging wherever possible. 

Schubert Balocco 22 09 3

Flexible sealing technology for both plastic and paper

Since August 2021, with the Schubert Multipacker consisting of a Flowpacker and Cartonpacker, Balocco has been taking advantage of a packaging solution that flexibly enables this changeover. The packaging machine’s flexibility was integrated into its design right from the word go: The sealing technology, product formats and packaging materials can all be changed over from the variants used to date to the most innovative solutions – and all with quick format changes. The rapid response time makes this packaging machine an exceptionally future-proof and cost-effective investment.

An ultrasonic longitudinal sealing unit and flying cross-sealing unit, with their constant sealing times accurate to the millisecond, seal the plastic films quickly and reliably. They also guarantee that paper-based films can be processed in the future with impeccable quality. 

 

Schubert Balocco 22 09 2

 

Square, round or oval

The Flowpacker is designed to handle different product formats with great flexibility. The fact that the biscuits are square, round and oval doesn’t pose a problem for the machine. And a programme change takes only a few minutes. The integrated image recognition system, consisting of three reflected-light scanners, not only detects the position and orientation of the products, but also ensures that only flawless products are packaged. In the event of delays on downstream equipment, the feeding of the biscuits can be buffered for four minutes to ensure that the packaging process runs as smoothly and quickly as possible. 

Twenty T4 robots guarantee outstanding performance and gentle picking of the products, which are then passed on to the two integrated Flowmoduls. The grippers were specifically developed for the customer’s diverse assortment of baked goods: They gather the biscuits into stacks, which are then placed into the Flowmodul’s feed chains. The system also boasts Schubert’s well-known flexibility when it comes to flowpack sizes, box formats and cartons. 

Downstream of the Flowpacker, a Cartonpacker takes over the packaging of the flowpacks into boxes. In six frames for erecting, filling and sealing, the automated process runs in sync with the upstream machines. Five pick & place robots pick up the flowpacks and stack them onto the Transmodul for pre-grouping, after which they are placed into the cartons and sealed. Alternatively, the Multipacker can erect open carton trays, fill them and then pack them directly into multipack flowpacks with the aid of the integrated Flowpacker. 

In addition to its high performance, the entire system excels with exceptionally compact design, which enables considerable space savings: The flow-wrapping machine saves up to 70 per cent space compared to conventional machine solutions. With the Multipacker, Balocco can now adapt much more flexibly and sustainably to the needs of consumers and retailers, and thereby benefit from new market opportunities and competitive advantages.

 

Schubert Balocco 22 09 4

 

About Gerhard Schubert GmbH
Gerhard Schubert GmbH is the globally recognised market leader in top-loading packaging machines (TLM). The family business from Crailsheim (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) relies on a combination of simple mechanics, intelligent control technology and high modularity for its digital, robot-based packaging machines. With this philosophy and its own culture of innovation, the company has been treading completely independent technological paths for over 50 years.

With its TLM technology, the machine manufacturer provides its customers with future-proof packaging machine solutions that are high-performance, easy to operate, flexible in terms of format conversion and stable in function. The TLM packaging machines package products of all types and industries – from food, confectionery, beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics to technical articles – into trays, cartons, cases, or flow-wrap bags.
Well-known brands such as Ferrero, Nestlé, Unilever and Roche rely on automation solutions from Schubert, as do numerous small, medium-sized and family-run companies. Founded in 1966, the group of companies, now managed by the second generation, employs 1,500 people.

Gerhard Schubert GmbH Verpackungsmaschinen
Industriegebiet Südost
Hofäckerstraße 7
74564 Crailsheim – Germany
Tel.: +49 7951 400-0
email: info@gerhard-schubert.de
www.schubert.group 

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