When the manufacturer of cosmetics and hygiene products, Violeta, acquired the biscuit producer, Lasta, Schubert, a German manufacturer of packaging machines, supported it with its line technology for sweet bakery products and also with its expertise in the manufacture of packaging.
Violeta has a great knowledge in the production of napkins and detergents, floor cleaners and diapers, feminine hygiene products and shampoo, but cookies and wafers were a new territory for all her employees. There was also another problem: The acquisition of old equipment and production processes was not an option for Violeta. Corluka and Miloš wanted state-of-the-art equipment that would ensure that Lasta could be restarted in the best possible conditions.
Violet biscuits and wafers are packed quickly and efficiently with a Schubert line consisting of three machines.
To meet these requirements, knowledge was needed for the production processes and for the packaging of baked goods. Violeta’s management searched for the most suitable manufacturer and supplier for several years and they found what they were looking for in Schubert “because Schubert has a great technological advantage to offer”.
These are two types of bakery products: filled cookie rolls and filled hollow wafers, of different flavors such as fig or chocolate. Violeta wanted a Schubert packaging that could guarantee great flexibility in the processing of different bakery products, rapid format changes, as well as high throughput and the handling of large quantities, capabilities that have proven their effectiveness in the production of cosmetics and hygiene products. In addition, the packaging line had to offer great mechanical stability to allow a long shelf life even with intensive use. Finally, the personnel situation also influenced the specifications: Unqualified operators had to be able to operate the line with the same reliability as qualified personnel.
In practice, initially a variety of display boxes, cardboard trays and flowpacks were needed, both single and multi-pack, which had to be as sustainable as possible. In addition to the new display boxes, the packaging development department also created a sustainable design for the cardboard trays with spacers. Even for flowpacks, Schubert managed to make paper-based packaging material possible thanks to its flexible sealing technologies in the flowpack packaging machine: single-package flowpacks consist of a cold-sealed composite film, multi-package flowpacks of paper-based film also cold-sealed. As for the equipment, three robotic machines were supplied: a flowpack packaging machine, a cartoning machine and a packing machine.
Violeta produces filled cookie rolls and filled hollow wafers of different flavors, which are packaged in bags or flowpacks.
”I was impressed by the professionalism of the team; their performance and commitment were exceptional,” says Dirk Andrich. The fact that the implementation was a resounding success is reflected in the spectacle that visitors to the Lasta factory witness today. From the installation and commissioning of the Schubert machines, the biscuit rolls and wafers pass from two ovens to the flowpack packaging machine. In a countercurrent process, the pick & place robots place the baked sweets on cardboard trays, which are then packed in multipack flowpacks made of paper film. All packaging units pass through a control scale on the way from the flowpack packaging machine to the cartoning machine. Only after passing this important quality control step, the cartoner packs the individual flowpacks or multipacks into display boxes. The leftover product from the flowpack packaging machine is repackaged in an additional bag packaging machine. Finally, the Schubert packing machine, as the last station, is responsible for packing the bags in display cartons with lids.
Since Violeta had initially planned to use plastic trays, the flowpack packaging machine was originally designed to unstack the trays. It was only when the decision was made in favour of sustainable cardboard trays that the tray formation was subsequently integrated into the system. The Schubert design team once again demonstrated the advantages of the modular and flexible design of the company’s packaging machines: The result is a production of up to 520 products per minute in four different formats.
The Schubert packing machine fills display cardboard boxes and then closes them with lids.
The packaging machine manufacturer took the opportunity to explore the limits of paper-based sheet processing and achieved a significant increase: Instead of the previous 20, up to 44 meters per minute can be reached without loss of quality in the packaging. ”Thanks to testing and optimization, we have been able to overcome an earlier technical barrier,” confirms Dirk Andrich. The bag packing machine was also modified to be able to fully cover the maximum throughput of the ovens even without the flowpack packing machine: thanks to a new formatting tool, the Schubert designers were able to increase the throughput from 80 bags per minute to a maximum of 110 bags (from 2023). The additional performance in all packaging processes is an ideal platform for Lasta to take on eventual production expansions.
“Schubert has a great technological advantage and superior mechanical engineering. The company is an exceptionally reliable partner”” says Director Ante Miloš and chief engineer Ivan Brnadic. Together with the project director, Marija Tolic, they are particularly pleased that the line is not only powerful, but can also be operated by anyone thanks to the intuitive HMIs and the clever design of the line.
Since it is planned to increase production, the Schubert line currently occupies only half of Lasta’s warehouse: Another oven will be built, including a new packaging line. Everything indicates that the site will offer even more potential, but one thing is for sure: idle lines and empty corridors will not be seen again after this successful relaunch.