Niederegger marzipan extends its packaging systems with key assistance from Gerhard Schubert
Finding the right packaging solutions presents businesses with a number of challenges, as German-based Niederegger marzipan business explains, after seeking a packaging machinery solution for its operations from Gerhard Schubert
For handling its well-established traditional confectionery ranges, the company from Lübeck needed a particularly compact line with simple format changes in order to handle its marzipan lines.
As the business noted, after considerable research its series of pralines are now packed on a TLM machine from Crailsheim-based Gerhard Schubert, with the company’s lightline series proving a strong fit for its product ranges.
The Lübeck-based company, which has over 200 years of history produces marzipan in all conceivable forms, high-quality nougat products and truffle fillings in crisp chocolate. Based in the Hanseatic city, Café Niederegger is considered one of the top locations for pralines and cakes, coffee and tea. But the majority of the specialities are sold in the trade – above all the small marzipan pralines referred to as the “classics” with the characteristic red, white and gold packaging.
Global demand requires a high degree of automation in packaging. To achieve this, Niederegger has long relied on Gerhard Schubert, the market leader in top-loading packaging machines. For example, its classic series has been packed in elegant chocolate boxes on a TLM packaging line for a number of years.
But the specialty manufacturer lacked packaging in shipping cartons as the last step in automation – until recently. For about a year now, another TLM packaging machine from Schubert has also been used to pack the folding boxes into cartons, preparing them for safe travel to marzipan connoisseurs around the world.
So much taste in a small space
Confined space is a typical feature of long-established production sites. At Niederegger, too, it is noticeable that no generously planned greenfield production was created here, but that existing areas were repeatedly expanded and converted over the decades. The challenge for the new TLM system was therefore to pack a lot of flavour in a small space.
“When we saw the space available for the machine, it was immediately clear to us that an extremely compact design was required,” recalls Werner Schäfauer, Sales Account Manager at Schubert. As traditional as Niederegger’s classics are, the packaging units are just as varied: Processing six different formats of products and packaging on one line was the challenge Schubert was given.
“After some deliberation, we decided to design the first machine in our new lightline machine series for this order,” explains Werner Schäfauer.
This is how the robot-based Schubert lightline Cartonpacker was developed – with the aim of offering a high-quality TLM machine for standard packaging tasks that can erect, fill and seal cartons in a minimum of space. The entire lightline series comprises three machine types: the Cartonpacker, the Flowpacker and the Pickerline. Each machine type is based on preconfigured TLM modules.
At Niederegger, the process continues, with folding cartons processing to the new machine in one lane, coming directly from the packaging line. Upon entering the machine, a grouping chain equipped with quick-change format pockets brings the cartons into a vertical orientation. The number of chocolate boxes required, according to the format, are pushed out of the grouping chain by a cross pusher and onto a grouping table that then closes up the gaps between the cartons.
An F2 robot then picks up the formation and places it into the box. A high degree of precision is ensured with the aid of a carton centering system, which eliminates the risk of jamming while loading. From there, they’re packed into folding cartons, and since its installation in December 2018, the lightline Cartonpacker is considered to have been doing a notably strong job for the popular marzipan producer.
For Kai Röblitz, operations manager at Niederegger, the investment in the new Schubert machine has paid off, : “The compact lightline Cartonpacker is an ideal addition to our automated processes. We can now further increase our production output. Other production managers have drawn a similar conclusion since the market launch: More than 30 lightline machines are already in use worldwide.