Case Study: Italian confectionery manufacturer Bonomi uses TLM packaging systems from Schubert
The Bonomi confectionery manufacturer is well known for its typical Italian products such as Sfogliatine and ladyfingers. The company packs different products and formats at its site in Roverè Veronese. When planning the acquisition of new packaging machines, the family-run business opted for 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 from Crailsheim is gentle product handling with customised robotic tools.
Bonomi, the confectionery manufacturer, produces Italian treats in various formats for a number of large supermarket chains. 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. And there are no larger manufacturers of ladyfingers found worldwide.
Schubert, the packaging machine manufacturer, and Bonomi had been in contact with each other regularly in the past, although no TLM packaging systems had been deployed there. Over the years, Bonomi remained in contact Schubert sales representatives and there had been discussions about an alternative to the existing top-loading machines that the company had been using. Renato Bonomi was actually quite satisfied with the existing competitive technology for packaging Sfogliatine (puff pastry with icing) and ladyfingers. But over time, these packaging systems proved to be insufficiently flexible in handling different product formats. “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.
Renato Bonomi and his son made the final decision following a visit to Crailsheim. “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 Antonino Lanza. “This assignment’s specific challenge was to package the flowpacks in different configurations: either lying flat, standing on the short side or standing on the long side. We solved this challenge with a combination of a pivoted product belt, well thought out tools and intelligent control.”
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. And here too, the investment is clearly paying off for the customer. Schubert can guarantee this by using vacuum cups that suck in the packs without exerting any pressure on the fragile contents.
A flexible product orientation
Bonomi’s TLM packaging systems pack flowpacks in different sizes of 135, 200, 400 and 500 grammes—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.
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 so 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 are the latest generation of TLM packaging systems—without an electrical cabinet. Efficiency, availability and the system’s use of identical parts were further increased. A visible sign of the elimination of the conventional electrical system is the narrower top part of the TLM machine frame. The number of electronic parts has been greatly reduced, leaving only a few components. At the same time, the operation and maintenance of the machine are easier than ever.
A big plus is the fact that the TLM 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 Renato Bonomi.
About Schubert Group
With unwavering resolve and a firm eye on the road ahead, Schubert focuses on the current and future requirements of its customers. The company is boldly charting its entirely independent course in terms of technology with its commitment to modular and intelligent TLM packaging lines. Its objective is to provide customers with future-proof solutions that are easy to use, are flexible in terms of format, perform extraordinarily well and exhibit excellent functional stability. At regular intervals the company unveils major leaps forward in innovation that offer customer benefits in new dimensions, thereby conquering new market segments with new technologies.
This family-owned group currently run by the family's second generation was established some 50 years ago and employs 1,100 people. Thanks to an atmosphere of mutual trust and a high degree of individual responsibility, the company has succeeded in developing its very own culture of innovation. The Schubert Group comprises German and international subsidiaries from the fields of IT, engineering, precision parts and packaging services.