Schubert fills and packs 160 croissants a minute in single fully-automated system

Schubert fills and packs 160 croissants a minute in single fully-automated system

01 Nov 2018 --- Gerhard Schubert has aided Italian, family-owned company, San Giorgio Dolce & Salato, in its ambitions to be the first manufacturer to introduce pre-baked, filled and frozen croissants to the gastronomic market, with a purpose-built automated processing system. Schubert’s system gently injects different fillings into the baked goods and efficiently combines this operation with the final packaging process via sophisticated pick-and-place robots attached with gentle grippers. Thanks to this automation solution, San Giorgio Dolce & Salato can fill and package 160 croissants per minute.

Pick-and-place robots with gentle grippers
The system that Schubert developed for the customer consists of four sub-machines. Within the system, three pick-and-place robots and two F2 robots take over the handling of the croissants. This begins immediately after baking: the baked goods are moved from the oven to the first machine for pre-grouping.

There, a 2D image recognition system first checks the position of the products and transmits the data to the F4 robots at the next station. Controlled by two servomotors, these can execute any movements in a two-dimensional working field.

Since the croissants are delicate baked goods and vary in height, density and consistency, the robot needs to handle them carefully. This is ensured by four grippers and flexible damping on the robot tools, which do not dent or damage the soft and still warm products.

The picker arms grasp the croissants one at a time and place them on the Transmoduls in twelve rows with even spacing. These transport robots bring the croissants to the injection station, where a component fills them with jam, chocolate or vanilla cream. A robot positions the croissants, and the component with twelve injection needles approaches and punctures the croissants.

Flexibility is required here as well: the needles are adjustable in height, and it is also possible to determine how deep they need to inject the filling into the baked goods. Thanks to plug-in connections, the injection system can be completely removed from the main system to enable cleaning and conversion to other fillings.

Once the croissants have been filled, F2 robots place them in groups of twelve on the belt. Then they go through a froster. In the final step, the deep-frozen products are packed in flow-wrap bags either individually or in packs of three, or in cartons at the next Schubert system.

Click to Enlarge
The spring-loaded grippers carefully place the croissants onto the Transmodul in a registered
location so​​​​​​ they do not slip while being filled by the needle. To compensate
for any fluctuations, the needles can be adjusted in height and depth.

Within a short time, Sabato Bruno transformed a small bakery in Castel San Giorgio near Salerno into a successful 150-strong company in the 1980s, offering a wide range of baked goods for the food service sector. The family-run company brought pre-baked croissants for the restaurant trade to the Italian market. The idea behind the innovation was to combine great taste with the fast pace of modern life. The pre-baked dough pieces are handy for the baristas, who can quickly bake the frozen croissants and serve them to their customers. They not only save considerable time in preparation but also benefit from a very high-quality product with great taste.

High-quality, integrative and scalable technology
The new, fully automated system, which could efficiently fill and package the baked goods while handling the products extremely gently, was necessary to bring the innovation to the food market. At the Ipack-Ima 2015 trade fair, San Giorgio Dolce & Salato looked into possible technologies and became aware of the Schubert company and its products.

During the bidding phase, the packaging specialist impressed the Italian manufacturer with its professional project support. Right from the beginning, the Schubert experts focused on the product’s special features. One challenge was to integrate an injection station from machine manufacturer Canol into the system’s design.

With this in mind, Schubert’s Sales and Project Manager, Antonino Lanza, worked closely with Canol. The result is an injector that is precisely matched to Schubert’s robot-based technology. Additionally, the customer was impressed with the gentle, safe gripping technology and the characteristic flexibility of Schubert machines.

Click to Enlarge
The Schubert system can fill and pack 160 croissants a minute.

This makes it possible for the machine to inject different fillings into the croissants as well as other baked goods. In addition to the technological benefits, the trusting collaboration that was in place from the start – between two family businesses – was also important to the customer.

Flexibility for the future
Thanks to this automation solution, San Giorgio Dolce & Salato can fill and package 160 croissants per minute. This efficient combination of injection and final packaging process can be of great benefit to the Italian company, as is the flexibility that enables different baked goods to be filled and packaged in the same system and/or in the same manner.

San Giorgio Dolce & Salato is therefore able to expand its range of pre-baked pastries as needed. This example clearly shows that state-of-the-art production and packaging facilities can be a key success factor in the further growth of family businesses such as San Giorgio Dolce & Salato.

In other Schubert news, the German machinery company recently launched the new Lightline series consisting of The CartonPacker, The Flowpacker and The Pickerline. The preconfigured machine range boasts compact design, targeting customers looking for improved efficiency in automated food and beverage package processing involving reduced formats and packaging variants. PackagingInsights spoke with Marcel Kiessling, Managing Director Sales and Service for Schubert, on the show floor. Read about it here and watch the video here.

Edited by Joshua Poole

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com


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