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ISM & ProSweets 2024: Confectionery and snack packaging innovations take center stage

#ISM & ProSweets 2024: Confectionery and snack packaging innovations take center stage

Martin Sauter, sales director at Gerhard Schubert.
Martin Sauter, sales director at Gerhard Schubert.

31 Jan 2024 — The dual-hosted ISM & ProSweets trade fairs are hosting leading solutions providers in the snacks and sweets space, who are exhibiting the latest advancements in industrial scale equipment for customized food packaging solutions. Food Ingredients First reports live from the show floor in Cologne, Germany, speaking to Gerhard Schubert, LoeschPack and G. Mondini.

The suppliers share insights about their newest machines enabling high-speed continuous boxing equipment, plastic-reducing tray sealing technologies, space-saving capabilities and producer customizability for various sweet and savory finished products.

Preventing packaging line interruptions
German packaging machinery specialist Gerhard Schubert is exhibiting the TLM Comfort Feeder, a solution to keep packaging lines running without interruptions normally caused by blank magazines running out.

The Gerhard Schubert booth at ISM & ProSweets 2024 in Cologne, Germany.Gerhard Schubert at ISM & ProSweets 2024 in Cologne, Germany.By automatically replenishing supplies of packaging materials, the TLM Comfort Feeder allows operators to load a stack of flat packaging materials directly into the machine, which then efficiently separates and prepares them as boxes at a speed of 60 units per minute. This is designed to boost productivity while also optimizing material usage, leading to cost savings and a reduction in waste.

“In this exhibited machine, we receive 450 flow packs from an upstream process, in this case muesli bars, and we pack them in the count of eight and close the boxes subsequently,” Martin Sauter, sales director at Gerhard Schubert, tells Food Ingredients First.

“Our machinery is based on a flexible model design, meaning we don’t offer a standalone functionality. We are adaptive to the needs of the packaging task of individual customers. That’s the strength of our product and processes.”

Schubert’s new machine is a standout feature of its TLM Power Compact series, which is designed with a compact footprint, making it an ideal solution for businesses looking to save on operational floor space.

The company’s exhibit also featured a comprehensive range of packaging machines, including pick-and-place robots, flowrappers, casepackers and complete packaging lines. A highlight for snack and confectionery manufacturers is the ability to feed multiple product variants into Schubert’s packaging lines simultaneously, allowing for a diverse range of product assortments.

Additionally, the company’s “Herbie” driverless transport system is being showcased, offering automated versatility in production and logistics tasks.

Thomas Czioska, head of sales and marketing at LoeschPack.Thomas Czioska, head of sales and marketing at LoeschPack.Highlighting Schubert’s support of environmentally friendly practices, innovations such as Dotlock and a carton-monofilm hybrid solution — both glue-free — are being presented, showcasing reductions in plastic usage.

Schubert also offers a suite of supplementary services aimed at enhancing customer processes and sustainability. These include Schubert Packaging Perspectives for selecting sustainable packaging options, Schubert Consulting for process optimization and Schubert’s 4YOU Digital Services for data analysis to improve efficiency.

Flexible wrapping for bars and tablets
LoeschPack, a machinery manufacturer based in Germany’s Franconia region, is showcasing its latest advancements in packaging technology together with its sister company Hastamat.

A key highlight is the upgraded FHW-S horizontal flow wrapping machine, part of the F series, renowned for setting new standards in speed and flexibility for wrapping bars and tablets. This machine is the centerpiece of LoeschPack’s modular bar packaging line, designed for highly automated production systems.

“Whether it’s a cereal bar or a chocolate bar, all kinds of products can run on this machine. We always customize our equipment, looking at various factors — for instance, how sticky it is — and we optimize its layout to every customer. So our systems are always tailormade,” Thomas Czioska, head of sales and marketing at LoeschPack, tells us.

With capabilities to wrap up to 2,100 products per minute at speeds up to 205 film meters per minute, the FHW-S is adaptable to various packaging materials, formats and styles. It accommodates both classic and alternative materials, including plastic, paper-based materials and laminates, ensuring seamless material switching and efficient production with minimal waste.

Additionally, LoeschPack’s exhibit features the LOOP buffer and LOMATIC feeding and distribution systems, designed to optimize production efficiency and flow for large-scale lines handling confectionery products. These systems ensure precise and efficient feeding of products into packaging machines at high speeds.

LoeschPack also highlights its redesigned CMT cartoning system, a space-efficient solution capable of processing up to 1,000 products per minute. This system demonstrates versatile options for high-speed production lines arranged in a straight line, coming in at a right angle or using two lanes at once — ensuring easy format changes.

G. Mondini's Trave Sinfonia tray sealing system.G. Mondini is presenting its versatile Trave Sinfonia tray sealing system.Versatile tray sealing
G. Mondini, an Italian family-owned company founded 50 years ago, is exhibiting its latest advancements in tray sealing technology for packaging, developed as a full-line integration solution for food packaging. Dr. Giorgia Francini, head of innovation programs, speaks to us about how the brand tailors its machinery to the needs of plastic production, reduction or complete removal with paper substitutions.

“Today at ProSweets, we present Trave Sinfonia, which is our latest equipment innovation,” she highlights. “It is a fully integrated line based on the linear tracker system which is aimed to increase the overall equipment effectiveness of the line and provide automation and flexibility to our customers.”

The packaging equipment is designed to handle plastic, paper, fiber-based trays and aluminium. “In the last few years, a strong focus has been given on paper packaging, which we address with our paper sealing solution, which is a paper-based tray that can have different shapes and compartments,” notes Dr. Francini.

“Inside is a thin layer of plastic that can be sealed with a plastic or paper lid. This lowers the overall quantity of plastic by 80–90% when compared to a plastic tray,” she adds.

“Furthermore, this type of packaging has a lot of marketing advantages because you can print on the paper, making it customizable. The main advantage is that you remove the need for secondary packaging, meaning it can be placed on the shelf without the need of a label or additional overwrap to protect the packaging.”

G. Mondini offers solutions for plastic monomaterial, which is still very present across industry. “Depending on the customer’s journey on sustainability, we can propose different options. If the customer wants to stay within plastic, we have a technology called Downgauge, which allows us to use very thin plastic trays compared to the industry standard,” details Dr. Francini.

Aside from confectionery and snacking, G. Mondini is an active player across different food market categories including meat, dairy, coffee and pet food.

In other ISM and ProSweets packaging innovation highlights, Syntegon is showcasing its mechanical competencies developed for the confectionery industry — from kitchen, depositing and finishing technologies to packaging solutions. The company’s fully automated oiling drum Makat BC96 was unveiled for the first time at the show.

By Benjamin Ferrer

This feature is provided by Packaging Insights’s sister website, Food Ingredients First.

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