Schubert’s automation solutions from baking to packaging for bakery products

10 August 20226 min reading

Once the oven is running, baked goods need to be packaged quickly after cooling without slowing down the flow of the production line. With this in mind, manual packaging processes can quickly reach their limits. With the help of its versatile and highly advanced pick & place technology, packaging machine manufacturer Schubert can provide custom-fit automation solutions to large bakery operations as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. The robot-assisted packaging machines are a future-proof investment thanks to their flexibility in terms of product and packaging formats, which includes the possibility to use more environmentally friendly packaging materials.

Bärbel Beyhl
Gerhard Schubert GmbH

With automated packaging systems, baked goods manufacturers have to be certain that the sensitive products are not only packed quickly, but also very carefully. Thanks to the use of robotics, new standards in terms of production reliability and quality can be achieved in the packaging process. Ultimately, improved efficiency, speed and flexibility are also reflected in higher profitability. Baked goods manufacturers can now produce more cost-effectively, expand their production and product range flexibly, while asserting their position in the market. 

Schubert’s state-of-the-art pick & place robots are well known for performing this demanding task reliably and efficiently. The image recognition system developed by the Crailsheim-based family business ensures a precisely targeted grip, while the robot tools specifically engineered for each product ensure that neither soft croissants nor fragile pieces of cake are damaged. The highly advanced pick & place technology, in conjunction with Schubert image processing, also ensures that only flawless products make it into the packaging and to the customers. 

The modular system makes Schubert packaging machines extremely easy to expand. This approach brings more flexibility to the machine configuration and to the entire packaging process. This applies not only to automation with pick & place, but also to Schubert’s flow-wrapping machines. With the Flowpacker, the packaging machine manufacturer offers an integrated machine solution that enables an exceptionally high degree of flexibility. This technology fully integrates packaging in flowpacks into the packaging line and also enables the use of recyclable flowpack films through the various sealing processes. Feeding to the Flowmodul unit is also solved with pick & place robots. And this is why the compact flow-wrapping machine is especially interesting for companies with limited space. 

Automation with a small footprint

An Alsatian manufacturer with a century-old tradition also exploits these advantages. The company benefits not only from the Flowpacker’s flexibility in handling different formats, but also from the ability to form and seal different films. This is especially important with regard to more sustainable plastic films made from monomaterials or paper-based films. Because the baked goods sector is also increasingly adapting to the demands of consumers, retailers and politicians to package their products in a more environmentally compatible manner. This is how even small and medium-sized enterprises can position themselves for the future and master current and upcoming challenges with the help of automation. 

This is impressively demonstrated by the Alsatian producer. Due to the company’s wide range of products, a true multi-talent was required that could handle different types of packaging through to sustainable solutions. Specifically, the bakery wanted to be able to process both plastic and paper-based films, trays made of cardboard and plastic as well as U-boards made of cardboard. Also called for was the gentle packaging of a wide variety of biscuit shapes, directly after the production process, via quality control and packaging into flowpacks with and without trays, all the way through to sealing. Since its installation in June 2020, the flow-wrapping machine has taken over all steps of the packaging process in a small space.

Linzer squares and similar products gently packaged

Reliable quality control combined with gentle handling is very well received by baked goods manufacturers. In addition to taste, the presentation of sweet works of art, such as those from Guschlbauer, is also important. For the safe and efficient packaging of its Linzer Schnittten, Linzer Kipferl, Punschwürfel and many other Austrian baked goods, Guschlbauer has long relied on packaging machines from Schubert. In 2019, the company commissioned another system from the specialist from Crailsheim adding a robot-assisted picker line to its existing equipment. It safely packs the assortment of numerous biscuit varieties in extremely lightweight plastic trays.