Whittaker's is not a typical Schubert customer. The relationship between the Whittaker and Schubert families has been developing for over two decades. It all began during a visit to the Schubert trade fair stand during the Interpack show in 1990. Visionaries Brian and Andrew Whittaker were thrilled with Schubert SNC-F2 robots and recognised the future potential of flexible packaging technology. Ever since, they have regularly invested in Schubert packaging technology. Today, the successful New Zealand company uses Schubert lines spanning multiple generations. According to Brian Whittaker, Schubert lines first commissioned over 20 years ago are still running three shifts per day and have paid for themselves many times over. Besides the very low life-cycle costs, key elements such as high efficiency and size flexibility have been decisive.
Whittaker's latest jewel is a compact TLM packaging line for cartoning and palletizing wrapped and sleeved chocolate bars. TLM-F44 robots are used to group the chocolates. As a result the high-quality products are not driven into grouping chains at high speed and thus physically stressed, rather they are gently placed one on top of another one at a time to form stacks, which are then placed in Transmodule size parts. Quality control by the Schubert scanner is fundamental for the high quality demands placed on the product packaging. In addition to detecting the position and rotary orientation of the individual products, what's arguably the world's current best scanner also provides valuable information on the products. Only products of perfect quality are packaged. This reduces quality complaints and increases line efficiency, as defective products could also cause machine faults.
The size conversion for grouping is carried out at the push of a button to select the size. If the basic dimensions of the products change, the Transmodule plates are exchanged. Erection of the wraparound blank is carried out in a Schubert standard TLM erecting machine. In a second sub-machine, the product stacks which have been formed are transferred from the Transmodule into the erected blank by a TLM-F2 robot. The sub-machine for closing the carton blanks also handles the function of transferring the finished package from the Transmodule to the discharge belt. This belt brings the package to the Schubert TLM palletizer in the next room. We at Schubert are proud to have made a small contribution to the success story that is the Whittaker's family business and are looking forward to providing additional installations to one of the most beautiful countries on the planet.
Information on output and packaging variety: 200 and 250g chocolate bars of up to six different thicknesses (the length and width stay the same) are inserted into five different one-piece blanks (wrap-around) horizontally upright or four different twopiece blanks (tray and lid) vertically upright. The line handles 240 cooking chocolate bars per minute, i.e. 20 cartons (primary packaging) per minute or three pallets per hour. The maximum pallet height is 2,115 mm, or 522 primary cartons per pallet.