Crailsheim, Germany — Packaging machinery manufacturer Gerhard Schubert GmbH is addressing what it says is the packaging industry’s current challenge of launching new formats at ever shorter intervals with machines that use state-of-the-art technology to enable fast format changes and deliver error-free production results.
To meet the demand for higher performance in a small space or more mobility in product handling, the company says its new pick & place T4 and T5 robots, based on the Delta robot type, have a compact rectangular working area. Up to six of the new four-axis T4 robots can work simultaneously in a single TLM frame. The T5 variant offers a different option with a fifth axis with which products can be pivoted and tilted.
The company is also unveiling its program to offer a virtual parts warehouse with 3D printing on demand. Noting electronic design data can be retrieved “on demand” in seconds anywhere in the world, the Schubert is now making this access to tested and certified print data possible through a the new part streaming platform from its subsidiary Schubert Additive Solutions GmbH.
The company says the virtual warehouse is fast, reliable and economical, and represents a major step towards secure, flexible production, with parts available everywhere, eliminating long waiting and delivery times. In addition to simple spare and wear parts, a wide variety of 3D format parts for robot tools can be printed via the part streaming platform, according to Schubert.
One of the most secure data connections between the customer’s printer and the new platform is provided by the GS.Gate industrial gateway from Schubert. The digital gateway also opens up new options for even more fail-safe and economical production via specifically recorded machine data, the company notes. A GS.Gate is integrated as an industrial gateway in every new TLM system, according to Schubert, allowing for detailed evaluations of system productivity to be viewed either on the GRIPS.world customer platform or on the machine operating terminal. From this analysis, potentials and possibilities can then be derived as to how the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) ratio of the line and therefore the added value can be improved.
Cooperative robots (cobots), the company says, represent the next level of automation as they operate without a safety cage, allowing packaging processes of small batch sizes to be automated and significantly optimized. The company notes it is currently is developing a comprehensive system for its new cobot modules.
In other news, the company has formed Schubert Business Development GmbH, an independent company headed by shareholding partners Ralf and Gerald Schubert along with Peter Gabriel, who will manage the company alongside Gerald Schubert. The new company aims to identify market trends and opportunities, and promote and develop innovation for various industries, as well as pursuing partnerships and equity investments with companies in the packaging sector.
“We will develop new business models with existing partners in the packaging industry and explore entirely new approaches to diversify our current business in the packaging industry,” explains Gerald Schubert. “Strategic collaborations with partners will be taken into consideration as well as investments in or acquisitions of start-up companies.”
According to Gabriel, the approach is clearly “more than a think tank for modern production-oriented companies.” Schubert Business Development will support and promote start-ups both with ideas and financial backing.
“Of course, we are also further expanding possibilities for diversification in the packaging field,” says Gerald Schubert.”There are still many opportunities here for investment in various segments of the packaging industry, in technology as well as in clever minds and engineering services.”