The family-owned firm is known for its award-winning ‘Almond Thins’ and was looking for a gentle handling packaging machine for the wafer-thin butter biscuit with almond flakes because they are so fragile.
Three F4 robots
Georg Koutsogiannis, project manager, Gerhard Schubert, said the Belgian biscuit specialist manufactures its products in a 16m² plant in Oostkamp, approximately 5km from Bruges.
“An essential requirement was a precise packaging unit, capable of handling the products with great care, and also be a top performer. The unit also had to be compact,” he said.
“The available space at the Belgian production plant precisely defined the specifications for the height and length of the packaging machine.”
Schubert then recommended its TLM packaging machine without an electrical cabinet and the installation of three F4 robots within a single frame.
The four TLM sub-machines pack the biscuits in three tray formats. By not having an electrical cabinet it reduces maintenance costs. Format changes can be completed within 10 to 15 minutes.
The way the packaging system work sis the first sub-machine, F3 robots unstack the plastic trays from the magazine and place them on a conveyor belt transporting them to the next sub-machine.
There, pick-and-place robots load the trays with the baked goods. The products are packaged in three tray formats with three to four compartments.
Vacuum suction pad
Koutsogiannis said the biscuits are separated by a spreading belt before the scanner determines their precise position on the belt.
The data from the position on the belt controls nine F4 robots positioned in a single row. This ensures the pick-and-place robots pick up the individual products precisely at the center, with a vacuum suction pad and place them gently into trays.
Schubert is hoping the successful installation of the packaging machine will lead to a long-term partnership with Destrooper-Olivier, run by second-generation family member Bert Destrooper.
As well as its “Belgian Butter” brand, the company bakes waffles and biscuits in more than 60 countries around the world.