Packaging machine manufacturer Loesch will present its new combined line for the first time at ProSweets Cologne, set for Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Cologne, Germany.
In an era in which automation, hygiene and packaging sustainability are playing an increasingly crucial role, Loesch (Booth G030, Hall 10.1) is relying on an integrated, flexible, and comprehensive system solution.
Makers of premium chocolate bars demand perfect packaging and machinery with a high degree of automation, low personnel requirements, and a small footprint. The LTM-DUO model brings together these requirements and is supplemented by an additional, newly developed component – display cartoning at a separate station, the CMW cartoning module.
The flexible fold wrapping machine LTM-DUO packs more than 200 bars of chocolate per minute in a tightly-sealed primary wrap as well as an outer wrap with a premium look and feel. The machine is flexible in choice of format and packaging material: From tiny treats to 300-gram bars – as well as everything from organic film to mono and composite materials and aluminum foil – can be easily processed and wrapped tightly. The outer wrap of the chocolate bar is handled as a paper envelope from the stack or reel or as a cardboard envelope. The machine has achieved a market leading position for decades and has recently undergone an extensive facelift primarily focused on the control technology and operating structure.
Thanks to the new intuitive “easyMI” operating system implemented on an 18.5-inch touchscreen, machine operators and maintenance personnel can now operate the machines more easily and access extensive control and performance components. For example, the new startup wizard helps to start up the modules and set up the downstream production. Individual components, stations, and technologies can now be controlled as simple as a modern smartphone, and all important operating information is in view of the operator.
The improved usability is also manifested in the integration of the CMW cartoning module, ensuring that the entire line only requires one control system. Particular attention was also paid to fault detection and troubleshooting, allowing production to continue as quickly as possible after the system is halted.
“In recent decades, we have fully integrated the requirements of our international customers and subjected the LTM-DUO to continuous development as the most efficient machine on the chocolate bar market,” says Olaf Piepenbrock, managing partner of the company. “The zero-pressure accumulation product feed using smart belts, the wide range of formats, and the fast format changeover can now be extended to include an integrated module for display cartoning. With the combined line, a single machine operator can manage more than 200 sheets per minute, from processing all the way through to insertion into the sales carton.”
With the CMW cartoning module, 30 display cartons per minute are possible. A buffer is integrated between the primary packaging and cartoning stages to prevent product rejects in the event of downtime in one of the two components. Only one hot glue device and a controller with the new HMI are required for the entire line. This is having a positive impact on procurement costs and currently also on parts procurement.
In addition, the complete system can be operated by a single operator who can keep an eye on operating conditions at all times. The compact design of the line means that it requires considerably less space than similar system layouts, enabling significant cost savings compared to a configuration with two independent machines.
The hygiene concept was another key consideration during design of the new module: Consistent use of the cantilever-type design throughout the system, which makes it easily accessible for maintenance and cleaning, means that the drive area and the product contact areas are strictly separated. The CMW cartoning module is also available in a stand-alone version and can, for example, be operated in a layout with two upstream fold wrapping or flow wrapping machines. An upgrade kit will also be available in the future, making it easy to combine an older LTM-DUO with the new system.
“We also put together the appropriate package for existing systems,” Piepenbrock says. “Our customers are able to remain as flexible as possible on this basis. The first lines have already been installed. Our customers are thrilled and impressed by the compact and efficient packaging line.”