Prosweets 2022 – Efficiently & sustainably packaged chocolate

A world premiere in the packaging of chocolate: LoeschPack makes chocolate bar packaging faster and more compact than ever before

From initial wrapping to insertion in the display carton, all accomplished on just one consolidated and compact platform: From January 30 to February 2, 2022, packaging machine manufacturer Loesch will be presenting its new combined line to the public live and in person for the first time at Booth G030 of Hall 10.1 H031 at the ProSweets Cologne. In an era in which both automation and hygiene as well as the holistic sustainability of packaging are playing an increasingly crucial role, Loesch 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 successful 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 terms of choice of format and packaging material: From tiny treats to large 300-gram bars – as well as everything from organic film to mono and composite materials or aluminum foil – can be easily processed and, most importantly, 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 designed and created by a company with a preceding reputation, located in the Upper Franconia Region of Bavaria has achieved a market leading position for decades and has recently undergone an extensive facelift primarily focused on the control technology and operating structure.

New HMI simplifies operation

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.”

Compact layout due to integration of cartoning

With the newly developed 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, in this layout 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 thus 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. 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,” Piepenbrock says.