The family-owned company, which has its HQ in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, specializes in small-format chocolate decorations for industrial processing, ice cream, cereal and bakeries.
Thin chocolate flakes
It produces more than 3,000 chocolate décor variations including flakes, drops, the classic ‘Ulmer Borke’ and fills 25 g to 150 g of product into side-gusseted or flat bags, which are stored in folding cartons and a tray with a hood.
Justus Ulmer, junior MD, Ulmer Schokoladen, said after 20 years the lifecycle of its existing line, also by Bosch, was coming to an end so it decided to modernize the machine so it could send its chocolate direct to its customers. The previous machine had produced more than 200 million packages.
Ulmer relies on fast, flexible production technology with short changeover times because it works with fresh products that need to be processed quickly. It has to fill two different products in flat bags or the same product in two bags simultaneously on two vertical baggers.
Michael Ulmer, senior MD, Ulmer Schokoladen, said when it started operations on the line 20 years ago, its thin chocolate flakes melted at the welding seam when they were packed into side-gusseted bags so it developed a double-walled tube with water instead of air cooling to stop them melting.
To avoid disruption on the factory floor during the installation, the company changed the cartoning machine first then the production line.
GUK leaflet folding unit
“The existing Bosch machine was replaced by a horizontal cartoning machine CUK 2060 with two bag infeeds,” said Ulmer.
The cartoning machine has a cascade infeed and GUK leaflet folding unit, checkweigher KWE 4000 with flap control and Elematic wrap-around case packer. The challenge was to integrate the two existing Bosch SVB vertical baggers into the line within the given space.
To connect all the machines together, Bosch created a line which transfers the bags to the cascade infeed, and these then go on an accelerator belt to the cartoning machine.
The folding cartons can be filled with one or two bags and a leaflet with product descriptions or recipes.
The pre-assembled folding cartons, are pre-glued and taken from a magazine by the CUK 2060, raised, filled, and sealed with a top and bottom hot melt seal.
The machine can pack up to 160 folding cartons per minute or 80 cartons if it takes two bags per carton.
Ulmer said the joint work on the Bag-in-Box line is on-going and the next step will be to exchange the SVB vertical baggers.