Rotzinger Group to address food safety and labour challenges at iba 2023

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

iba is the global meeting point for baking industry professionals. Pic: iba
iba is the global meeting point for baking industry professionals. Pic: iba

Related tags Rotzinger Group machinery Food safety labour crisis iba Production and manufacturing hygiene & cleaning

The Swiss automation specialist is set to showcase its advanced Hygienic Conveyor for dry cleaning and the Robot with an Integrated Buffer at iba (22-26 October, Munich, Germany).

According to Rotzinger, with their intuitive controls and streamlined design, these solutions have been fitted with intuitive controls and given a streamline design to enhance productivity and optimise operations.

“Our Hygienic Conveyor for dry cleaning and Robot with an Integrated Buffer have been specifically designed to tackle the escalating concerns regarding efficiencies and heightened sanitary requirements in food production,”​ said product manager Christian Vouillamoz.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with our European customers and prospects in the food sector at iba Munch in Ocober.”

Ramping up hygiene standards

Rotzinger Dry Cleaning Belt 2

Despite major interventions to lessen the impact, unsafe food causes 420k deaths around the globe every year. In 2021, there were 4,005 foodborne outbreaks in the EU - a 29.8% increase compared with 2020, according to the European Food Safety Authority (efsa).

This drums home the importance of preventing contamination and bacterial buildup in food production facilities.

Designed for bakery and confectionery products, Rotzinger’s hygienic conveyor is optimised for dry cleaning, ensuring compliance with the most stringent food safety regulations in European food manufacturing.

Leveraging the company’s decades of expertise in pick and place delta robots, buffering and conveying, the integrated machine combines flexibility, compactness and ease of operation to boost uptime and reduce the total cost of ownership.

Rotzinger Dry Cleaning Belt

It incorporates an intelligent cleaning design, featuring a foldable belt and bevelled or rounded horizontal surfaces that prevent the accumulation of dirt particles and crumbs, thereby reducing the risk of mould infestation. The side panels no longer run horizontally parallel to the belt but are inclined at 45 degrees to allow easier shedding of product residue. A hinged belt support enables easy access for efficient cleaning and maintenance.

Furthermore, the conveyor provides flexibility in size range, ranging from 150mm to 1,800mm wide and from 400mm to 35,000mm length.

Growing labour challenges

Rotzinger Robot with Integrated buffer - Detail

In response to the growing demand for improved efficiencies to counteract rising energy and raw material costs, European food manufacturers are increasingly turning to automation for their packaging processes.

The pandemic, too, highlighted the need for increased automation, as highlighted in the EURES Report on labour shortages and surpluses 2022 released by the European Labour Authority (ELA). Despite getting over the hump of Covid, the labour challenge persists. In fact, the  Institute for Employment Research (IAB) projects a potential workforce reduction of seven million in Germany by 2035.

Rotzinger GEMINI

Enter Rotzinger’s Robot with an Integrated Buffer, which is capable of efficiently picking and placing both unpacked and packed products into various packaging formats, including cartons, cases, thermoforms, flow-wrappers and cartoning machines. In doing so, it offers a viable solution to address labour shortages, while optimising production.

Equipped with vision-guided high-speed robots, this innovative machine accurately identifies incoming products on the conveyor belt and precisely places them in the feeding process. It utilises optimal counterflow or co-flow techniques to meet a diverse cache of production requirements. By consolidating these capabilities within a single solution, manufacturers can optimize their production lines and achieve early production start-up.

The use of a single controller and a unified setup philosophy enables hassle-free maintenance and straightforward operation, eliminating the need for complex programming or extensive training. It can be operated by a sole operator, offering simple changeovers facilitated by recipe selection, which automatically adjusts the necessary parameters with just a few clicks.

With a history that stretches back several years, the Rotzinger Group expanded its operations in 2022 to provide cost-effective equipment, turnkey systems and digital solutions for the bakery, confectionery, bakery, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The Kaiseraugst-headquartered company prioritises customer satisfaction and employs over 500 professionals across Europe and North America.

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