Complete sensor systems for the beverage industry

  • Schaefer Anlage mit Lichtschranken-Sets

  • Paletten vor der Auffahrt auf den Drehtisch

  • Sensorik für die Steuerung der Drehbewegung

  • MLD-Komplettsystem mit Muting zur Absicherung des Gefahrbereichs

  • Komplettsysteme beinhalten alle Komponenten – auch Anzeige- und Bedienheiten mit Reset-Tastern (am Zaun)

  • Absicherung des Gefahrbereichs mit Komplettystem inklusive Muting-Montage-Sets an den Gerätesäulen

Gentle and efficient handling of thirst quenchers

Mineral water on its way from filling to palletizing with Schaefer systems and Leuze electronic sensors at the Brandenburger Urstromquelle (BUQ) in Baruth/Mark

BUQ is one of the leading producers of mineral water in Germany. In several filling systems for mineral water and soft drinks, containers are transported, grouped and palletized in a particularly economic manner with Schaefer systems in Baruth. Extraordinary mechanics, also regarding the Schaefer pallet conveyor technology, is complemented by excellent sensor systems. The Light Beam Devices, safety sensors and systems from Leuze electronic used in Baruth contribute to the Schaefer systems ability to play out their efficiency to the highest degree possible.

In Baruth, several filling systems pour the mineral water into 1.5 liter disposable PET bottles. There are very thin-walled and rather unstable compared to reusable bottles. That's why they not only have to be handled efficiently, but also very gently during filling, packaging, transporting and palletizing.

And this is where Schaefer Förderanlagen- und Maschinenbau GmbH from Unterföhring near Munich really shines: flexible, high performance systems in a small space which handle containers and pallets gently as well as the incredible robustness of the systems were convincing arguments for Brandenburger Urstromquelle. An easy-to-operate control system and a clear operational and maintenance concept for quick fault analysis round out the package.

As a rule, it takes three to five months from the placing of an order to delivery. In Baruth, Schaefer only had an additional 12 days for start-up. Thomas Weber, head of control technology at Schaefer, specifies that "we often don't have much time between the placing of an order and start-up. We take care of the entire engineering processes, have a high vertical range of manufacture and employees who perform core functions and have been with us for decades."

Michael Koch, head of construction at Schaefer, adds "in addition, the number of our different contact persons is manageably small. This increases the efficiency of collaboration between all parties involved. And our customers always know where they stand with us."

Save time and money with Leuze electronic

Schaefer has trusted the reliability of Leuze electronic products for many years. A particular advantage for the installation in Baruth was that everything needed was found in the product range of the "sensor people" from Owen – from scanners (in metal/plastic housing) to light barriers and complete systems as well as sensors with special functions, e.g. sensitivity adjustment and quick alignment. The high functional reliability of sensors for depolarizing media is an additional benefit; after all, see-through PET bottles, clear liquids and transparent foils are part of everyday operations. Leuze electronic sensors fulfill these requirements easily.

A special feature in the area of safety at work are the new MLD complete systems with Multiple Light Beam Safety Devices from the MLD 500 series. They allow access guarding systems with muting to be built in the shortest possible time. An MLD complete system contains a safety sensor with muting indicator in addition to Device Columns, Deflecting Mirrors, Muting Mounting Systems, muting Light Beam Devices, reflectors, terminal boxes, cabling accessories and the MSI‑RM2 Safety Relay – all in one set, pre-mounted in accordance with requirements.

Thanks to the industry-standard M12 plug and pre-configuration, the components can nearly be installed completely via Plug & Play. This allows optimal fulfillment of the demands on short start-up times, simplifies mounting and reduces costs.

It all starts at the exit of the shrink tunnel

The conveyor systems from Schaefer begin after the filling system and the following shrink packer with the so-called handle applicator – the device that applies the practical carrying straps to the containers wrapped in foil. Thomas Weber highlights the importance of the sensor systems used: "both in the container transport and distortion monitoring systems, the Leuze electronic sensor systems have proven themselves without a doubt." This is why the sensors from this manufacturer are found throughout the entire system to fulfill detection, measuring, positioning and safety at work tasks.

After leaving the shrink packer, the containers pass the handle applicator on a 2-lane conveyor line and are then transported onto the horizontal container line, separated into two lanes, and are finally delivered gently into the buffer area in front of the layer loading space. All scanners and Reflection Light Beam Devices in the conveyor line ensure that the signals necessary for a smooth material flow which can be set reliably are created. State-oriented, PROFIBUS-based control technology guarantees optimal operation, i.e. impact-free transport and gentle buffering with the highest possible product and transport stability.

Shortly before palletizing

Schaefer products RoboTURN and PatternBUILDER ensure particularly gentle container rotation and position grouping for the creation of the layer pattern. In this way, only the containers that are actually rotated are subject to mechanical strain. This is no surprise, since Schaefer is the owner of patented functions in the areas of layer formation and palletizing. For instance, three packs can be rotated at once with RoboTURN ("multiple rotation"), which dramatically increases efficiency.

Depending on the row formation, a corresponding layer formation results from the consolidation of the 6 packs. The patterns typical for the layer formers contribute to stability on the pallet. Good interlocking and low tolerances of the packs to each other lead to good utilization of space and improve stability. Since the layer formation process is increasingly more dynamic and, at the same time, more exact, the sensors used have to fulfill these requirements. At Schaefer, the functionality and reliability of the products from Leuze electronic have proven themselves time and time again.

Innovative technology for high performance palletizing

PatternBUILDER and RoboTURN together with the MultiROB highS palletizing robot create a logical concept for palletizing with simple interfaces to foreign systems. In this high-performance palletizing system with a divided loading plate, air cushions ensure gentle handling of sensitive foil packages.

The palletizing head in the lifting unit centers the position of the containers. The motor-adjustable four-sided centering of the entire position ensures flawless transport onto the pallets. One position can contain 20 packs of 6 bottles each. At a bottle weight of 1.5 kg, one layer can easily weigh around 200 kg. With the well-dimensioned lifting unit and due to the short movement paths, minimally moving masses and the palettizing head with four-sided centering, MultiROB highS can stack up to 550 positions per hour. The time to stack one layer amounts to less than 7 seconds.

Several processes at one time

As soon as the containers enter the RoboTURN machine area, parallel process steps are performed in MultiROB highS. A special handling device, the so-called cardboard swivel machine, supplies stacked cartons in the machine for the surface and intermediate layers in a manner optimal for the required processes and stacks them in layers. Michael Koch had this to say about the complete solution: "we achieve high performance with our systems in a small amount of space, meaning we provide high performance density at good energy efficiency. A few years ago, two machines were necessary to manage this performance requirement. Now this performance is accomplished with just one machine. This means that customers have more valuable space available to them."

MultiROB highS functions with efficiencies of more than 98%. Faults caused by wear and tear are prevented by the Schaefer control system through service cycles and maintenance instructions. The dimensioning and robustness of the system have benefits when bottle deformations or particular foil characteristics slow down operations. The "rubber ball effect", which carbonated drinks bring about in Baruth, is balanced out particularly well by the system. Thomas Weber sums it up: "the gentle handling of piece goods and pallets has always taken center stage at Schaefer."

Data transfer and teleservice

In addition to classical plant engineering, Schaefer designs sophisticated high-end solutions for intralogistics by connecting to data logistics or through PDA coupling for the acquisition of operational data. Systems like those in Baruth also feature a teleservice system specially installed by Schaefer with which a reliable inspection connection to the machine can be established via VPN.

Thomas Weber summarizes with satisfaction that "as a rule, use of a teleservice is sufficient to localize a problem and quickly find a solution with the customer's technician if necessary. The high availability of the system is an unbelievably convincing argument which our customers really appreciate." The equipment of the Baruth system with sensors from Leuze electronic is the guarantee for high system availability since the combination of the robust machine construction from Schaefer and the sensor technology from Leuze electronic creates the optimum technical solution.


  • Secteur/domaine

    Intralogistique, technique d'emballage (installations de remplissage)

  • Cahier des charges

    Sécurisation d'accès, Contrôle de présence

  • Application

    Complete sensor systems for the beverage industry


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Contact & assistance

Leuze electronic France 0033.(0)1 60 0512 20 (lu-ve 8h30 - 17h30)