Showcasing sustainable packaging and robotics

Since its establishment in 1981, Cama Group has been trailblazer in the world of packaging machines and robotic solutions. With a commitment to their core values and the motto ‘technology with added value’, Cama remains at the forefront of innovation in the industry.

The company strives to establish a long-term partnership with customers, to ensure its machines are as efficient as possible and to deliver safe, sustainable packaging systems. These standards are complemented by the company’s motto: ‘technology with added value.’

Cama’s engineers have years of experience and technical know-how, which they bring to the development of its innovative machines to produce environmentally friendly packaging.

Image credit: CAMA Group

We saw that with our knowledge and capability, we were able to empower our customers in the transition from plastic to cardboard. At the beginning, we just followed market trends. But now we are in a position where we can give our customers solutions for things they have not even thought of yet.

With six subsidiaries around the world (US, China, Australia, France, UK and Northern Europe), the company maintains a strong international reputation.

We are in bakery, confectionary, pet food, ice cream and ready meals. And our work in non-food sectors like cosmetics and health accounts for 15% to 20% of our business.

Cama has been able to flex its innovative capabilities in several projects recently. One was for an international carton supplier, converting a ready meal tray from plastic to a near-identical cardboard alternative. The customer lacked the in-house expertise to make it a reality themselves, so Cama developed a patented process that created an effective coupling between the tray and flange.

This was a very long process of R&D to develop a special machine capable of producing these trays, but there are a lot of potential customers in this market, everybody wants to move into sustainable trays.

Image credit: CAMA Group

Another chance for innovation came in the form of a vegan chocolate supplier, who wanted to replace its single-use plastic packaging with cardboard envelopes. It was a brand that attracted premium pricing, which needed to be reflected in the packaging and product quality.

This was an interesting project because the packaging was completely new to us; nobody is packaging chocolate into a cardboard envelope, or at least it is only for very premium consumers. We started from the packaging, because that was already specified, and we based the machine around it.

We were pleased with the result because we delivered the machine at the Cama-standard of high operational efficiency and transitioned it from semi-automatic to automatic. The wrapper is a recycled plastic film. There is no single use plastic at all.

Sustainable packaging

Projects developed at Cama also take sustainability issues into account. One example of this principle is a project undertaken for a co-packer working with a large global confectionery brand. The challenge here was a spherical chocolate product that relied upon a plastic insert to both support the confectionary in transit and present it to the customer.

Cama’s solution was to replace the plastic insert with a special cardboard design. Once the customer’s existing Cama machine was modified by Cama, the spherical chocolate was neatly packaged using the cardboard insert which was designed to ensure no perceived difference to the product presentation in the carton. Cama’s clever design delivered more sustainable packaging for the client and removed another single-use piece of plastic from the supply chain.

The value of robotics

Cama has been producing robotised systems since the end of the 1980s, when its founder, Paolo Bellante, designed and produced the company’s first industrial robots for the bakery sector. With over 100 patents, the research and development department has created its own integrated multi-purpose robots specifically adapted to the needs and characteristics demanded by the packaging sector.

The Delta Triaflex robot, with carbon fibre arms, is suitable for fast and smart product handling, top loading cartons and/or feeding ancillary packaging machines. The 2-axis robot is designed for heavy-duty work, handling a wide variety of products, such as flow-wraps, bags, thermoformed packs and cartons. It can load these products onto RSC cases, boxes and trays. The lighter alternative comes in the form of the ‘Y’ shaped 2 axis robots.

We are equally divided between our work on robotics and on packaging. In the beginning we only had packaging machines, and we developed robotics separately. Then we combined the two. We are very well known because we can apply robotics to any of our packaging machines and this offers the greatest point of flexibility possible reflected. But it also means that everyday there is something new and exciting, which keeps all of us thrilled to win a new challenge.

USS Pactech


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