Automation update for a packaging machine

  • DIENST: Packaging line with boxes for frozen pizzas

DIENST Verpackungstechnik: Frozen pizzas packaged fast

Over half of all frozen pizzas produced worldwide are packaged on a DIENST line. When it came to redesigning a machine, automation technology from SEW‑EURODRIVE ensured easy startup and maximum reliability of processes.

The project at a glance

DIENST Verpackungstechnik logo
  • Customer: DIENST Verpackungstechnik GmbH
  • Location: Hochheim am Main (Germany)
  • Sector: Packaging technology for the food industry
  • Application: HK P3 horizontal cartoner

Further information about DIENST Verpackungstechnik:

  • DIENST belongs to the POLAR Group, an independent family business based in Hofheim am Taunus (Germany)
  • Employees (POLAR Group): 500 at the three sites in Hofheim, Hochheim and Shanghai (China)
  • 1906: POLAR founded in Hofheim as Adolf Mohr, Maschinenfabrik
  • 1988: DIENST founded in Hochheim
  • 2011: DIENST becomes part of the POLAR Group
3D drawing of DIENST's pizza packaging line
DIENST: Horizontal cartoner for frozen pizzas
DIENST: Horizontal cartoner for frozen pizzas
  • Drive technology combining individuality with standardization
  • Maximum reliability of the entire packaging system
  • Easy installation and intuitive operation
  • Strong support on a global scale
A glimpse into the switch box: Red-gray MOVIDRIVE® application inverters
MOVIDRIVE® application inverters from the MOVI‑C® system
MOVIDRIVE® application inverters from the MOVI‑C® system
  • Solution package based on the MOVI‑C® modular automation system
  • Compact MOVIDRIVE® modular and MOVIDRIVE® system application inverters
  • MOVI‑C® CONTROLLER units from the standard and power performance classes
  • Through-going input shaft with servomotor
Pizzas are side-loaded into the box
Pizzas are side-loaded into the box
Pizzas are side-loaded into the box
  • Automation technology with maximum reliability
  • Easy installation and startup using plug & play
  • Self-explanatory user interfaces with visualization of the operating sequence
  • Ensures reproducible machine settings
  • Global support with a rapid response

Highly dynamic movements performed efficiently and safely

View of the DIENST packaging line
View of the DIENST packaging line
View of the DIENST packaging line

The growing demands of food industry customers led DIENST Verpackungstechnik to redesign a horizontal cartoner. The packaging machine was to combine reliability and flexibility with easy installation and startup –

a big ask that called for automation technology from SEW‑EURODRIVE. Servomotors, frequency inverters and motion controllers from our MOVI‑C®modular automation systemnow ensure pizzas get into their boxes – as befits fast food, at a rate of 160 per minute.

Quote from Roland Kaluza, Head of Design at DIENST Verpackungstechnik

It ticks all the boxes


Quote from Frank Schnell, Sales Engineer Automation Technology at SEW‑EURODRIVE

Always a good solution


Impressions of the project

The project in detail

Growing demand requires enhanced reliability and performance

DIENST: Packaging line with boxes for frozen pizzas
Up to 160 pizzas are boxed per minute.

Out of the shopping bag, out of the packaging and straight into the oven – ready-made pizzas remain a firm favorite among all sections of the population. Some 900 million find their way into German households every year and this figure is rising fast, with the one billion mark already in sight.

This growth in demand is accompanied by increased automation requirements for packaging technology. As a result of this development, DIENST Verpackungstechnik in Hochheim am Main decided to redesign one of its horizontal cartoners that is already well established on the food industry market. The machine's reliability was the top priority, because a baking line producing 160 pizzas per minute needs to be highly resilient. The international integration partner for packaging lines wanted the redesign to build on previous successes – an ambitious goal given that, according to internal estimates, 75 to 80 percent of frozen pizzas produced worldwide are packaged by a machine from Hochheim. The process experts for standard and special solutions called the result the HK P3– pizza packaging performance.

The drive and automation technology needed to meet equally high expectations. Only perfectly coordinated and highly reliable state-of-the-art components were good enough for DIENST. The drive concept also needed to be sufficiently flexible to respond to the varying requirements of customers the world over, making global support with a rapid response a further challenge for the intended automation technology supplier. DIENST Verpackungstechnik concluded that only one partner could meet all these requirements – SEW‑EURODRIVE with its drive and automation technology specialists.

A new benchmark in packaging technology

Suckers on the rotary depositor pick up the boxes
Suckers on the rotary depositor pick up the boxes

A continuous flow of freshly shock-frozen and shrink-wrapped pizzas arrive on the depositor conveyor, where they are synchronized with the line. Meanwhile, the rotary depositor on a belt conveyor running in parallel takes folding boxes from the magazine, puts them down and erects them. The HK P3 is a side-loader, so linear modules then push the frozen pizzas into the shallow boxes from the side, transferring them from the conveyor line to the box line. Next, the machine checks the pizzas' position, applies glue to the box's flap and prints the date of manufacture and the best before data on the packaging. In a final step, vision sensors check the barcode and printed details before the finished pizzas leave the packaging line via the box output unit.

DIENST's aim with the HK P3 was to achieve nothing less than a new benchmark in packaging technology – an objective that is also reflected in the development goals. Typical food industry parameters such as maintenance-free equipment, hygiene requirements and adapting to various formats are only the start. Besides maximum reliability, the side-loader system also impresses with its gentle product handling and intuitive operation. That's not all, though. Further advantages of the packaging line include extremely easy installation and startup based on the plug & play principle.

Flexible automation technology – from frequency inverter to servomotor

Black servomotor in the system
Several servomotors are installed in the packaging line

The aim for our developers was clear – drive and automation technology that combines simplicity in the face of complex tasks with wide-ranging customization options. This is the perfect challenge for our flexible MOVI‑C® modular automation system, which gives DIENST the necessary design freedom for special customized solutions. Based on specific standards, MOVI‑C® supports a whole host of multi-axis and single-axis applications.

A single-axis solution was used in the packaging technology for the HK P3 line, in the form of a through-going input shaft. This shaft is driven by a servomotor from our product portfolio.

MOVI‑C® CONTROLLER units from the standard and power performance classes, together with compact MOVIDRIVE® system and MOVIDRIVE® modular application inverters take over the control functions, thereby ensuring that all stations on the 10-meter packaging line are perfectly coordinated. Intuitive operation with a self-explanatory user interface and visualization of the operational sequence are further benefits. In addition to all this, editable storage of all values set ensures the reproducibility of machine settings.

Partnership delivers a competitive advantage

A glimpse into the control cabinet: Red MOVIDRIVE® application inverters from the MOVI‑C® system
In the control cabinet: MOVIDRIVE® application inverters from the MOVI‑C® system

To sum up, our MOVI‑C® modular automation system gives DIENST a packaging solution that combines individuality with standardization. Thanks to ongoing technology updates, DIENST will be able to meet the growing demands of its customers in the future, too.

However, this basic technology is just one part of the specialist mechanical engineering company's everyday collaboration with SEW‑EURODRIVE. Specific customer requirements relating to food manufacturing and a constant flow of new applications also mean DIENST needs to keep building on its know-how and training staff – especially in the areas of drive and automation technology.

Our engineers provide on-site support with these tasks. They implement prefabricated software modules, program interfaces and pass on their specialist knowledge to DIENST staff. In short, they provide the very support DIENST needs to maintain its competitive advantage on the international stage. This includes the rapid response of our support team, which also enables DIENST to meet its customers' tight delivery deadlines. The resulting highly productive partnership is now being extended, with DIENST already set on working with SEW‑EURODRIVE in future projects.


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