Production that hits the sweet spot

For its new filling plant for confectionary toppings and decoration, an Italian machine builder is opting for maximum safety for operators, as well as increased food safety. The next step will be to further boost the quality and efficiency of the machines using the cloud.

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Goodbye to spills, and there’s something for everyone: When the tiny containers of jam, marmalade, and honey are served in hotels or on airplanes, each guest can have their favorite spread.

Production “per il gusto”

One provider of these “hotel jams” is the Italian company Menz & Gasser, which specializes in producing and packaging jams, marmalades, and honey in containers of different sizes. The company recently commissioned machine builder CFT Packaging to develop a new filling plant that meets the highest safety requirements, has a higher production capacity, and is more user-friendly.

Full fruit flavor

“We market our products in 50 countries, so we have to be able to comply with legal requirements relating to product quality in all these countries,” says Ruggero Zanco, who’s in charge of industrial automation at Menz & Gasser. “For example, one of our daily challenges is working with products that aren’t allowed to have colorants or flavorings. And although we’re working with raw materials whose quality changes depending on the season, we have to guarantee consistent product quality.”


Menz & Gasser produces under its own name but also for third parties. “We’re not only responsible for our own brand, but also for that of our customers,” says Zanco. “That makes the responsibility even greater.”

Packaging increases sales

The way jam is packaged is extremely important. “Consistent quality notwithstanding, diversified packaging increases sales opportunities. It’s a tremendous advantage, both for us and for our customers!”

Safety is top priority

Safety is top priority for the jam manufacturer – not just the safety of operators but also of consumers when it comes to food safety. “That’s why we laid down very specific requirements for the machines, so that we could integrate the cleaning processes into the production process,” says Zanco.

In the new rotary filling machine, the container is first cleaned with sterile air. The product is then placed in the container based on the specified weight. Finally, the machine lifts the lid, positions it over the container, and screws it on.

The safety functions that we expect from this machine are in any case thanks to new technologies from Siemens.
Ruggero Zanco, in charge of industrial automation at Menz & Gasser

Operators optimally protected

It also has to be possible to monitor and service each filling plant while it’s operating, and minor interventions must also be possible without interrupting the process. Safety-limited speed (SLS) and safe torque shutdown also allow operators to work on the interior of the machine without danger.


“The safety functions that we expect from this machine are in any case thanks to new technologies from Siemens,” says Zanco. “It’s extremely important for us that we be able to guarantee operators that they can work safely when the protective housing is open.”

“The danger isn’t only from moving parts inside the machine, but also from liquids that are used to clean and sterilize the machine,” says Filippo Tedeschi, Filler & Seamer Automation Manager at CFT Group.

Machine in continuous operation

“The expanded features of Simotion have been especially helpful to us,” says Tedeschi. The advantage is that when operators work on the machine, all the shafts inside the machine safely come to a stop. They remain in position, thus enabling a fast and efficient restart.


30-percent time savings


The CFT Group is benefitting from significant improvements not just in the area of safety, but also in engineering efficiency. “Thanks to the TIA Portal and the associated software solutions and diagnostic tools, we’ve succeeded in reducing the planning, engineering, and commissioning times for each individual machine by about 30 percent,” says Tedeschi.

Thanks to the TIA Portal and the associated software solutions and diagnostic tools, we’ve succeeded in reducing the planning, engineering, and commissioning times for each individual machine by about 30 percent.
Filippo Tedeschi, Filler & Seamer Automation Manager at CFT Group

More efficientservice possible

Tedeschi sees additional efficiency gains when it comes to commissioning. “We were able to reduce commissioning time by about 30 percent. The extended diagnostics enable us to offer our customers much more efficient aftersales service, both during the test run and when providing customer support.”

Even better quality with the cloud


But the CFT Group isn’t willing to stop at the safety level achieved or efficiency gained. For predictive maintenance, the company is currently introducing the Condition Monitoring System, which permits the continuous monitoring of highly critical machine elements. Any wear that occurs is detected by the system so that maintenance activities can be scheduled more efficiently.


“Another project that we’d like to engage in with Siemens is the use of MindSphere, the cloud solution provided by Siemens. We want to further increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our services by processing and monitoring the huge amounts of data generated by our machines. This will allow us to further improve the quality of our machines and launch increasingly innovative machines on the market!”

Menz & Gasser specializes in producing and packaging jams, marmalades, and honey in various formats, as well as fruit preparations for cakes and pastries. The company has expanded its range to include chutney, savory, and sweet-and-sour recipes.
The products of this company headquartered in the Italian town of Novaledo in Trento are distributed via large retail chains, the hotel, restaurant, and catering sector, and the confectionary sector.
Menz & Gasser also develops tailor-made products for the private-label market and fruit- and vegetable-based, semi-processed products for the food industry.

The CFT Group, with headquarters in Parma in the heart of the Italian Food Valley, designs, engineers and manufactures plants, complete production lines, and turnkey systems primarily for the food and beverage industry. The many years of experience and expertise of leading brands in the particular sectors – including Rossi & Catelli, Manzini, Sima, Comaco, and SBC – have been joined together in the CFT Group in order to offer a complete product portfolio based on the most advanced technologies. The food division concentrates on developing and implementing complete packaging plants with a particular focus on planning and building rotary filling plants.

July 2019

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