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Lonypack: Optimizing food packaging with 3D printing

Lonypack Global has 25 years’ experience in the cured meat and dairy slicing sector. An hour’s drive northwest of Madrid, Spain – it has gained the highest standards in certification for the boning, slicing, and packaging lines at its plant.

In early 2022, the company decided to include 3D technology in its plant to optimize the production process, using Ultimaker 3D printers and 3D printing material from Kimya.

Achieving greater self-sufficiency and cost savings

Lonypack began to explore 3D printing in early 2022. Their goal was to develop new component designs that would optimize its production process. Doing so would allow the Spanish company to achieve these improvements in its state-of-the-art plant in the most economical, customizable way possible.

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Based in central Spain, Lonypack started to explore 3D printing in 2022
They maintain the highest level of certification in their state-of-the-art production plant

The first challenge was sourcing manufacturing materials that were safe for food contact. To increase self-sufficiency and resilience, Lonypack needed a way to regain control of the supply of replacement parts and the manufacture of components for its boning, slicing, and packaging lines.

3D printing has allowed us to create parts such as cutting edges, picker combs, turning mechanisms, and sprockets for our robot arms and cutters at a cost of up to 70% less.

– Román Velasco, Director of Industrial Engineering at Lonypack

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Industrial engineers have developed 4 key applications with the help of Ultimaker partner Sicnova and reseller Cosomo 3D

Food-safe parts printed with Kimya PETG-S filament

Lonypack began looking at the possibility of using Ultimaker S5 3D printers to create customized parts for its production line. To do so, they followed the advice of Sicnova and its reseller Cosomo 3D, who supported them throughout the process of implementing the technology.

The precision and reliability of the Ultimaker S5, a machine that brings the industrial capacity to a desktop size, was the reason Lonypack opted for this model. In addition, they chose the PETG-S filament from the leading material brand Kimya because it is certified safe for food contact as indicated by its blue color.

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Picker combs on robot arms 3D printed using Kimya's food-safe PETG-S filament

70% savings on parts and reduced turnaround times

The new design solutions were implemented right from the start. Lonypack created parts including cutting edges, line comb pickers, turning mechanisms and sprockets costing up to 70% less than they were used to previously.

Lead times were also reduced by 70% compared to the deliveries they received previously.

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The 3D printed parts save 70% in costs and are a distinctive blue to indicate food safety
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Robot arms fitted with picker combs lift meat portions fresh from the slicer onto the packaging

The cutting edges protect the blades during slicing. The picker combs pick up the portions to be packaged. And the turning mechanism transports the portions to empty trays that form part of the package. None of these savings in the operation of the robot arms and slicers would have been possible without Kimya’s guarantee that parts printed were food safe throughout the process.

Wider adoption in the food industry

Lonypack's first experience with 3D printing has been a great success, as Román Velasco explains:

"It's just a matter of time before other food companies incorporate these solutions into their production processes. And in the future, they will be an essential part of the plants."

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