Case Study:
Imperial brands

The various subsidiaries of Imperial Brands manufacture and market a range of cigarettes, fine cut and smokeless tobacco products, mass market cigars, and tobacco accessories such as papers and tubes. Imperial is the 4th largest tobacco manufacturer in the world.

Key Imperial Brands subsidiaries include Reemtsma in Germany, Altadis in Spain and Seita in France as well as their businesses in the UK, Poland, Russia and Ukraine.

The project

Due to the new EU Tobacco Product directive, Imperial Brands needed to adapt the packaging qualification process at its factory in Cantabria, in the north of Spain. Three different types of product packaging are processed through the production lines there: shell & slide packs, metal tins and shoulder boxes. Consequently, ATD Machinery was requested to supply 3 labelling machines and 3 tax stampers, including installation and commissioning of the lines at the factory in Cantabria.

The challenges

The machine line had to add 7 labels to a single package, as well as a tax stamp. Some of the labels were very small, being only 7 10mm wide. Since each machine has to handle multiple box-sizes, the need for quick changeovers also had to be taken into account.

The solution

Imperial Brands and ATD worked together to engineer the line. Looking for a flexible and reliable solution that could meet all the challenging requirements in a tight delivery schedule. State of the art technology was used in the project: servo motors, newest labellers, vision cameras, laser markers, in an embedded solution where every single aspect of the machine was controlled from the HMI, resulting in a user-friendly machine operation despite the complexity of the solution.

For the long run

The long-standing relationship between the two companies was invaluable in ensuring the success of this project, and the result will go a long way to securing their mutual trust for the years to come.