Advanced mechatronics, between R&D and sustainability

“Super” specialised in secondary packaging, with an out-of-the-ordinary vocation for innovation, Cama Group has developed MTL Monoblock Top Loading, the fruit of a co-creation project involving B&R, consolidating an already successful strategic partnership.

Maria Costanza Candi

A new production site, in which the quality of the industrial architecture of the past blends with technological innovation and contemporary design; an innovative machine developed through the collaboration between two world leaders in the packaging and industrial automation markets; a humanistic approach to doing business that is attentive to the territory and projects it into the world, developing local professionalism and consolidating it over time, working with schools to construct training programmes involving the educational world and business. These are the elements of the day spent in Cama Group’s new site, to discover an innovative packaging system ready to leave for the United States.

A co-creation with a high technological content
The open house event in Cama was the presentation of the new MTL Monoblock, the result of the collaboration between the multinational based in Molteno (Lecco) and B&R, which has equipped the machine with the ACOPOStrak independent trolley transport solution.
The monobloc top loader, which will be presented in a world preview at Pack Expo Chicago, is ready to support the production of Edgewell, the world leader in the personal care market.
MTL, capable of a speed of up to 1800 pieces a minute, is able to serve three feeder lines on different SKUs, each with their own rhythm, allowing for rapid format changes and a very flexible management of the packaging phases. Other pluses of the system include augmented reality for functionalities like changeover, direct ordering from a tablet for spare parts, the after-sales service, remote assistance and training.

When the enterprise is sustainable
Protagonists of the meeting were not only technology but also the philosophy underlying the company's business, an indispensable complement to that quality that has made Cama a world leader in the packaging market.

As vice president Annalisa Bellante explained, in fact, what guides Cama is «a holistic approach in which sustainability, understood in its broadest sense, is central, with investments in human resources one of the main challenges. This is why our attention to welfare is constant and extends beyond the company perimeter, looking to the territory and its human capital. We are committed to creating widespread expertise for the opportunities that the manufacturing industry can offer, involving, first and foremost, school students to orientate and train with a series of initiatives managed and coordinated by a specific department, allowing them to enter into contact with a production excellence in the territory.

Cama has managed to make progress in sustainability in other ways, extending the basic concepts regarding gender parity (with the recent Uni PDR 125:2022 certification), corporate governance and - naturally – the environment, with attention focused on all aspects connected with production such as, for example, the transition from plastic to paper for a variety of packaging solutions.

A reliable partnership based on shared objectives
The CEO, Daniele Bellante, also referred to the holistic nature of the company’s approach, talking about the choice of partners sharing the same vision:

We are talking about co-creation because B&R is a solid and reliable partner in technical and operating terms able to perform a pro-active role which, starting from the specific MTL project, allows us to develop the expertise necessary for bringing innovation to all our present and future projects. Our aim, in fact, is the constant evolution of the range, a portfolio of 60 models built on a framework of flexibility and modularity. In this sense, B&R’s technology integrates perfectly into our secondary packaging machines: the shared visions and reliability, combined with simulation (which is a standard in Cama, Ed.), have enabled fewer tests, shorter set-up times, and the elimination of unexpected events which largely offset the costs of advanced hardware like that of B&R.

Wlady Martino, B&R ‘s global packaging manager echoed Bellante, explaining the value of mechatronics for the solution:

We’ve guaranteed a high level of productivity thanks to a system that permits every single box to move independently rather than in batches, with constant rhythms and numbers. Since the process stations are uncoupled, we have, in fact optimised the cycle time of each station, ensuring the repositioning of the shuttles according to dimensions, made more efficient by a reduced and automatic format change. Controlling every single product, the shuttles move in a more dynamic way, shifting the load on the basis of the needs of the slower or faster stations and therefore reducing loss of productivity caused by format changes. The result is a speed that reaches 1800 products per minute with a variable distance between the trolleys that operate on a linear length of up to 14 metres. It’s worth pointing out, as an important fact, that ACOPOStrak reaches accelerations of up to 5G. The shuttles can also be dismantled by the operator without touching the mechanical guides and other moving parts, in a context of complete safety. The modularity guarantees scalability according to production requirements, precisely thanks to the magnetic trolley that makes it possible to increase the dimensions of the line starting from each single module. The clean design, moreover, ensures maximum hygiene, complete visibility and ease of access and maintenance.


Martino also referred to the co-creation concept, one of the key words of the day. The co-creation approach with CAMA is the result of a methodology in which simulation plays a decisive role, making it possible to trace every track with a unique code, optimise the layout, identify the bottlenecks and simulate production under stress, thereby reaching high levels of efficiency without unexpected events. It’s a technology ready to be adapted to the constant changes of the packaging market, in which a system must always supervise present functioning and look to future changes, which are the norm in packaging. Finally, it needs to be remembered that B&R produces technology, but it’s always “the people” that make the difference and the partnership with Cama has clearly demonstrated this.