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A perfect composition

Photo | Bosch Rexroth AG
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Above: VarioFlow S conveyor systems connect the machines on the Magnum packaging line

Rexroth’s VarioFlow S chain conveyor systems help get Magnum ice cream – securely packed – to its fans all around the world.


When in 1989 the Unilever Group started marketing Magnum, the first so-called “premium ice cream” on a stick especially for adult consumers, it was the beginning of a success story. Ice cream aficionados swear by its many different tasty flavors. The highest possible quality standards are applied during the production process to guarantee that every single Magnum is immaculate. To make sure it reaches the customer in the same excellent condition, Unilever’s ice cream and frozen foods production facility in the English city of Gloucester uses seven VarioFlow S chain conveyor systems made by Rexroth. They connect the individual machines on the Magnum packaging line, where the ice creams are safely packed in their outside cartons.

Flexible versatility

The customer’s requirements were clearly defined. “We wanted a system we could assemble and install ourselves, simply and quickly. Also important were high product quality and good value for money,” explains Unilever’s Steve Cunliffe. Rexroth’s VarioFlow S chain conveyor system, specially modified to meet the strict hygiene standards in the food processing industry, fulfills these requirements.

Chain surfaces that are almost entirely free of gaps and the open profiles used on the VarioFlow S guarantee easy cleaning. Thanks to its linear arrangement, the system – with just a few drives – is not only virtually maintenance-free, but is also very flexible. As the individual machines on the Magnum packaging line are located at different levels, the Vario S was able to score points with its versatility.

Comprehensive service

“Their presentation – matching our query right down to the last detail – showed that the experts at Rexroth had really understood our needs, right from the very start,” recalls Steve Cunliffe. The latter were made possible by MTpro projection software. This is a program that Rexroth provides in seven languages and that makes possible project planning work without a CAD system. And its configuration logics support the user when developing complete equipment systems. The assembly function works quite simply by drag-and-drop and, once the planning work has been completed, a 3-D animation projects a realistic view of the complete unit. “Time savings during planning, the intuitive user interface, and wide-ranging planning options certainly speak in favor of MTpro. We have used the software quite often in the interim,” says Steve Cunliffe.

Deliveries to Unilever consisted of complete assembly groups, pre-configured exactly to specifications. They were erected in less than five weeks. “The combination of high-performance products, expertise, and the excellent service Rexroth rendered during the entire process – all this confirmed that we had made exactly the right choice,” summarizes Steve Cunliffe.