Tradition Precision Innovation

NIVEA production line upgrade at Beiersdorf

NIVEA CAN

The relationship between the Hamburg cosmetics company Beiersdorf and Alfons Haar has a long and successful history. High-quality packaging is very important to Beiersdorf and the heart of the brand, the NIVEA Creme tin, is being produced at the company’s headquarter location in Hamburg.  Since the 1970s, these aluminium tins (lid and cup) have been manufactured on Alfons Haar lines.

While the tins were initially produced on purely mechanic sheet feeders, we later introduced our newly developed CNC-controlled sheet feed presses.

Packaging design upgrades and other developments caused additions and minor adaptations in the machinery but the set-up of the lines remained the same over the years. This was the situation at Beiersdorf production when the NIVEA MEN CREME was developed. The award-winning new design for NIVEA MEN Skin Care demanded further improvement of the sheet transport. As the lid with its NIVEA MEN print receives an embossing, the position of the sheet has to be highly accurate, so the embossing meets the typos perfectly. Even the slightest aberration would inevitably stand out.

This new challenge initiated an overall examination of the existing lines. The old machines had become high-maintenance, changeover between the tin designs and sizes was too slow, commitment to environmental responsibility called for further material reduction and increased overall efficiency and the new technical requirements had to be met with a new level of precision.  It was time for a new generation of machines. The goal was to ensure the high quality of both the blue-silver aluminium tin with its ribs and grooves and the classic NIVEA Creme in the blue tin with its various sizes.

NIVEA Metal Web

Requirements and Challenges:

  • Sheet transport precision: The embossing has to match the print perfectly to meet the high design requirements.
  • Adaptability: The manufacturing line had to accommodate all sizes and versions of the NIVEA can production line
  • Surface Protection: Prevent sharp edges that appear during the manufacturing process from damaging the product.
  • Special “inverse” trimming method Beiersdorf uses for the NIVEA tin had to be maintained

Alfons Haar have always been dedicated to precision and enjoyed opportunities for innovation. We were more than happy to participate in the bidding for Beiersdorf’s new lines. Absolute precision is critical when feeding the sheets into the press. The positional accuracy of the AH press ensures that the embossing tool and the print align perfectly in each stroke. To increase the capacity we replaced AF-feeders with DF-feeders. With a changeover time of less than 3 hours including tool-change, our draw/redraw (DRD) lines can easily serve multiple can and cup sizes, with and without redraw-trimming. To ensure that no sharp flange edges on the lid or tin rim would damage the neighboring products, we employed our patented “Touchless” cup transport between presses.

Solutions:

  • Perfect positional accuracy when feeding the tin into the press ensures matching print and embossing
  • Quick tool changeover ensures that the line serves all lids and cans
  • Patented “Touchless” cup transport prevents defects by touching
  • “Inverted Trimming” method prevents defects by burr formation
  • Up to 20% capacity upgrade by replacing AF by DF-feeders
  • Latest control technology with digital controls care for better performance and usability

Convinced of our approach, Beiersdorf ordered the first Alfons Haar line and subjected it to extensive testing. The tests met their approval and now all remaining machines are being replaced. For decades now, Beiersdorf’s NIVEA Creme tins and Alfons Haar machinery have been closely tied to each other. We are proud to have met the new challenges head-on and very happy to continue supporting Beiersdorf in their high-quality packaging and design needs.