The selection of special effect pigments from Merck played a key role in realising a cost effective moulding process for the housing of the Tassimo coffee &a hot beverage machine. The machine is produced by Bosch Siemens Hausger?te (BSH) subsidiary BSH Hi?ni Aparati in Slovenia.
Producing the part was a challenge, says Reiner Delp, business development manager for Eastern Europe at Merck, Darmstadt, as effect pigments tend to show flow lines from moulding. Merck's application technology laboratory helped with material selection to address the problem of the pigments aligning along flow lines, as well as optimising the injection moulding process and the moulds.
The first Tassimo machines, which were designed for Kraft Foods' products, were made by Braun but production responsibility was moved to BSH because of the potential conflicts of interest arising from Braun's owner P&G also being active in the coffee market.
BSH expanded its subsidiary plant in Nazarje, Slovenia, in 2007, and invested €7m in production esuipment and R&D to make the first Tassimo T40 models. Since last year, the company has been producing the T65 model as well.
The first T40 models used Merck's Miraval and Iriodin effect pigments to provide moulded-in colour at lower cost than painting. As a result, the first Tassimo machines were sold in Germany at a recommended retail price of €139 in Germany.
Merck supplies the pigments for blending at the moulding machines as a TLM "tailor-made" masterbatch, which is produced by local Slovenian masterbatch supplier Marvel at its Master Star production plant.
In October 2008, Glamour Red joined the four already available colours of Silk Silver, Magic Black, Morning Sun Orange and Paradise Blue. The new T65 Tassimo machine that was introduced late last year is produced in a Twilight Titanium colour, with Chocolate Brown added to the line this year.
Andreas Liebl, engineering director at BSH Hi?ni Aparati, says the coffee machines were developed by the BSH R&D departments in both Germany and Slovenia. The company produces two coffee machines a minute at peak times and is capable of making one million units a year.