Mibelle AG: Greater efficiency through the hot-cold procedure

At the Buchs site, the changeover to the low-temperature procedure proves how great the effect of a simple change is.

  • Amira Nassar, Scale-Up Team Leader at Mibelle AG, produces the new I AM Shower Body Milk at the homogenisation system in the hot-cold procedure.

  • The hot-hot standard procedure (on the left) and the hot-cold procedure (on the right) in a schematic comparison.

  • With the voluntary declaration of accession to the programme of the Swiss Energy Agency for Industry (since 2001), Mibelle is committing itself to actively reducing CO2 emissions and optimising energy efficiency. The hot-cold procedure makes an important contribution to saving energy.

  • The hot-cold procedure is suitable for a lot of products of Mibelle AG. Here is a small selection of Mibelle products that are produced according to this procedure. Last year more than 50% in the concerned product categories have been produced with this energy saving procedure.

The continuous improvement in the production procedures is a key to more sustainability in the industry. Often, it is the simple approaches that have a surprisingly large potential for savings.
The hot-cold procedure is one example for that. Many cosmetics such as creams and lotions consist of a water-oil or water-fat mix. These two substances do not mix themselves on their own; therefore an emulsifier and a special machine, the homogenisator, take over this mixing. Whereas the hot-hot standard procedure heats up the water, the water in the hot-cold procedure remains cold – only the fat phase enters the homogenisator in a heated state.
The energy benefits are obvious. What is not heated up does not cause any energy costs – either during the heating up or during the subsequent cooling down.

However, as it is so often the case the devil is in the detail. Amira Nassar, Scale-up Team Leader, explains the details:
«In operating trials, we have already been working for several years on the changeover to the hot-cold procedure. Many experiments and tests were required so that the new procedure works without fault – for we have to guarantee a consistent quality of product. Normally, development is scaled up: Testing and development are done in the laboratory with small quantities and these are then continually increased until they reach normal production volume. We did it the other way round: scaled down. This means: Now the product development in the laboratory is following suit. We need new recipes in order to be able to produce according to the new procedure. Our developers thus have an extra challenge: It also has to be possible to produce their new product ideas in the hot-cold procedure.»

Last year more than 50% in the concerned product categories have been produced with this energy saving procedure.

Sustainability facts on the hot-cold procedure:

  • The changeover to the hot-cold procedure results in high energy savings.


Resource efficiency

Climate

Capacity for innovation

Production & trade