May 2021

Helbling Technik Develops Smart Devices for Sustainable Nutrition

Helbling Technik develops smart nutrition systems to tackle the challenge of sustainable food consumption. The approach is based on three pillars: nutrition devices, smart technologies and system circularity.

Helbling Technik’s Nutrition Devices

Nutrition devices are known at Helbling Technik as systems that interact with customers to deliver food and beverage products. The devices can be dispensers, juicers or vending machines that normally include a specific packaging to enclose the products. For example, in a coffee system, the coffee is first stored in an individual capsule or in a larger container and then, on request from the customer, processed with hot water and delivered into the cup.

Any nutrition system must ensure a safe and hygienic delivery of the products and most systems integrate technologies of filtration, cleaning and sanitisation.

Finally, a nutrition device must be attractive and easy-to-use for the consumer. These design and usability aspects are necessary for   nice experience in the consumption of the products.

Smart Technologies for Enhanced Consumer Experience and Deeper Market Insights

The interactions between a consumer and a nutrition device is determinant when making consumption decisions. These interactions have been enhanced with smart technologies since the late 2010 and the first devices have been equipped with Bluetooth or WiFi. The consumer experience became more digital and data were collected to generate insights about consumption.

With the development of edge technologies and machine learning, fast, safe and cost-efficient analysis of the data are collected by the system. By combining these new technologies with robust system architecture design, it is possible to deliver added value for consumers and deeper insights for marketing.

As a showcase, the experts in edge technologies at Helbling Technik have developed a system where the data collected by a smart watch are interpreted by a dispenser to provide a personalized beverage. Based on the data, the dispenser can learn the consumer habit and thus predict the need and optimize the resources to make the consumption more sustainable.

Circular Engineering for Sustainable Nutrition

The designed system is also optimized in terms of reliability, reparability, reusability, and recyclability. Resources needed to manufacture and use a nutrition system (device and packaging) and treat the generated wastes are significant. A reduction of the environmental footprint can be achieved with the method of circular engineering. This method uses life cycle assessment (LCA) and material circularity evaluation and focuses on the selection of the materials and components, as well as production processes. Several packaging and systems have been developed based on this approach to provide sustainable solutions for nutrition, where the packaging is not only used to store the product but also to record information about the product such as the date of consumption or remaining volume of product. The information is then used by the systems to optimize the food processing and to avoid any waste.

Helbling Technik provides independent R&D development services, from the idea to the market-ready products. With more than 55 years of experience in the innovation and development of devices for home and professional use, Helbling Technik is a reliable partner for the design and industrialisation of smart and sustainable nutrition systems.

For more information, you may contact:
Ludovic Dovat, PhD
Head of Development, Smart Nutrition Systems

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