One of the world's largest cosmetics groups is looking for quick and agile solutions. New cosmetics are expected to be launched within days. “Due to a market that is strongly driven by influencers, we need quick response times,” according to the headquarters in France. The average delivery time for format parts is, however, actually eight to twelve weeks. Optima is supposed to manage that in just a few days. We are taking on the challenge.
“In a joint pilot project with the customer, we were looking for a suitable new format,” reports Michael Weber, Director Service at Optima Consumer. In an innovative workshop, a fresh look has been given to the topic of formats. Conventional parts were split into a “carrier range” and a “flexible format range”. The customer could already order the carrier parts for its systems in large quantities. If it leads to new format requirements later, only the flexible format part will be adapted to the new container or constructed in CAD. The 3D printer produces the parts within a few hours and then the entire format conversion kit is on its way to the customer.
The newly developed format parts are constructed within a few hours and immediately available in a 3D printing process for the customer. They can be produced worldwide.
Since there are limits set on the 3D printer in terms of dimensions, the format parts consist of a base part, which is in stock, and a flexible component, which can be printed from a 3D printer within a few hours.
Optima uses the latest 3D printing technologies from the house Additive Innovation Center, an innovation center where all the standard 3D printing technologies are used and further perfected. It features a 3D printing lab and a training and design area. The customer is even able to print the parts on their own printers on site. In a virtual meeting with the customer’s global management team, Optima presented the idea of a puzzle system with 3D printed format parts and fixed carrier parts. “The customer was impressed and gave the go-ahead for immediate project implementation,” says Weber. The order for the first format set came in right away after the presentation of the concept. A field test should now bring insight in terms of wear, resistance and accuracy under production conditions.Tried and tested technology, new approach
The final result is a format set from base parts held in stock, into which the 3D printed puzzle segments (blue), which are object-dependent, are clipped and then bonded together. Another ultra-modern technology is the chemical bonding of the 3D printed parts. This technology is also being developed at Optima. “We are excited to see which application areas will emerge in the future,” adds Weber. The success story of 3D printing in mechanical engineering has just begun.