Nestlé has marked the official opening of a new System Technology Center (STC) in Switzerland that brings together on one site the expertise used to combine products, capsules and machines such as those used in its Nespresso and Nescafé Dolce Gusto beverage systems.
More than 120 experts from 25 countries specialized in fields including industrial design, machine technology, packaging, engineering, micro-electronics and robotics are now working at the center in the Swiss town of Orbe, leading Nestlé's efforts to design and develop integrated products, systems and services.
"One of our biggest opportunities for growth lies in innovation," said Nestlé Chief Executive Officer Paul Bulcke at the opening ceremony.
"We have led the way in beverage systems for more than 25 years thanks to our strong research and development capabilities, and our expertise in machine engineering."
"In 1982 we began to combine our coffee know-how with our expertise in capsule and machine technology to develop the Nespresso system, an innovation that revolutionized the single-serve coffee market," added Nestlé Chief Technology Officer Werner Bauer.
"We went on to develop the hot and cold multi-beverage system Nescafé Dolce Gusto and many other innovations including Nescafé Barista, the only in-home single-serve coffee system of its kind using soluble coffee."
The premium Nescafé Milano Lounge system, the latest innovation from the STC, was unveiled at the STC opening ceremony in Orbe.
The system offers a wide range of hot and cold beverages including cappuccino, latte or gourmet hot chocolate.
Consumers can use its interactive color touch screen to choose either skimmed or semi-skilled milk, select the strength of their coffee and opt for different cup sizes.
The system, which has been developed for Nestlé Professional, the company's business that supplies the foodservice out-of-home sector, is designed to allow a broad range of foodservice operators to compete in the fast-growing, self-service, on-the-go, specialty coffee category.
Mr. Bauer and Mr. Bulcke were joined at the event by Marc Caira, Head of Nestlé Professional, Philippe Leuba, State Councilor of the Swiss canton of Vaud, and Claude Recordon, Mayor of Orbe.
The Nestlé System Technology Center in Orbe is currently working for six of the company's businesses: Nespresso, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Special.T, Nestlé Professional, Nescafé Barista and BabyNes.
It will provide research and development for these businesses, as well as identifying new opportunities.
The STC is part of Nestlé's global research and development network that comprises 34 Product Technology Centers and research and development centers.
Nestlé Product Technology Centers (PTC) develop innovative technologies and manufacturing processes that are the basis of new product development, and implement these technologies to the company's operations.
The experts at the STC will work closely with Nestlé's PTC in Orbe, which is the company's reference center for products and technologies in coffee and cereals, for both in and out-of-home.
New business models
Nestlé's system expertise extends beyond coffee. In 2010 the company introduced a tea system with the launch of Special. T and then an infant formula system with the launch of BabyNes in Switzerland 2011.
Nestlé has developed new business models and routes-to-market to support its system innovations.
From Nespresso's boutiques and members club, to the 24-hour advice BabyNes offers via its websites and hotline, the company's systems are designed to provide consumers with a complete service.
Nestlé in Orbe
The STC is Nestlé's latest addition to its Orbe site, which has long played an important role in supporting innovation at the company.
In 1938, Nestlé set up a large-scale production line at the site for coffee extraction and for ‘spray drying' coffee beans to produce Nescafé, the world's first soluble coffee product. It followed this innovation in 1965 with Nescafé Gold Blend, the first freeze-dried soluble coffee.
Nestlé opened its Product Technology Center in Orbe in 1959. It later chose the site as the location for its first-ever Nespresso factory. In 2007, the company opened the Nestlé Professional Beverage Center in Orbe, its first R&D facility entirely dedicated to its out-of-home beverage business. Then in 2011 Nestlé opened an innovation center in Orbe for Cereal Partners Worldwide, its joint venture with General Mills.