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Develop and demonstrate a ‘Mini-factory’ concept for production of personalized skin care products for elderly population

Final Report Summary - SUPERFLEX (Develop and demonstrate a ‘Mini-factory’ concept for production of personalized skin care products for elderly population)

Executive Summary:
Personalization of consumer products is no longer a passing trend. The customization approached stemmed from deep objective and subjective motivations. The efforts to introduce personalized skincare to markets is based on understanding of our individual diversity and the prospects of more effective solutions to meet the special skin’s needs of a “one man syndrome”. This customization approach is fabricated in SuperFlex project, which aims to develop and demonstrate a ‘Mini-factory’ concept for production of personalized skin care products for benefit of elderly people. This segment is dramatically growing in European population, suffers from skin alterations disrupting quality of life and hence, possess significant economy value.
SuperFlex project proposes a novel flexible customized skin care approach for better performing skin treatment, combined with cost reduction of 30%, significant reduced environmental impact and a 50% reduction in time to market.
These major goals were fully achieved within project period by manufacturing and treating elderly people with personalized skincare products:
• 100% of 30 participants in clinical study had positively graded their customer’s satisfaction for the personalized treatment and service.
• The majority (77%), of personalized treatments were measured by dermatologists as effective.
Four integrated operational modules had been involved in SuperFlex achievements:
1. Mini lab module for “one man syndrome” personalized skin analysis – operating portable device of mini-lab for non -invasive and direct quick measuring (5-12 minutes for all tests) that can be connected to the mini-factory and further optimized by adding other measurements modularly.
2. Decision Support system (DSS) to process input personalized skin parameters - generating an individual skin profile based on an array of skin objective measurements, integration with costumer preference and historical background for suggesting personalized skincare treatment. By post treatment feedback and self-learning algorithm the system can be further optimized for personalization.
3. Mother factory and Mini-factory Manufacturing system for personalized products production - splitting the complete manufacturing process to concentrated bases in the mother factory and final individual customized production by additives addition in a mini-factory performed via a patented simple mixing technology, which takes 10-20 minutes.
4. Cyber-Physical Production System (CPPS) for cross modules data communication and integration - characterized with high degree of automation, flexibility in manufacturing process, remote management and maintenance, process traceability. This assures interaction among the different sub-systems for ensuring manufacturing of personalized skin care product for each new customer.
Additionally to these operational modules, SuperFlex deals with several aspects for assuring successful implementation:
• Logistics and costing – Cost reduction was achieved via the reducing the number of beneficiaries involved in product’s long process from manufacturer to customer and pricing mark-up, decrease of stock values and warehousing prices due to changing supply chain to “just in time” (per order), saving transportation costs due to delivery the concentrated base to the mini-factory, shorter shelf life of 6 months instead of 3 years, no need for secondary (carton box) packaging
• Regulation - in order to comply with the same standards and guidelines of EC Reg. 1223/2009, the mini-factory process for personalized products are defined to cope with some challenging regulatory demands, in particular registration and licensing of pre-defined range of additives.
• Environmental impact – A full LCA LCC analysis of the validated whole Superflex process according to distributed manufacturing model was performed in comparison to the centralized manufacturing model currently applied in the cosmetic industry, proving the sustainability enhancement of skin care products and the reducing manufacturing of 30% w.r.t. the centralized model. This analysis is one of a kind for the cosmetic industry and furthermore, for personalized cosmetics
SuperFlex achievements provide a pivotal platform for personalized cosmetic manufacturing and pave the way for further commercialization of the different operational modules. Moreover, SuperFlex manufacturing platform proposes unique and practical solutions for different challenges in regulation and costing, thus it can be leveraged and exploited in different business models.

Project Context and Objectives:
Skin changes are one of the most significant features that occur with ageing.
Throughout life the skin plays an important part in the body image and self-esteem. It also protects from environmental stresses, regulates temperature, maintains the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance, excretes metabolic waste and plays a key part in the sensations of touch, pain and pressure. Skin changes are one of the most significant and visible features that occur with ageing and are often the informal evidence people use to determine someone’s age. As the population ages, common skin disorders of elderly demand greater attention.
Skin care in general
Skin maintenance is crucial to prevent disruption of its barrier functionality and moisture. A regimen of support treatments attenuates skin pathological processes due to ageing, inflammation and contaminations.
• Skin conditions are the most common new reason for people to visit their physician . The latest figures show that 24% of the UK population report to their physician for a skin complaint annually and 900,000 are referred to a dermatologist.
• Increasingly, customers are now looking for non-pharmaceutical solutions.

On the other side mass customization is a novel concept first popularized by Joseph Pine, who defined it as “developing, producing, marketing and delivering affordable goods and services with enough variety and customization that nearly everyone finds exactly what they want”.

The solution
SuperFlex project, aims to develop and demonstrate the concept of modular mini-factory (stationary or mobile-‘in container’) to manufacture personalized products for skincare products for the elderly population. The project will design, produce and demonstrate an on-site manufacturing platform based on modular min-factory units and an ICT cloud-based platform. The concept will be low cost and environmentally friendly.

The novel products will be personalized and designed to answer to the elderly specific skin profiles derived from the customers’ skin biomarkers and health status.
The main objectives of SuperFlex are:
• Methodology for a fast and easy definition of the skin profile based on non-invasive or minimally invasive rapid analysis of skin biomarkers and health status of the elderly customers;
• Mathematical models and algorithms to support the development of personalized products for the classification of customers’ conditions and definition of the required skin care product;
• Small and flexible units, ‘mini-factories’, for on-site production of the personalized skin care products;
• Low energy-consumption manufacturing processes and with minimal environmental impact based on Phase Inversion Temperature (PIT) or Emulsion Inversion Point (EIP) methods for water/oil emulsions;
• An advanced cloud-based integrated ICT platform to include: Integration of the manufacturing IT system for distributed control and monitoring of the production network by IT modules for required functionalities: CAD-CAM; Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP); Secure Information Systems (BSI); Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES); Standard for the Exchange of Product model data (STEP);
• A decision support system (DDS) for skin care products formulation according to skin profile for product customization (including SW);
• Mobile application for customer feedback;
• Specific tools to be used for the characterization and implementation of the entire mini- factory concept:
o A manufacturing Reference Model as a first step to achieve a common understanding of all the pertinent aspects, identification of various design alternatives and a mechanism for the analysis of these options for the design and implementation at operational level.
o The ‘value stream mapping methodology’ to analyse and design the flow of materials and information required to bring the product /service to the consumer through a lean production, i.e. considering the expenditure of resources for the creation of value-added products. Working from the perspective of the customers
o A cyber-physical system (CPS) to feature a reciprocal interaction of the physical and digital world, consisting of sensors, actors, embedded software and software services. The operation of cyber physical systems is a complex interaction of different information systems from the technical process and machine level up to the production network level
• Life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost (LCC) studies for platform optimization;
• Demonstration of the entire concept by two mini-factory units and 24 elderly customers for each unit. One stationary mini-factory unit will be located at privet dermatology clinic (partner DRT) and the location of the other will be decided within the project (stationary or mobile);
• Business plan, regulations and standards

Project Results:
1.3.1 Optimization of skin profiling for personalized topical treatment (DRT)
In order to optimize skin care for elderly people via personalized topical treatment, detailed skin profiling comprising physical as well as biochemical evaluation was performed as a first step. For this purpose 84 subjects with different skin conditions were recruited and divided into four groups: A) 20 healthy volunteers aged 18 – 35 years old serving as reference group and 64 elderly (≥ 60 years old) people divided into three groups: B) 21 subjects with Diabetes type II. C) 22 volunteers suffering from Rosacea and D) 21 healthy subjects (50 % woman in all categories). All these volunteers answered specific questionnaires regarding their life style and medical history and were examined by a dermatologist. The physical parameters: Transepidermal water loss (TEWL), Sebumetry, Corneometry, pH-value, Chromametry, Cutometry and Frictiometry were determined. Furthermore tape strips and skin washes from the forearm, feet and facial area had been taken simultaneously to characterize the biochemical skin status. Biochemical analysis comprises the investigation of the inflammation status (detecting interleukin 1ß, 8, 10 concentrations in the skin washes) and determination of the antioxidant profile and the oxidation status (Redox state) utilizing the D-squame sampling discs (tape strips). All obtained data was used to identify specific skin profiles. As a next step, a specific database was created and designed in order to administrate and analyze data in the most efficient way.

The database structure has been developed using standard MySQL architecture, consisting of four logical parts:

1) Initial knowledge data
2) Measurements
3) Trained classification system (DSS core data)
4) Results

A basic algorithm for DSS (decision support system) segment dealing with individual skin measurements via skin profiling and relevant skincare formula recommendation was designed. This segment of DSS included the following process:
Collecting skin measurements data (physical and biochemical) for each individual subject
• Definition of skin profile per individual subject “one man syndrome”, through the translation of skin measurements results into general skin conditions.
• Recommendation for relevant cosmetic base / vehicle based on “one man syndrome” input.
• Proper additives (actives, fragrance, preservative) compatibles with selected cosmetic vehicle.
• Recommendation for the optimal personalized cosmetic formula for the individual subject.
The DSS segment provides an infrastructure for further modifications according to the learning process of the system that will be based on
1. Costumer questionnaire, preferences and feedback that have to be integrated into the DSS
2. Validation of this DSS segment by running the system on volunteers (demo).

This enabled a solid infra-structure enhancing the accuracy in “one man syndrome” definition. Along with demonstration running in WP7 the most relevant skin measurements were performed. In principle, skin measurements are converted into five general skin symptoms (Figure 1.2). The conversion uses analysis results as a tool for selection of subset of parameters for specific skin conditions ranking.

Table 1: According to 0.1 values for each symptom, “one man syndrome” (among 32 options) is determined based on the following table:
One man syndrome dryness itching greasy redness roughness
1 1 1 1 1 1
2 1 1 1 1 0
3 1 1 1 0 1
4 1 1 1 0 0
5 1 1 0 1 1
6 1 1 0 1 0
7 1 1 0 0 1
8 1 1 0 0 0
9 1 0 1 1 1
10 1 0 1 1 0
11 1 0 1 0 1
12 1 0 1 0 0
13 1 0 0 1 1
14 1 0 0 1 0
15 1 0 0 0 1
16 1 0 0 0 0
17 0 1 1 1 1
18 0 1 1 1 0
19 0 1 1 0 1
20 0 1 1 0 0
21 0 1 0 1 1
22 0 1 0 1 0
23 0 1 0 0 1
24 0 1 0 0 0
25 0 0 1 1 1
26 0 0 1 1 0
27 0 0 1 0 1
28 0 0 1 0 0
29 0 0 0 1 1
30 0 0 0 1 0
31 0 0 0 0 1
32 0 0 0 0 0

Each scoring combination of the five skin symptoms represents a single skin profile, or “one man syndrome”. Currently the system defines 32 optional individual skin profiles.
The skin profiles are linked to bases formula. These bases as well as related additives were defined and already tested for stability. The vehicles (bases) in the DSS include:
• Body lotion – (20% water in concentrated base) *
• Facial Serum – (55% water in concentrated base)
• Facial Cream-Gel – (40% water in concentrated base)
* Body lotion final formula can contain three water concentrations:
• Body lotion A - with 20% water
• Body lotion B - with 40% water
• Body lotion C -with 80% water

For each selected active, the system selects the relevant preservative, fragrance and actives (among defined list).
The output of the system is a prescription for the personalized skincare recommended formula. This formula has to be translated into formulating instructions in the mini-factory.

Based on the achieved knowledge the best formulation for the particular skin condition will be designed/selected.
1.3.2 Development of low cost and energy manufacturing processes (HUJI)
For these purposes, three reference model products were selected. The first was Mineral body lotion, (SPB), o/w emulsion, the second was Essential reviving serum, (SPS), and the last one was cream gel, (SPG).
The three bases (body lotion, serum and cream-gel) and the 21 relevant additives (actives, preservatives, fragrances) were produced and selected for SuperFlex manufacturing platform by DSL and HUJI. All bases and diluted bases with additives passed stability tests, safety tests and pilot scale up.
Also, toward sustainability, few ingredients were replaced successfully by more sustainable ones, results in more eco-friendly product which was stable for long period, (3M), at high temperature, (40C).
For the demonstration, two sets of formulations were prepared: One made by HUJI and the other by Fraunhofer with the Supermixer. Viscosity and pH were measured for all formulations. There was a good correlation between the two sets, emphasized the possibility of the concentrated application in the mini lab concept.
In summary, we have demonstrated a method for reformulation of a real commercial product and fit it to the minifactory concept of SUPERFLEX. The commercial products used as a reference for comparison when analyzing the environmental cost.
The pH, droplet's size and viscosity measurements were carried out to assure compliance of the product to cosmetics. The purpose was to develop bases, that can be as versatile as possible in terms of products formulated with them, not necessary identical to the "reference" products. The final parameters of the final product will be determined and adjusted according to the need of the customer in each case.

TUB and GAI made the best selection of green packages according to the results. Bio based PE is selected: 50% BIOHDPE/50% BIOLLDPE. TUB and GAI current achievements conclude the best selection of green packages according to:
– Stability/compatibility of skincare products. Appearance.
– Packaging interaction: overall and specific migration.
– Packaging permeability (barrier properties).
– Eco-designed packages for skincare products. Sustainability.
Furthermore, pre-label design is defined as DNA structure. Printing technology is defined taking into account functional and aesthetic issues. Printing analysis for pre-labelling in the final tube has shown offset is more precise on multi-color printing. Direct offset printing avoids an extra operation in labeling the final tube. In order to ensure accurate color printing the tube needs a surface treatment (flame treatment). Overcoating: radical UV curing varnish. The overcoating system analysis has shown a growing market for UV curing coating. The UV curing systems are environmentally safe and provide the best surface properties and protection for printed surface.

Final label design according to the best selection of partners in Superflex: DNA structure
A pre-industrial trial has been made in TUB with the selected tube.
PRJ achieved the full picture of the Superflex manufacturing model based on comparisons between centralized and distributed manufacturing. Starting from variable formulations and water dilutions it was possible to achieve the environmental impact calibration curves supporting the manufacturing platform sustainability optimization activities. Analysis on different packaging solutions allowed also supporting the choice of sustainable (green) packaging solution.
1.3.3 Platform specification and the SuperFlex ‘Manufacturing Reference Model’ of the modular mini-factory (FhG-IPA)
The SuperFlex Manufacturing Reference Model (SRM) supports manufacturing solutions in order to fulfil the objectives of the SuperFlex project, in which the complete manufacturing process of skincare items is divided into two stages: (1) a modular mini-factory platform for the final individual customised production and (2) a centralised manufacturing plant (mother-factory) for the pre-preparation of cosmetic bases and additives. The principle of a central factory and mini-factory extensions aims to achieve cost reduction, significant reduction of environmental impact, reduction of time to market and reduction of ramp-up and set-up time.
The SRM provides a common understanding of all SuperFlex modules, technologies, resources and its interaction and dependencies in the operating phase as well as during the development phase. The supporting process of the reference model consists of two stages:
• A holistic framework illustrates logic entities, generic processes and dependencies in order to guide the further specification of SuperFlex’ technologies and processes.
• These entities are instantiated respectively refined based on defined use cases.
The holistic framework of the SRM comprises the customer value, the manufacturing structure and generic processes (see Figure 3.1). The customer value is defined by SuperFlex’ objectives and customer insights and requirements. The manufacturing structure defines the ‘What”. It provides an answer to the questions “What to manufacture?” and “What is the manufacturing platform’s content?”. It defines dependencies and the linking between entities, modules, resources and technologies. However the processes provide information about the “How”. They explain how the SuperFlex platform works and order entities, modules, resources, technologies and actors along material and information flows. Both the manufacturing structure and processes are aligned with the customer value in order to ensure a customer focused platform.
SRM’s second stage more specifically the instantiation is based on the following defined use cases:
- testing skin and manufacturing at different locations
- testing skin and manufacturing at the same location
- re-ordering without testing skin
The ‘reference model approach’ helps to define systematically requirements for each entity of the Superflex’ platform as well as for the demo phase. The requirement analysis takes into account the state of the art and beyond for technologies enabling the SuperFlex’ manufacturing platform, as follows:
- Low energy and low cost manufacturing processes for the bases taking place at the mother factory
- Dispensing technologies taking place within the minifactory unit enabling decentralised skin care manufacturing
- Dynamic printing technology enabling a higher level of customization within the decentralized minifactory concept
- Cyber physical systems enabling the minifactory concept
- Decision support systems enabling personalized skin care formulations
- Mini lab, including biochemical and biophysical measurements as wells as measuring equipment
- Eco packaging with a positive impact on the environment.
In order to refine the part customer value of the reference model, SuperFlex’ value proposition was designed. Therefore, the market was analysed regarding to shares, trends and customer needs. In summary, the market is dominated of a few big players covering the most of the market segments and many different companies covering niches. Major trends changing the skin care market are multifunctional product, at home beauty experience, individualization and environmental protection. Surveys were carried out in order to reveal the target personae and their jobs to get done. A portfolio of personae results according to their skin needs and their willingness to spend. These results were taken up in order to design SuperFlex’ value proposition, which again is matched with its enabling technologies.
The implementation of the SRM was supported by an implementation roadmap. The implementation roadmap is based on the TRL concept and on the SRM framework. Thus, it divides the total SuperFlex system in its entities, subsystems/modules (Mini-factory, Skin-analysis, ICT-Cloud,...) and tasks, which had to be performed in order to develop the different technologies or modules.
The execution of the demo followed a systemic approach supported by an UML use case (see Figure3. 2) and a requirement checklist. The UML use case describes the use case of the SuperFlex’ demo phase covering responsibilities and their tasks.
A detailed check list was prepared based on the UML use case and based on the identified requirements for testing and validating the SuperFlex manufacturing platform.
1.3.4 Development of the ICT cloud-based integrated platform (XCS)
The whole mini-factory concept is split to 5 modules: Mini-Lab (with questionnaire and skin analysis), MES system, DSS (Decision Support System), RGS (Recipie Generator System), Mini-Factory and the CFS System.

The Whole process starts with the Mini-Lab, where the customer registration, skin measurements and questionnaire fill out is made on the spot.

When this process is done, the data is sent to the ICT Cloud Platform, where the data is handled by the Xetics Lean MES System.

The MES System handles the production phase and communicates with the modules after all data is available. First, the DSS module is called, where the Decision Support System analyses and decides, what ingredients will be included during the production, based on the measurements and the data provided by the customer. When this formula is available, the data is sent back to the MES System for the next step.

After the DSS, the RGS module is called, which will generate the Recipie understood by the Mini-Factory, based on the Formula that was produced by the DSS as a result.

When the Formula is available, the MES system sends the proper information to the Mini-Factory, and the production in the machine starts. When the product is completed, the result is sent to the MES system, the product is available for the customer.

After using the product, the customer is able to give feedback via the CFS (Customer Feedback System), where the answers of the questionnaire are also used for the next order of the customer, connected to the DSS System. This CFS System is also a standalone model, which can be used from the Web UI or Phone, to fill the questionnaire and give feedback.

1. Data Gathering (Mini-Lab, Skin Analysis and the CFS – Customer Feedback System)

MiniLab is a module which represents the beginning process of generating an individual skin cream for customers.

This module is a standalone application running on the customer side, containing a specific UI for customers, where the measurements and the questionnaire can be made easily.
The execution of the MiniLab application is based on a user-friendly GUI, which includes following steps:

1. Load or register a customer
2. Questionnaire, to prevent possible side effects and improve personalization of the product
3. Skin Measurement
4. Purchase of the product
5. Forwarding data to the MES system for production

First of all, the customer has to be checked, if already exists in the database. This is done by entering the customer number in the input field. If the ID is correct the process will continue, otherwise a new customer account has to be created. After typing in personal information you get an automatically generated ID. In the following steps, this ID will be used.

2. Cloud based storage and the Xetics Lean MES System

The Xetics-Lean MES System is also a core standalone module of the Superflex Mini-Factory concept. The MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is a cloud based application, connected to several modules, displaying the state of the mini-factory, and the current status of the production orders.

When a customer orders a new product, after taking the measurements and the fills the questionnaire, a new production order is generated. This production order goes through the product flow, which is defined specifically for the Superflex project – calling the external modules.

The MES is responsible to store, send and receive data from the different modules. Data transfer is made by several technical solutions (REST, JSON, OPC-UA) to communicate with all the different modules in the system.

As the production goes through the steps described above in the Product Flow, the status can be checked and traced, so the administrators will have immediately up to date information about the orders. This will also be available for the Mini-Factory module, including warning messages (e.g.: the ingredients container is empty), error messages (e.g.: something went wrong during production), and also status information about the machine itself.

When the production order is moved in the first Mini-Factory Step, OPC-UA communication is set up with the machine itself. The needed information (the Formula, that is generated by the RGS) is transferred via OPC-UA interface (details for Labeling, details for the Mixer, etc.), and the machine starts the production itself.

The MES system stays “in-contact” with the Mini-Factory module, and waits for the results / warning / error messages generated by the machine itself.

The Xetics Lean MES System (i.e. the MES system) at the mini factory has a scheduled batch algorithm for reviewing inventory levels of materials (reviewing frequencies will be decided at later stages of the project). The MES system checks for every material if the current inventory level is lower than a predefined level X (X will be defined in later stages considering the following parameters: customer response time, demand rate and costs of placing an order at the mini factory, replenishment lead time, minimal order quantities from central warehouse or supplier, costs of shipping from central warehouse or from supplier to mini factory and environmental costs). If the inventory level is lower than X, then the MES system will issue a purchase order (PO) for z units from central warehouse or supplier and the PO will send an email to the central ware house or the relevant supplier. Upon receiving the PO from the mini factory the central warehouse or the supplier ERP system will check inventory level for the requested material and if material is available the ERP will issue a shipment to the mini factory for the requested quantity or otherwise it will ship the available amount to the mini factory and it will start a replenishment process from mother factory or supplier. The inventory levels at the central warehouse will be defined in later stages considering the following parameters: central warehouse response time, demand rate and costs of placing an order at the central warehouse, replenishment lead time from mother factory or suppliers, minimal order quantities from mother factory or suppliers, costs of shipping from mother factory or suppliers to central warehouse and environmental costs.

1. Mini-Factory

The Mini-Factory is the most important module of the whole concept. The external module contains the hardware and the software, where the production is physically made. After receiving the variable information from the MES system, the production starts.

The production process in the mini factory is a make to order policy(MTO) only. Upon receipt of sales order the MES system, issues an WO. The WO has the product’s BOM and the required quantities to produce the customer’s order. The programmable logic controller issues materials to the mixing unit and the stirring process commences. At the end of the stirring process the packaging tube is filled, sealed and the product dynamic data is printed and labelled on the product.

The Xetics Lean MES System (i.e. the MES system) at the mini factory has a scheduled batch algorithm for reviewing inventory levels of materials (reviewing frequencies will be decided at later stages of the project). The MES system checks for every material if the current inventory level is lower than a predefined level X (X will be defined in later stages considering the following parameters: customer response time, demand rate and costs of placing an order at the mini factory, replenishment lead time, minimal order quantities from central warehouse or supplier, costs of shipping from central warehouse or from supplier to mini factory and environmental costs). If the inventory level is lower than X, then the MES system will issue a purchase order (PO) for z units from central warehouse or supplier and the PO will send an email to the central ware house or the relevant supplier. Upon receiving the PO from the mini factory the central warehouse or the supplier ERP system will check inventory level for the requested material and if material is available the ERP will issue a shipment to the mini factory for the requested quantity or otherwise it will ship the available amount to the mini factory and it will start a replenishment process from mother factory or supplier. The inventory levels at the central warehouse will be defined in later stages considering the following parameters: central warehouse response time, demand rate and costs of placing an order at the central warehouse, replenishment lead time from mother factory or suppliers, minimal order quantities from mother factory or suppliers, costs of shipping from mother factory or suppliers to central warehouse and environmental costs.
1.3.5 Design and integrate the mini-factory unit (AFT)

Publishable summary
WP5 aims are to design and specify SuperFlex manufacturing modules, as well as Develop and produce the mini-factory platform modules-framework. The mini-factory should have integrate its different units for a full activation in the Demo (WP7):mixing unit, cleaning unit, packing units filling unit and storage unit. Yet although the other units have been built, the their integration and combined activation by AFT was not performed during the demo, Only the mixing unit desgined by AFT was successfully activated during the demo.

WP5 is dealing with the Mini-factory machines specifications and integration.

In General, the basics Mini Factory installation and supply equipment are:

Technical data:
Voltage: 230 V 50 Hz – 16 A , Cable with plug 5 m
Fuse: 16 A
Lan connection: 1 for internet
Drain: Dia. 50 mm in wall high max 500 mm or ground
Weight: 1650 kg total
Machine: Doors 3 access sides, backside in front of the wall.
Dimension doors closed:
Width: 2330 mm
Depth: 1390 mm
High: 2110 mm
Dimension Doors open:
Width: 4150 mm
Depth: 1835 mm
High: 2110 mm
Ground loading: 43,5 N / cm2
Room temperature: 20 – 35°C
Humidity 30 until 70% rel.
Environmental: Clean and dry location
Water tap: In room with fresh water tap for supply 60l tank filling
Installation tools: Wrench size: 17 mm
Pallet truck 1 to: 2 pieces

The Machine is protected with safety guards wall and doors. If the machine is in automatic mode there are all doors closed, locked and not to open – safe situation for the operator.

A.) Machine install and energy supply connect for production

The Mini Factory machine frame work is build up on 8 rolls to move it on these for transportation. The switch cabinet has own pallet with rolls and plug connection for cables from the hole machine. Both tanks filled with fresh water, the white tank is drink water and cool water in the blue tank. They are on pallets too with rolls for easy movement to refill and by water change.

a) The mini factory is on the location in front of a wall or free in the room placed. The 3 out sides left, front, right side are equipped with doors. They need space and acces for operating and maintenance these doors are to open 90°. See the maximum space on the General data
b) At location there are the 6 feeds on the lower base frame with wrench screw dow on the ground and the machine adjust with water level device in X- and Y- direction. Target is that all 8 rolls are 5 mm lift up from the ground. The Mini Factory is then not more moveable. Place the switch cabinet box on the left side in the frame work opening.
• Attention: Please push the box only on the lower plate, because it tilt very quick and the PLC inside can damage.
• The cables with plugs connect in the plug bushing and with fixing device secure. After the connection are the cables under the base frame by hand free to stow.
c) The waste water hose is with the sink in the ground to connect.
d) Internet cable is into the switch box import and with the modem to connect.
e) The water tanks are on roll pallets place and with fresh water to fill. For these please unload the hose and measurement cable out of the tank. Tanks on the tap with hose fill and move back into the Mini factory on the right position see on the picture above. Load the hose and cable in the tank again.

f) The packing storage magazine is to fill with tubes, all tubes has the same direction in the magazine. The cap is on the tube and it leys in direction to machine center in the storage magazine. Don’t press the tubes in the magazine they must loos placed one over the other, please don´t squeeze it. Approximate 150 Tubes can be loaded. Outside of the magazine are the tubes in single layer to load against the fix stop shot.

g) Power supply of the Mini factory is a plug for voltage 230 V 50Hz and connect with the plug socket in the wall.
h) Switch on the main power supply outside the main board. The HMI Display gets power and after approx. 3 min. the main menu picture is presented in the display below.

i) Pre-selection of the operating mode „Manual“ or „Automatic“ on the upper menu area.
j) For operation mode „Manual“ push the button on the display then light the green LED in the menu.

1) By operation mode „Manual“ shows in the window buttons for single functionalities to operate the Mini Factory. The display is an touch panel, if the operator push the grey, green, blue or orange button then is the written functionality selected.

Operation mode „automatic
The Mini Factory starts with work if selection of automatic program and the recipe from the data cloud to the PLC control are loaded.

B.) Work flow for manufacture of a personalized cosmetic formula mixture

1) Collect personalized data´s with Mini Lab
Determining of the specific s kin data´s with mini lab equipment for different skin measurements.

The Mini Lab (called Analysis in MES) is the special bio-chemical analysis for the skin that provides input for the ingredients and the production details for the Mini-Factory. The results coming from this analysis are stored in the MES system Analysis step (Measurements), which is forwarded to the DSS as an input.

2) Questionaire from customer
The customer fills the questionnaire with personalized data

Data´s transfer into cloud (DC)
The collected data´s in the cloud, are the basis for the further processing.

3) DSS (Decision Support System)
The DSS System is called from the MES system automatically. The measurements and the results of the analysis from the MiniLab, and the answers from the first questions (and if available: the answers from the Customer Feedback System (CFS system) are provided as input for the DSS, which is connected through the interfaces to the MES system. After the service is called, the Formula for the RGS (Recipe Generator System) is provided and sent back to the MES system. The DSS decides which formula is the best for the users depending on the skin analysis and the questionnaire inputs. After the DSS decides which formula will be used, the result is received by the MES, and the next step is called.

4) RGS (Recipie Generator System)
Depending on the formula, the recipe with the concrete steps for the Mini-Factory is generated. This recipe contains the exact steps and dosing parameters, basis crème 1 - 3, ingredients 1 - 32 with volume value, thes values are send and executed by the Mini-Factory control. This recipe is also stored and forwarded by the MES system.

5) Raw material
The materials which are to processing needs a viscosity in define range. The foil back system from Smurfit Kappa is for food designed and allows not supply very high viscosity. These packing is in the main for liquid materials designed.

6) Production procedure
The Mini Factory is ready for production, all systems checked. The production data is transferred on the PLC control. The dosing of the components in the mixer chamber starts.
Parallel feed the PLC control one packing tube in the work flow.

6.1 Dosing
Mixer only the necessary input is released. For this purpose, the inlet bore opening required is rotated through the inlet ring with supply bore that is automatically operated over electric motor by the program sequence to the right position for next dosing. If the supply bore in the inlet ring faces the selected connection, one of the 1-35 inlets dosing entries is opened.
Only one material inlet can be open.
The volume is automatically dosed over the precision peristaltic dosing pumps (hose pumps) into the cylindrical mixing head chamber according to the recipe.

According to current views, the recipe mixture consists of a base cream and 3 additives or agents. The sequences are run in accordance with the program sequence that is passed in the recipe to the controller of the Mini Factory. 4 dosing processes are run sequentially over time in the mixing chamber.

6.2 Mixer
The Superflex mixer is a new development for mixing of middle and low viscose materials to use. Different viscosities in the mixer are tested. The mixture result was complete homogeny after a defined mixing program. The base crèmes with higher viscosity and only 20% water content is difficult to dose. The inlet ring hole is enlarged for these on diameter of 2,5 mm for better material flow of the base cosmetic formula. After these change was the dosing of the 20% base crèmes into the mixing chamber safe possible.

The number of hose connections of the dosing pump to the mixing chamber is limited to 35. Materials and liquids such as base cream, additives (oils and perfumes), agents (active substances), drinking water, and soap-based cleaning agents all are conveyed through the dosing connection into the mixing chamber. All supply hoses are constant in contact with the mixing ports.
Future work: If an empty bag is disconnect and with an full bag replace, is the bar code on the bag to scan and the bar code of the change place. If both are the same the PLC has approved and processing going further.

During dosing, only the necessary input is released. For this purpose, the inlet is opening. The amount is automatically dosed by means of precision peristaltic dosing pumps (hose pumps) into the cylindrical mixing chamber according to the recipe. According to current views, the recipe mixture consists of a base cream and 3 additives or agents. The sequences are run in accordance with the program sequence that is passed in the recipe to the controller of the Mini Factory. 4 dosing processes are run sequentially in the mixing chamber.

6.3 Mixer cleaning
After product dosing, material residues remain on the mixer ground and in the IPA valve. The mixer is to clean after each mixture if different recipes are manufacture. If the mixture is the same it doesn’t need a cleaning operation. These cleaning operation is in tests confirmed an a part of the work flow in the mini factory. Residues are removed by adding cleaning soap and water via dosing connections 1 - 3 for cleaning, emptying after X strokes, and then loading again with water, rinsing, and disposing of it through the funnel. The amounts of detergent, which are determined via trial and error, are stored in the sequence program and applied.
The cleaning liquid is led to the collecting tank via the outlet valve / IPA valve and through the funnel to the sink.
7) Packing tube feeding, loading and adjusting.
During the mixture processing does the machine parallel feeding one single tube into the work flow. The single tubes are stored in the magazine approximate 150 tubes are placed there. Out of the storage chamber are the Tubes in single layer on the magazin exit provide. The feeder prism with shot wall tilt in the load position and one tube rolls in load prism, one tube is prepared.

The Tube lies in Prism and will from vacuum cups sucked. The Tilt device turn the tube 90° in the vertical position over the turn table bushing. The puser drive moves down and press the tube in the bushing and clamping device for safe position during the processing.
The upper end is with a black mark marked. These is in use for adjusting the tube personalized label front in labeling next station.

8) Turn table
The turn table moves the packing feed tube in the fixing device vertical stand trough the processing.
- Feed station.
- to adjusting station.
- to scale- and fillstation
- to welding station
- to chiller station
- to cuting station
- to ejection system

trough the Mini Factory and realize with the PLC Control the stepwise work flow.
The precision is 0,01 mm and give a reliable work flow.

9) Mixture filling and packing
The completed cosmetic formula mixture is prepared for filling in tube packing. If the weight of the cosmetic formula after filling is in tolerance, where is given from the regulation, then is the processing a successful production. The PLC control get a signal filling operation was successful in the possible tolerance, it is a quality product - the product is deliver on the customer.
If during the processing a deviation from the process occurs, e.g. the storage material bag is empty, an emergency stop, a not planed stop, these mixture is a mistake production, it is to eject in the waste box. The machine does the normal program flow operation after the restart be end. The exit way will be change. The tube run another way in the waste box internal of the machine and not to the customer. The machine control decide the processing is it a quality product or not and it appropriate the ways control.

10) Tube sealing
The tube with the cosmeic formula mixture moves between the open sealing clamps. The press clamps are on temperature and the clamps close and press it. The action time is 6 sek. After the sealing open the heated clamps and the tube moves in the next cooling station. The water colled clamps close and press the weld saw, cool time is 5 sec. After cool time open the clamps and the tube moves in the cutting station. There close the cut plate and cut the tube end with shear cut the not straiht ende of the tube. The cut plate open it and the tube moves in the eject station.
11) Tube eject
The processed tube is on the last work flow in the eject station. There are the two ways possible if its a quality production then it flow the product to the customer. If it´s not a quality product then it flows in the waste box. These ways are controlled over a light beam barrier.

12) Parts of the Label
The static part contains a pre-printed label, which is the same on all of the products. This contains the design, logos, static texts, usage information, required brand symbols
The dynamic part is personalized with text, which is printed during the production, but after the customer fills questionnaire and preferences. Since this part is dynamically generated during the production, a label printer is integrated in the mini-factory machine, where the dynamic parts can be printed.
The dynamic part is split into 4 parts: Product Type, Name, Ingredients, and Enriched
Product type contains one of the following texts: “Body Lotion”; “Body Serum”; “Cream Gel”

This text is generated based on the customer preferences and the ingredients.
Name is the customer´s name, coming from the Questionnaire (Mini-Lab), stored in the MES System.
Ingredients contain a list of the ingredients, which is contained by the cream recipe. The ingredients are sorted by amount in descending order.
Enriched contains the list of actives, also in descending order sorted by amount contained in the product.

12.1 Label Printer
The data´s will be from MES on the dynamic label send and printer print it. Which base cosmetic formula system, different ingredients and how long the product is useable over the sell-by date given. Over heat control does the print head on the print foil the data´s on the label print. Backside of label is adhesive. The labels are on endless carrier foil precut for single spent. The carrier foil does after label spent automatic coil on a spool.

The label applicator is an independent unit for transport of the label to the product and is on the printer mounted. The applicator punch with vacuum holes sucking the spend label for safe movement to product.
The punch with label moves forward and touches with backside the tube surface.
The tube turn is 360°, driven by a motor and pulls the label on the Tube around.
The applicator moves back in the start position for the next label - next Job.

13) PLC Control
The PLC Menu can display in two languages German and English.

The data flow from Minilab in the data cloud needs further optimization. The input of the data´s in the cloud is partly with hand mode. The execution in the cloud to the DSS, RGS was unproblematic. The machine control has done the ordered material basic and ingredients get and in an mixture execute.
The cosmetic formula mixture was perf ormed with the preset program flow.
The filling of the mixture in the tube was unproblematic. It must a slow motion speed during the filling. At the end of the filling the weight raises but it should within the filling tolerance. The PLC control reduces the fill speed. If the weight is in the tolerance window the Mini Factory stops.

1.3.6 Integration of the modular mini-factory platform: mini-factory and the ICT platform (FhG-IPA)
The mini-factory consists of software and hardware modules. From the hardware side mixing, dosing and cleaning system have been integrated with respect to their respective mechanical, electronical and control interfaces. The valid production of two different product types (serum and crème) has been successfully confirmed for the integrated mini-factory by comparing the pH value of resulting product with a manually mixed product. Packaging and labelling units could not be integrated due to catastrophic hardware failures. The connection between the software components and the mini-factory hardware unit has been realized by using an OPC/UA connector software component. This component has been wrapped in a REST web service that itself is connected to the ICT platform via a REST interface. This integration includes the transmission of machine recipe parameters including, dosing times and labelling information.

1.3.7 Proof of concept: demonstration of the mini-factory platform (DSL)
The work here is a multidisciplinary WP dealing with the integration of four distinct operational modules:
1. Mini lab module for “one man syndrome” personalized skin analysis
2. Decision Support system (DSS) with machine learning functions to process input personalized skin parameters
3. Mother factory and Mini-factory Manufacturing System for personalized products
4. Cyber-Physical Production System (CPPS) for cross modules data communication and integration
Additional essential aspects are fabricated in WP7 for a successful implementation and marketing of SuperFlex manufacturing platform: logistics, costing regulation and environmental impact.
The activity results of WP7 are comprised of two parts: (1) demo running and operation; (2) analysis of demo results.
PoC for mini-factory platform demonstration was demonstrated successfully in terms of operation and effectiveness as described in two parts:.
Part 1 - demo running and operation:
SuperFlex demo running process for customized products manufacturing performed on 30 elderly volunteers: 10 diabetics type II, 10 with rosacea and 10 healthy. All volunteers filled in general questionnaire (e.g. skin type, allergies, health condition) + preference questionnaire (e.g. product’s texture, odor) and their skin was measured as follows:
Rapid Skin Measurements for on-site production using the mini-lab: Corneometry (skin hydration), Sebumetry (skin fat content), Cutometry (skin elasticity).
Additional physical and biochemical measurements for assisting self-learning system: e.g. pH, colorimetry (SpA, B, ApL), Frictometry, TEWL, Inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-8, redox status biomarkers (Ferrozine and FOX).
The final customized cosmetic formula for each volunteer was proposed based on a Decision support system (DSS) algorithm according to the described flow:
One man syndrome (related to personalized skin profile) – among 30 options
Base (cosmetic vehicle) – among three options (body lotion, serum, cream-gel)
Additives -among 21 additives: 12 actives, 8 fragrances and 1 preservative

DSS formula was sent to the mini-factory mixing unit for the product preparation by selecting base and mixing it with additives and water, including generation of label data as required by EU regulation. This process was supported by the CPPS operation.
Due to the activation of the SuperMixer (mini-factory mixing unit), only facial customized products were produced in the demo. The Super Mixer was designed to prove the ability of dosing and mixing of base and ingredients. It included 21 small pumps for the additives and 6 big pumps for 3 bases, water, soap and alcohol. These pumps were integrated into the machine and connected them with the software. The product was prepared by taking fully automatically all relevant base and ingredients according to prescription. The following table shows the production execution in the demo using the SuperMixer:

Table 7.1: Planned and executed production during the demo
Characteristic Execution in demo (plan B)
Mini-factory FhG-IPA SuperMixer (only mixing unit)
Produced products Only facial products: Serum and Cream gel. Body products were not produced due to high viscosity of the concentrated base and very slow flow rate
Packaging Jars (30ml), not tubes
Labeling Labeling code was designed for DSS-IT output system, but printed label was not executed during production process
Production duration 5-10 minutes (without washing)

After production, the cream was available, and the volunteers were able to receive the products. Thus, customized production and supplementation proof of concept had been demonstrated successfully.

Part 2 –analysis of demo results
The second part of WP7 focused on the analysis of demo running in different aspects:
1. Personalized treatment effectiveness
2. Costing and logistics
3. Environmental impact by LCC/LCA studies
4. Regulation
5. Marketing analysis

1. Personalized treatment effectiveness
Personalized treatment effectiveness was carried out via the comparison of “before and after” 4 weeks of personalized product application. The evaluation consists of calculation the output form the objective skin measurements and the subjective feedback questionnaire. The output from both skin measurements and feedback questionnaire were integrated into a DSS formula for self-learning system to define weather the treatment was effective for each one of the elderly 30 volunteers. It can be concluded that according to this analysis:
• The majority (77%), of personalized treatments were measured as effective.
• 100% of customers were positive when grading customer’s satisfaction for their personalized treatment and service
The subjective feedback shows that:
✓ 93% of the subjects declare they “feel good/very good” after using their personalized product
✓ 97% of the subjects think their personalized product “provides moisture for their skin”
✓ 70% of the subjects think the scent of their personalized product is “pleasant /very pleasant“
✓ Most of them wish to order the products again

The efficacy percentage was as follows:
Healthy – 7/10 volunteers positive (Subjective + Objective)
Diabetes – 10/10 volunteers positive (Subjective + objective)
Rosacea – 7/10 volunteers positive (Subjective + Objective)

2. Costing and logistics
Cost reduction achieved in SuperFlex due to the following features:
- Reducing the number of beneficiaries involved in product’s long process from manufacturer to customer and consequently reducing the pricing mark-up from 1:6 or 1:7 as today to 1:4 - 1:5.
- Decrease of stock values and warehousing prices due to changing supply chain to JIT [just in time]
- Manufacturing concentrated bases with a less amount of water at the mother factory, thus saving transportation costs, as they are less water.
- Shorter shelf life of 6 months instead of 3 years, reduce the need to formulate stabilizing agents.
- No need for secondary (carton box) packaging
- The summary results show that the Super Flex products WIP (Work In Process) costs in the mother factory are lower by 57%-67%, compared to a similar mass produced product, where 100% of the costs incurred in the mother factory. Consequently, the lower WIP levels (volume and weight) will save storage space and cut inventory carrying costs by more than 35%. Furthermore, the lower concentrates weights and volumes will cut shipping costs to the mini factory by more than 30%.
Applying the risk pooling and coverage analysis models for the Super Flex products demand rates, we were able to cut WIP levels in the mother factory by more than 30%.

3. Environmental impact by LCC/LCA studies
A full analysis of the validated whole Superflex process according to the distributed Superflex manufacturing model was performed in comparison to the centralized manufacturing model currently applied in the cosmetic industry.
The final results on the environmental and economic viability assessments provided a clear answer on the sustainability of the distributed model with respect to the centralized one for all the three product families (body cream, serum, cream-gel):
• Major sources of environmental impact are due to transport and manufacturing
• Major cost impacts are due to initial investment costs for acquisition of mother- and mini-factory manufacturing units (turbo-mixer and super-mixer) and are due to labor costs
• Environmental sustainability is proven in 40%-60% average impact reduction with variability depending on the product families process from 9% to 25%
• The 30% cost reduction is proven for most of the different costing scenarios, the best scenarios are those with clustering and longer distance separation between mother-factory and mini-factories
• The pricing policy considered and margin constraints of 70% on price fully complied with the costing structure allowing reabsorbing initial investments costs due to the mother- and mini-factories units purchase and with labor costs
In conclusion, the analysis shows as transport and logistics is connected to the most relevant impacts sources and shows how the Superflex distributed manufacturing model proves to enhance the sustainability of skin care products and allows reducing manufacturing costs of 30% w.r.t. the centralized model.
The profound analysis of environmental impact and costing by LCA LCC of is one of a kind for the cosmetic industry and furthermore, for personalized cosmetics. This paves the way for more accurate analysis platform of costing in the cosmetic arena.

4. Regulation
In order to comply with the same EC cosmetic standards and guidelines, the mini-factory process for personalized products, has to cope with some challenging demands. These demands are listed in different articles of the EC Regulation, such as safety (article 3), a responsible person (article 4 and 5), good manufacturing practice, i.e. ISO 22716 (article 8), safety assessment (article 10), production information file (article 11), notification (article 13) and labelling (article 19).
SuperFlex new way to answer all these challenging articles are proposed. The main challenge is regarding notification and defines the required information on the product’s composition to be supplied. Since each personal product manufactured is unique in its formula, the information notified using a concentration range. In the official EC guidance, “range” is one of three optional ways to record a composition of cosmetic products. Consequently, each personalized specific product, manufactured by a mini-factory, has a common well-described base, and a pool of active ingredients that the computer system software calibrates according dermatological and cosmetic data inputs, but the available assets can be met within a pre-defined range.
This procedure allows SuperFlex mini-factory platform to benefit on one hand from the personalization aspects and on the other hand from a controlled regulatory approved production process. The proposed framework enables traceability, reproducibility of products as well as quality standardization while all steps follow cosmetic regulation.

5. Marketing analysis
SuperFlex project has successfully achieved its main objectives and the developed products that are compliant with the main market trends and that can thus open its target to a wider population of consumers, comprising not only ageing people affected by rosacea and diabetes. Therefore, SuperFlex innovative concept has a significant business opportunity in various market segments and marketing analysis is required for its commercialization. the marketing strategy analysis included:
- Market analysis and market potential (European cosmetic market, future cosmetic market, competing solution, personalized skincare product with skin profiling)
- Value proposition for manufacturing platform and the personalized skincare products
- SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis
- Costumers profile (Consumer perspective on cosmetic market: improving quality of life, global Consumers profile, consumers perspective on future of cosmetics, SuperFlex products consumer profile).
- Pricing policy (products positioning, products launch: commercialization stages, pricing policy)
- Communication Strategy (Marketing and communication objectives, Communication activities, Key messages, Communication materials )
Different business plans and scenarios in terms of economy, investment and franchise were proposed. Based on these data it can be seen that SuperFlex business opportunity is viable and versatile.

Summary for WP7
WP7 integrates different task critical for assuring operation of SuperFlex manufacturing platform based on personalized skincare via mini-factory production. By demo performing and analysis, it can be declare that SuperFlex concept had been proven successfully and thus, its platform technology can be further leverage and exploited
The Main achievements derived from the activity of WP7 are:
✓ Feasibility and Proof of concept
✓ performing Integrated Personalized Skincare System, reaching its Dow major targets
✓ Client satisfaction and personalized product effectiveness
✓ Cyber Physical Producing System
✓ Environmental impact and costing reduction
✓ Towards exploitation of different SuperFlex modules

Potential Impact:
Main Technological achievements
A) Database of skin profiles and topical formulations for elderly people
B) Modular mini -factory units for the skincare market
C) Portable testing device
IT cloud platform for management of the mini-factory concept
D) A general IT cloud base integration platform to be applied for similar concepts
F) Advanced SW based tools for production and supply chain management of the mini-factory platform

Reinforcing the competitiveness, sustainability and employment of European industry
Since the 2nd World War, with the adoption of the “Social market Economy” model (Eckberg, Roepke, Ehrard) in Germany, and with the successful example of the Nordic Welfare State, Europe has shown a preference for a more sustainable development model, a preference that has increased in the later decades of the XXth century with the growing public concern for environmental issues. In a more normative way, the New Economy model has to be oriented in Europe towards the Sustainable Knowledge Society (SKS), and if this is accepted, a design of the main characteristics of an SKS has to be provided. One of the main features of a SKS is Knowledge as a factor of production. If knowledge has to be a main primary factor in the economy, subject to an accumulation process, the need for research, education and continuous learning pushes Universities (i.e. the Higher-Education system) at the core of the growth process. Important innovations are expected to foster the productivity of the “university” system in ways that are perfectly comparable to the productivity gains observed in the “enterprise” system.
From the other side R&D in ICT in the EU from 2011 by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre concluded that, "The ICT sector has a smaller weight in the EU economy than it does in other major economies, and it has a dominant service component."
The EU’s economy specializes less in ICT sectors. The EU also lags behind in terms of private investment in research and development (R&D) into ICT goods and services. This ICT investment ‘gap’ accounts for a substantial part of the difference between the total R&D investment in the EU and the US.

SuperFlex is totally in line with the above European concept towards Sustainable Knowledge Society (SKS) by developing low cosy and environmentally friendly products, as well as pushing ahead ICT research and development thus being a link in the chain towards technological innovation and creativity, thus reinforcing European competitiveness

Socio-Economic impact

Employment: Due to the new products to be developed and the novel strategy of marketing and customer personalized products and services, it is expected that the SMEs and industries involved in the project will grow significantly thus producing new job opportunities for the European citizen.

Impact on the Quality of life:
Skin ageing depends on several factors: lifestyle, diet, heredity, and other personal habits (such as smoking). Sun exposure is the main cause of skin damage. Skin damage from the sun is due to the UV light, which breaks down elastic tissue (elastin) in the skin and causes the skin to stretch, sag, wrinkle, and become blotchy, occasionally with pre-cancerous growths and even skin cancer.
Other factors contributing to skin ageing include the loss of fatty tissue between the skin and muscle (subcutaneous support), stress, gravity, daily facial movement (smiling and frowning, for example), and obesity. Skin changes that accompany aging include:
• Roughened or dry skin
• Benign growths such as seborrheic keratoses and cherry angiomas
• Loose facial skin, especially around the eyes, cheeks, and jowls (jawline)
• Transparent or thinned skin
• Bruising easily from decreased elasticity.
All above factors influences the health and the quality of life of the elderly population .

European added value
The challenging objectives of this project demand a multidisciplinary, international collaboration of technologists, engineers, dermatologists, chemists IT scientists, mathematical modeling experts, and process development specialist as well as training, exploitation, dissemination and project management. These disciplines were chosen from different countries to establish a consortium of great expertise. The participants will benefit from different approaches in Europe. The consortium is formed form 13 organizations EU members- Spain, United Kingdom, Italy and Germany; and associated country: Israel. It is obvious that the research work cannot be achieved at a national level, as research expertise gathered in this European project is critical for its success. The success of the project is highly dependent on this expert consortium. This challenging research needs European cooperation, since the specific knowledge and expertise of the different partners from different countries is essential, and it cannot be performed at a level of a single country.

The potential Market
i) The skincare trends and market
1. In the USA, everyone has a dermatologist on speed dial. Now a surge of interest in the UK, mainly in the private sector, is defying the economic slump. The skincare market in general has increased by 176% over the last six years and, new concepts in treatment have provided an invaluable boost to the sector, pushing the total UK mass market for dermatology skincare to £593 million. The rise in visits to professional outlets for skincare treatments resulted in Sales growth for the global professional skincare products market. While Japan remained flat with 0.1% growth, Europe recovered in 2010, posting a 3.0% increase following a 3.3% decline in 2009, and sales in the United States increased by 2.7% in 2010 .

2. The worldwide market size for Beauty and Personal Care Industry (BPC Industry) has increased 36% during 2005-2010 and reached USD 382.3 billion in 2010. Despite the significant influence of global economic recession in the year of 2009, BPC industry still showed stable and continuous growth in certain regions with emerging markets, particularly in Asia Pacific and Latin America. It is forecasted that these two dynamic regions will drive the BPC future global sales and become equally the joint largest market (with Western Europe) by 2014 .
3. Drive for Youthful Appearance and Preventive Skin Care Fuels the Global Medicated Skin Care Products Market . Global Skin Care market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4 % over the period 2011-2015. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increase in the aging population. Within the broader spectrum of general skin care products, the global market for Medicated Skin Care Products is forecast to reach US$6.2 billion by the year 2017 .
4. “Skin conditions are the most common new reason for people to visit their GP,” (a spokesman for the British Association of Dermatologists). “The latest figures show that 24% of the population report to their GP for a skin complaint annually and 900,000 are referred to a dermatologist.”
5. Increasingly, customers are now looking for non-pharmaceutical solutions. According to market research company Kline, this shift has opened up a lucrative avenue in “nutri-cosmetics” and, with supplement giant Seven Seas launching Ilumina, a high-profile anti- supplement, the trend looks set to grow.
6. Private clinics are seeing large increases in treatments for age-related pigmentation and other skin imperfections, including sun damage. This is partly due to improvements in treatments for these dermatological complaints, but growing consumer awareness is also a major key factor .
7. mini factory concept can produce significant benefits for the competitiveness of cosmetic companies and for environmental impact because they can afford to bring down the cost of pollution linked to transport and can allow the creation of tailor-made products based on the specific needs of smaller groups of consumers

SuperFlex answers directly to the above market trends by: 1) developing skincare treatments, 2) for the elderly population, 3) mainly based on non-pharmaceutical solutions, and further 4) demonstration the concept in a private dermatologist clinic concept for production of personalised products

ii) The ICT market and opportunities
Forrester is predicting that ICT purchases by European business and governments will show an almost imperceptible 1.2 % in 2012 in euros, which will result in shrinking the continent's share of the market and making it distinctly smaller than that of the Americas and the Asia/Pacific regions. In contrast, during 2012 the U.S. and Asia/Pacific areas are both on track to grow by more than 6% .

iii) The packaging market
PCI’s latest annual report on the €11.6 billion European converted flexible packaging market. The report’s author, also noted that even in these uncertain times, volume growth in European consumption was almost 2% for 2011, confirming that flexible packaging continues to suffer less than other industries in a downturn. This overall growth figure does, however, cover up some significant regional differences in demand trends – the larger volume markets of Western Europe grew at around 4 – 6%, while demand in the Spanish and Portuguese markets was broadly static and in Greece flexible packaging values declined again in 2011. Key East European markets, Russia and Poland, continue to exhibit growth at twice the average for Europe as a whole.

ii) Exploitation by the R&D centres
The research organizations and universities involved in the project that will produce scientific and technological results of commercial value will be involved in their exploitation both directly and indirectly.
The direct output of this project (a) will be protected by patents and by granting licenses to the relevant industries for its exploitation (or establish spin-off) - they are acquainted with the professional staff to carry out these types of activities; (b) Will be realized by increasing their leadership in their respective areas of research on a global scale.

iii) Assumptions and external factors that may determine whether the impacts will be achieved

SWOT analysis of the proposed concept and products.
• Low cost
• Sustainable production
• Personalized products
• Flexibility and Mobility Fast ramp-up
• Short delivery time
• Brand (DSL) credibility as an honest and trustworthy dermo-cosmetics brand much stronger than other leading competitors in the same segment.
• closed cooperation with dermatologists (DRT) for credible product
• Has yet to be up scaled for production
• The concept on an industrial scale has to be successful
• First in the personalized skincare market
• Elderly population: A market with high potential, constantly increasing
• Controlled galenic preparations by establishment of standard procedures and apparatus for local and flexible manufacturing in a small scale
• Distributed hardware/software infrastructure with unique characteristic for all areas where flexible and near-to-customer production will take place in future
• Introducing a new concept to the market is always challenging and risky
• Time to market may be not suitable due to the economic situation in Europe
• Approvals by authorities

Exploitable products and know-how
1. The concept of mini-factories
2. Decision support system to be used by different stack holders; costumers, experts, manufactures,
3. Low energy emulsification and stirring processes
4. Manufacturing model reference
5. Cloud based ICT platform including the cyber-physical system (CPS) to feature a reciprocal interaction of the physical and digital world, consisting of sensors, actors, embedded software and software services
1. Personalised skincare products for elderly population
2. Novel packaging materials
3. Personalized Labelling system
4. New devices for skincare production

List of Websites:
Dr. Pnina Dan
Phone +972 544567024