Development of the Electronic Control System for Nespresso's "Essenza Mini" Coffee Machine

Nestlé Ltd.
Helbling developed the electronic system as well as the software and hardware for Nespresso's lightest and most compact coffee machine to date – from the pilot study to large-scale production for the global market.

The electronic control system for the "Essenza Mini" capsule coffee machine needed to meet several requirements. Firstly, its production costs needed to be around 30 percent lower than those of its predecessor, while retaining its main functions. The circuit board itself could only be half as large. In terms of energy efficiency, the target was to achieve an energy class of A-40%, without using costly automatic switches. It also goes without saying that the control system needed to work reliably in an electronic environment made all the more difficult by heat, moisture and the power supply. Other challenges were presented by the coffee machine's large-scale production and worldwide distribution. To ensure that the design would satisfy the quality requirements of large-scale production, proof was needed that all requirements had been met, a comparison had to be performed between the market risk and the development expense, and a low failure rate had to be guaranteed. The machine also needed to be compatible with several different power supplies and comply with all national and international standards so that it could be used anywhere in the world. Helbling not only has the perfect infrastructure for developing products intended for mass production, but also many years of experience in design for manufacturability and design for testability methodologies.

  • User interface via LED buttons

  • Component control (heater, pumps, sensors)

  • Power electronics controlled by a microcontroller with an extremely small, cost-effective power supply

  • Auto power-off

  • A-40% energy class

  • Design for Testing


  • Optimizing product development

  • Fine-tuning electronics & software

  • Fewer and cheaper parts than predecessor model lead to reduction in manufacturing costs and proneness to failure

  • Developing series prototypes

  • EMV and endurance testing

  • Comprehensive product documentation

  • Supporting producer of electronics module with setting up production tests

  • Parallel review of possibilities for further reductions in manufacturing costs

Result / Success

The "Nespresso Essenza Mini" was launched globally at an affordable price and won the coveted Red Dot Award 2014. The jury's reasoning: "The Essenza Mini's systematic focus on the essentials results in a high degree of user-friendliness and small dimensions, making it well suited for small kitchens."

  • The industry website talks of a "capsule machine that impresses across the board" – "simply ingenious and ingeniously simple".

Reference projects

Get in touch with us

Contact now