Renata Bartekova, product expert and sales manager of Adelphi Manufacturing, talks about the challenges facing European cosmetics and skincare manufacturers.
You have been in the industry for over 20 years. What advice would you give to companies looking to invest in filling machines?
For companies of all sizes, from artisans to multinationals, compliance is essential! The increase in regional and international legislation has been accompanied by a stricter questioning of hygiene practices. It's never too early to start and the machine supplier is a great place to start.
You mentioned that hygiene is an area that receives special attention. How does this relate to the filling process of cosmetics and personal care products, and what advice would you give to manufacturers?
When manufacturing dermatological products and products used in sensitive areas such as the eye and mouth area, it is essential to invest in filling machines built from hygienic and durable materials such as stainless steel. Some suppliers use cheaper construction, and while the initial price difference suggests it's a good deal, in the long run it will turn out to be a fake economy.
Machine parts that come into contact with the product (called "wet" parts) must be made of pharmaceutical grade 316L stainless steel, PTFE and Viton to ensure that no contamination occurs.
It is also important to make sure to take into account the time it takes to thoroughly clean the machine as often as necessary – filling machines that are quick and easy to disassemble will give an advantage, as the longer the cleaning process, the more money is lost in production downtime.
What would you say to cosmetics and personal care manufacturing companies looking to increase production, without overloading their resources?
Due to the pandemic, many industries are experiencing exponential growth around the world, forcing manufacturers to rapidly increase their production capacity. However, moving the filling process from semi-automated to fully automated can be a daunting prospect, with many automated filling lines costing over €60,000 upfront!
At Adelphi Manufacturing, we have developed our range of scalable "Response" machines to solve this problem. The entry-level Benchtop Filler integrates with automated solutions in the same range, allowing capacity to be increased as needed, without making the initial investment obsolete. The Benchtop Filler can be separated at any time, if returning to smaller batch production is necessary.
What about craft companies that operate in smaller premises? Is there a viable growth option for them too?
Absolutely! Just as we saw with mobile phone technology in the 2000s, padding technology has gained in sophistication while decreasing in size. A good example is a one-piece solution, which integrates both a filler and a capper around a small star, in a compact footprint (as little as 112 cm wide x 81 cm deep). This overcomes the greater space requirements of a linear filling and capping line.
Maximizing the achievable production of production space is essential in any business, regardless of its size, in order to generate the highest possible income. Fully handling up to 16,000 containers per eight-hour shift, a one-piece proves that limited space certainly doesn't mean limited production!
With sustainable manufacturing at the forefront of everyone's concerns, what advice would you give to companies looking to source equipment responsibly?
I stress that environmentally friendly investment has never been more important; for the survival of the planet and of every company. The Internet makes product comparisons fast and efficient, so consumers can question every aspect of the product and processes before deciding to make a purchase. Sustainability credentials are now a key decision factor for customers who purchase cosmetics, skin care and other personal care and hygiene products.
The choice of equipment supplier will send a strong and clear message about the company's commitment to sustainability; it can help or damage its reputation, and therefore its bottom line.
We often hear about companies that want to become more sustainable themselves, but don't know where to start. What first steps would you recommend?
For businesses of all sizes, improving resource utilization and efficiency is a great place to start. This will reduce waste and improve its environmental impact, and has the added benefit of improving its return on investment! I always recommend investing in stainless steel equipment for the manufacture and distribution of cosmetics and skin care products. Many of our customers ship their products worldwide in stainless steel containers, and the containers can then be reshipped for reuse or reuse at the second site. Stainless steel is one of the most environmentally efficient raw materials, due to its durability and ability to be recycled. The equipment will have an extremely long service life and even after its service life, it should never enter the waste stream.
How can companies investigate a supplier's sustainability credentials before making a purchase?
A simple search on the company's website will often tell you everything you need to know! Type "Sustainability" into their search bar and the results will speak for themselves. Look for press releases on the supplier's green innovations; the relationship between the supplier and trusted organisations such as the Sustainable Business Partnership; and evidence of the local and global impacts of the supplier's green initiatives.
Suppliers who have won awards for their environmental initiatives are the cream of the crop; they can be a real asset and will often collaborate on social content on the theme of sustainability, which is really valuable to present to customers.
In the aftermath of the lockdown, how can companies be sure that machine suppliers are not simply looking for a quick sale and recommending equipment responsibly?
This is a very valid concern – fortunately, there are a multitude of resources available to support a purchase decision. Case studies, word-of-mouth recommendations, and Trustpilot reviews are some of the resources that suppliers can be asked to provide.
Buying from manufacturers that offer remote support is another great way to ensure high-quality after-sales service.
And finally, I urge companies to invest wisely – avoid buying the cheapest machines on the market, as this can often turn out to be a false economy in the long run.