Today’s cosmetics manufacturers require optimum product quality, minimal batch times and lowest possible energy use to reflect the contemporary cosmetics landscape and consumer choices. Read about the many ways that a major Asian company benefitted from installing a new mixer from Tetra Pak.
With a growth rate higher than the average in the cosmetics manufacturing industry, and with a reputation for creating recognizable and much-loved brands, the producer faced a challenge. It needed to maintain its industry-leading position by selecting the right partner and equipment in order to be able to navigate through the numerous changes affecting its production.
This manufacturer turned to Tetra Pak in an attempt to improve its existing production facility. It wanted to explore the possibility of upgrading its single traditional and simple mixer – which had been in use since 1985. Formulating cosmetics products using this equipment took eight full hours to produce a 100-litre batch. This had become problematic as this process no longer reflected the speed with which new trends were reaching the market, and the rapidity with which consumers were demanding them. It needed to modernize its equipment to reduce batch sizes, with a focus on energy efficiency to reduce the facility’s environmental impact.
Prior to installing Tetra Pak technology, the customer installed a heat exchanger to reduce the cooling time. However, this did not provide the benefit of energy reduction. In order to meet customer needs, the manufacturer would have required multiple vessels. But this would have incurred additional costs, energy, workforce and training to be able to automate systems and processes to restrict resource usage.
In 2008, the company contacted Tetra Pak for a new machine that could help improve production capacity. Tetra Pak recommended its high shear mixer BPC R series with CoDE3 technology.
At the Indonesian Product Development Centre (PDC) of Tetra Pak, a series of trials were carried out, producing various formulations to indicate how the CoDE3 technology would support production aims and wider commercial strategic goals. Throughout these trials, a Tetra Pak specialist was on hand to provide suggestions on how to optimize the process.
Utilising the CoDE3 technology resulted in an increase in productivity and process efficiency. These improvements to the production process demonstrated to the manufacturer exactly how this technology can enable it to reach its future objectives. Subsequently, the manufacturer invested in the equipment, at a capacity of 500 litres per batch.
The equipment enabled faster production of skin care cream as the water phase – which was required for the majority of ingredients – did not need to be heated. The vessel was also equipped with a highly efficient jacket to shorten the cooling time and, ultimately, reduce overall batch time.
While the conventional machine required eight hours to produce a 100-litre batch including ageing, Tetra Pak’s equipment could produce 500 litres in just two hours. Since that first investment, the manufacturer has purchased seven new mixers, including a pilot unit (read more here).
The processing modules are monitored and controlled automatically to make sure the manufacturer can reproduce its operations and trace each batch. Process control design using Tetra Pak PlantMaster maximizes accuracy — a fundamental consideration when producing high viscous ingredients such as creams, toothpastes and mascaras.
Tetra Pak offers contra-rotating agitators to allow both scraper and central impeller to rotate independently and provide sufficient power to mix highly viscous emulsions and suspension-based products.
The seven installed mixers have improved product quality by improving the aesthetics of the skin care products, which is so often synonymous with high-quality luxury, accuracy, safety and credibility. The emulsion produced fine and homogeneous droplets that feature a more pearlescent appearance. Machinery from Tetra Pak also supports sustainability efforts by creating efficient energy usage by heating only part of the ingredients, reducing energy consumption by up to 50%.
“After implementing its own pilot unit, and with ongoing support from our specialist throughout the trial process, we have reduced batch times and fostered a faster development phase,” says Antoni Yan, Product Portfolio Manager at Tetra Pak. “We provide after-sales support to keep the machine performing optimally and to minimize downtime, as well as offering the opportunity to run trials to support new product developments.”
In ten years, the customer has evolved rapidly, expanding its product range to include liquid foundation, colour cosmetics including mascara, facial scrub, aromatic cream, foot cream and additional skin care creams. The new mixer has enabled it to embark on such an ambitious expansion plan as less time is required during the production batch process, and so product development cycles occur quicker, enabling products to reach the marketplace sooner.
With geographical expansion part of its wider strategy, the producer now plans to expand to overseas markets including Southeast Asia and the Middle East, where halal cosmetics are enjoying strong growth.