Coty Inc, with sales of over one billion pounds, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of colour cosmetics, personal fragrances and skin treatments in both the mass and prestige markets. Coty’s factory operations produces the company’s lipsticks, mascaras and powders for worldwide distribution. As customers become more discerning and colour shades ever more subtle, maintaining a competitive edge in today’s colour cosmetics market requires extremely close control on the accuracy and consistency of the production process. Over 7000 raw ingredients including liquids, pastes and powders, form the basis for these products and ensuring batch consistency can be a logistical and manufacturing nightmare. Spoilt or inconsistent batches are very costly, both in time and lost revenue.
As Coty’s Manufacturing Manager points out: “Each finished product is made up of between 20 and 40 different ingredients with batch sizes varying from 20-1000kg. Like many companies, our batching procedure had evolved around labour intensive and often cumbersome paperwork routines. The adding of ingredients is a manual process and keeping a check on the amounts of each ingredient going into a particular batch, together with ensuring that all the required ingredients had been added was very difficult. The procedure relied totally on operator efficiency and any distractions or errors leading to an incorrect batch often only came to light after the final product had been produced. Furthermore, trying to keep track on product usage and product traceability was almost impossible.”
The system combines MARCO’s highly reliable weighing equipment with their inspirational Trac-IT software suite. Trac-IT fully encompasses all facets of factory data capture and being based on industry standard operating platforms, it is equally at home running any bespoke in-house software application. Ingredient weighing is carried out at six PC-based, DataMaster stainless steel work stations. These form the hub of the recipe application and are designed to incorporate the weigh scales, working surfaces and operator interfaces, all at optimum working height.
Coty have seen a 20% increase in productivity and the system has paid for itself in less than five months. They now have full batch traceability and ‘right first time’ batches have risen from 80% to 98%. Any variances are now due to acceptable variations in the natural colours of the ingredients. Another major benefit of the new system is that the Trac-IT system gives them instant access to archived manufacturing data, without having to plough through reams of paper. This is particularly relevant bearing in mind that Coty need to store records for five years.
Coty’s Manufacturing Manager is in no doubt as to the benefits of the new system: “At first we were reticent about the claims made by MARCO but it soon became clear that we had no reason to worry. MARCO’s professional approach and attention to detail surpassed our expectations. The new system gives us accurate weighing and full software integration, all supported by MARCO’s Assistcall total support package. Installation took place with the minimum of disruption and apart from some initial scepticism from the operators, the advantages have been very quick to show. The operators are very comfortable with ‘their’ workstations, stock details are now accurate and raw material bottlenecks, resulting in incomplete batches waiting for missing stock, have disappeared. We can now plan our raw material ordering much more precisely, avoiding both costly over-stocking and material shortages.”