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Packaging & design

Albéa wants to use its new centre of excellence in Italy to strengthen its position in applicators

Albéa inaugurated at the end of January a new production site in Bottanuco, a town located near Milan, Italy. After one year of works, the USD 7 million (EUR 6.2 million) site is set to become the packaging producer’s European Centre of Excellence for mascara, lipgloss and eyeliner.

Albéa’s new site in Bottanuco has an area of 18,400 square meters, 250 employees and a production capacity of 160 million units per year. This plant consolidates production from two former industrial sites in Verderio and Imbersago, which had been operating for nearly 35 years in the Milan area.

Global Centre of Expertise

Joining the other manufacturing sites of the Cosmetic Rigid Packaging division, in particular in Mexico, Brazil and China, the Bottanuco plant strengthens Albéa’s leading position in the mascara packaging market.

Thanks to its integrated injection, extrusion-blow moulding, decoration, surface treatment and assembly technologies, the site can produce packaging and applicators for mascaras, lip-glosses and eyeliners.

Furthermore, the Albéa Tips Studio will also be setting up its global Center of Expertise at the Bottanuco site. This program brings together all of the group’s expertise in the areas of innovation, development and production of applicators, including fibre and plastic mascara brushes, lipgloss tips and eyeliner applicators. The centre also features a comprehensive library of fibre and plastic brushes as well as rapid prototyping capabilities and a makeup test laboratory to evaluate the trio formed by applicator, wiper and formula.

Shorter development delays

In a makeup market notable for its rapid pace of innovations, one of Albéa’s main goals is to reduce development delays. From the customer’s brief, and thanks to the brushes library, the supplier can deliver a first sample within three days.

Rapid prototyping methods have also been deployed to enable the production of new brushes in reduced time and with harmonized assessment methods.

The applicators challenge

Anne Rutigliano, Albéa

Anne Rutigliano, Albéa

The creation of the Albéa Tips Studio is also due to the growing importance of the applicators in the makeup industry, especially for mascaras and lip-glosses. “In this context, Albéa wants to strengthen its position as an expert in both the fields of applicators and packaging,” said Anne Rutigliano, Albéa Tips Studio Manager. Indeed, another objective of Albéa is to to increase the added value of its production by selling more packaging and applicator sets. Every year, the supplier already launches about 20 new applicator designs and prototypes.

This implies to have a perfect knowledge and understanding of the needs and expectations of consumers, in particular through consumer analyses, focus groups, consumer insights, for each region of the world, considering the global scope of the centre,” adds Anne Rutigliano.

Albéa therefore relies on this new site not only to improve its industrial efficiency and responsiveness, but also to offer a wider range of value-added services.

Vincent Gallon

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