"In a difficult period for all glass manufacturers, the strength of the Stoelzle group has enabled us to maintain our focus on investments and to be ready today to support the new projects of our customers", emphasizes Étienne Gruyez, Chairman and CEO of Stoelzle Masnières Parfumerie and Director of the Perfumery and Cosmetics Business Unit of Stoelzle Glass Group.
New furnace and fifth production line
Inaugurated last January, the new furnace has increased the site’s production capacity by more than 30%, bringing it to over 110 tonnes per day, or approximately 140 million bottles per year.
Unlike the majority of glass manufacturers, which specialise in one product category such as Perfumes & Cosmetics, spirits, pharmaceutical and consumer, Stoelzle Glass Group maintains a presence across all these market segments. “This gives us a strong capacity for resilience in the event of a crisis, because these different segments are rarely affected at the same time,” adds Étienne Gruyez.
The reconstruction of the furnace came along with the assembly of a new line capable of accommodating both spirits and perfumes production. In total, the site now has five production lines: four dedicated to perfumery and cosmetics and one for perfumery and spirits.
"This is a market that the Stoelzle group is already familiar with and to which the Masnières plant brings its expertise in perfume glass. It is also a way to speed up the dissemination of skills and innovations within our various business units. Our customers appreciate the group’s presence in several segments because themselves are constantly on the lookout for new developments that may emerge in other sectors,” says the manager.
However, many other investments have been made and they are also contributing radically to the site’s transformation.
The modernization and automation of the in-house moulding facility continued, in particular through the acquisition of a new robot capable of automatically loading and unloading the machining equipment. While Stoelzle Masnières Parfumerie already manufactures all of its pre-forming moulds in-house, this new equipment allows a significant increase in production capacity to ramp up the internalization of the production of final moulds.
"This is a very important element of responsiveness, which makes it possible to reduce mould production times to one or two days, where 15 days are necessary with an external supplier," explains Étienne Gruyez.
At the other end of the glass production chain, the entire cold sector has been modernized, with new quality control machines, and the automation of packaging with new robots.
Concretely, investments have been made at all stages of the chain, including within the sister plant Stoelzle Masnières Décoration, with the acquisition of a Kamman K15 automatic screen printing machine.
In total, 20 million euros have been invested in Masnières over the last six months, adding up to the 15 million euros already invested by Stoelzle Glass Group from 2015 to 2019 to transform the 200 years old glassworks into a high-performance tool capable of meeting the challenges of the luxury market of the future.