Rapid Increase of the Cosmetic Industry’s Worth
The global cosmetics industry is one of the most valuable markets globally. As of 2021, the market was worth an attractive $511 billion US dollars. And it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
The growth can largely be attributed to an increasing demand for skin care products and a surge in demand for “natural” ingredients in cosmetics products. Changes in packaging styles and marketing strategies are also fuelling the growth of the global cosmetics industry.
Despite the growing demand for beauty and cosmetics products, the cosmetics industry, like every other sector, still faces a broad set of challenges across the cosmetics production spectrum.
So, what are the key production challenges facing cosmetics manufacturers and how can technologies such as liquid product recovery (“pigging”) help overcome some of these challenges?
Production Challenges Facing Cosmetics Manufacturers
High Energy, Water and Resources Consumption
For cosmetics that are liquid based or in liquid form during production, the first and foremost challenge facing cosmetics manufacturers is the high water, resources, and energy consumption required in the production process.
During the Clean-in-Place (CIP) process, large quantities of water, cleaning chemicals and heat are used to clean hygienic (sanitary) process pipes, vessels or other processing equipment without disassembly.
Typically, the CIP process involves many stages including an initial rinse stage, often using water. Other stages of the CIP process include chemical re-circulation, intermediate rinse, sterilant, and post sterilant rinse.
Many cosmetics manufacturers often use hot water during the CIP process for sanitising the line, which results in high energy consumption.
Not only does high energy and water usage hinder the bottom line and profitability, but it also has a negative impact on sustainability and the environment.
Meeting Ever-Changing Customer Needs
With the demand for cosmetics products increasing, it is important for manufacturers to be predictive and innovative in meeting these new challenges. Therefore, to meet ever-changing customer needs, cosmetics manufacturers must now accommodate a large number of product Stock Keeping Units (SKUs).
As an example, just six years ago, one of the world’s leading cosmetics companies had a product portfolio of 60 different lipsticks. In 2021, this is no longer the case as the same manufacturer has over 400+ lipsticks to choose from.
More and more cosmetics manufacturing plants are launching new product lines, modifying existing equipment and introducing new SKUS frequently. However, this can be extremely problematic, especially if the equipment isn’t flexible and doesn’t allow fast and efficient changeovers and cleaning.
Some cosmetics manufacturers use dedicated production lines for certain products. This makes it extremely difficult to introduce new SKUs efficiently. After all, setting up new equipment costs money and takes time. So, in many cases before cosmetics companies have even got around to incorporating additional process lines, they’ve already fallen behind the competition.
That’s why it’s critical that cosmetics manufacturers leverage processing equipment that supports production flexibility and agility, while ensuring the efficiency and quality of the production process (here’s an interesting article on shared and dedicated production lines in liquid processing).
Viscosity of Certain Cosmetics Products
Cosmetics products have different levels of viscosity. Viscosity refers to the resistance of a liquid to flow. It’s a vital parameter that influences how a product behaves during production and processing.
Although the viscosity of cosmetics products can differ from product to product, products such as mascara, facial creams and face masks tend to have a higher level of viscosity in comparison to products such as hair gel and shampoo. In addition, products such as nail polishes, toners and liquid make-up tend to be on the lower viscosity scale.
Pumping cosmetics products with various viscosities and densities can pose significant challenges for manufacturers. Many problems can arise if the processing equipment has not been specially designed for the applications or conditions that they are being used for.
That’s why it’s important for the production process to be designed in conjunction with the viscosity level. The goal is to maintain flow efficiency through the consistent and continuous movement of liquid product. This can be a challenge with higher viscous liquids, as efficiency tends to decrease as viscosity increases.
And the higher the viscosity of a liquid, the thicker it is and the more leftover residue there is in process pipes that needs removing.
High Raw Material Costs
Another major production challenge facing cosmetics manufacturers is the rising costs of raw materials and packaging which continue to hinder the bottom line of many of the leading cosmetics players.
The fundamental ingredients found in most cosmetics and beauty products include water, emulsifiers, preservatives, thickeners, moisturisers, colours and fragrances.
Some of these key ingredients are extremely rare and expensive to buy. For example, some luxury beauty products contain caviar which sells for around $1,500 per kg for the cheapest with the most expensive type costing around $4,000 per kg. In addition, rose oil is frequently used in perfumes, fragranced products and skincare serums. This is also extremely expensive due to the high cost of production, with 100ml costing more than $1,750. Natural and organic raw ingredients also tend to be costly to buy.
Due to the high costs of raw materials, cosmetics manufacturers want to make sure they use everything they buy and avoid wasting high-valued ingredients during the manufacturing process.
That’s why it’s important that manufacturers use processing equipment that can reclaim as much product as possible, rather than flushing it down the drain during the cleaning and changeover process.
Introducing Pigging Systems for Cosmetics and Beauty Products
Pigging is a technology that is helping cosmetics manufacturers solve some of their biggest liquid processing challenges.
That’s why it’s in wide use and becoming a must-have investment in cosmetics production plants throughout the world. Pigging delivers extensive tangible benefits, high return on investment (ROI) and fast payback (nearly always in less then a year).
From creams, lotions, and serums to shampoo, conditioner, and hair gel to liquid make-up, moisturiser, deodorants and fragrances, the benefits of pigging systems for cosmetics processing and production are extensive.
Understanding How Pigging Works
Pigging systems use a specialist projectile (called the “pig”) to reclaim the residual liquid product from process pipelines.
To put it simply, the pig has a diameter slightly larger than the pipeline that is transporting the liquid. The pig is a key component of a pigging system that, powered by compressed air, CO2, nitrogen, water, or even the next product being pumped, recovers the residual product from the pipe.
In nearly all cases, this is done automatically. The process pig is introduced into the pipeline, housed and returned using pig launchers and pig receivers. After the pigging process, the reclaimed product can continue to be processed, packaged and sold.
The pigging process usually takes place during the changeover process, when the pipeline is changed from running one product to another, which can be several times a week, day or even hour.
And any cosmetics product in liquid or wet form can be pigged. This includes products with both low and high viscosities.
How Pigging Systems are Helping Cosmetics Manufacturers
By reclaiming product from process pipelines, pigging systems are an extremely effective way to increase yields and reduce waste.
And by reducing waste, cosmetics manufacturers spend less money on energy as well as waste disposal and removal services.
In addition, because the pig recovers so much product from the pipe, the need for long, continuous flushes between product transfers and batch changeovers are significantly reduced. In some cases, pigging can even eliminate the need to water flush completely.
Even if water flushing and CIP are still required for the cleaning and changeover process, their length and intensity (along with the amount of water, energy and resources used) are much less due to pigging.
In this way, pigging systems improve control and efficiency of the CIP process. In addition, they can prevent cosmetics companies over flushing their lines. This is due to HPS product recovery systems being automatically controlled and their operation optimised.
Faster Changeover Times with an HPS Pigging System
Another major advantage of pigging for cosmetics production is that it speeds up changeover times.
Changeovers can be extremely costly for cosmetics manufacturers equating to lost production time, and high waste costs. They can also be extremely water, chemicals, labour, energy and time intensive.
That’s where pigging can help. Because pigging ensures very little product residue remains in process pipelines, there’s much less cleaning, water flushing, and resources required. In this way, the cleaning procedure is significantly easier and faster. In addition, changeovers are quicker and production downtime is far less.
Pigging also enables the same production line to be used for different variations of product which increases the capacity, efficiency and flexibility of cosmetics processing operations. It also enables manufacturers to be agile and meet customer demand for greater product variety.
Improving the Bottom Line with a Pigging Solution
By increasing yields, cutting waste, speeding up changeover times and reducing energy and water use, pigging lowers operating expenses and costs. In this way, pigging technology improves the bottom line and enhances the competitiveness of cosmetics and beauty operations.
Other benefits of pigging include reduced contamination and cross-contamination risks, better product quality, increased lot control, improved environmental sustainability and much more.
Importantly, HPS custom pigging systems are designed around the precise needs, aims and objectives of each customer.
Find Out More
Our pigging experts are extremely knowledgeable and experienced and will work with you to provide a solution that delivers tangible benefits, significant savings and an attractive ROI.
To ensure the system meets your needs, they’ll work closely with you to understand everything about your existing process from pumping pressures, viscosity, aims, objectives, existing pipeline infrastructure plus much more.
So, if you manufacture cosmetics in wet and liquid form and want to improve your processes using hygienic and sanitary pigging and product recovery solutions, please get in touch.