Laleham Health & Beauty
System F overcomes production difficulties filling high viscosity body scrubs at Laleham Health & Beauty
Laleham Health & Beauty is a highly respected contract manufacturer of globally recognised health and beauty products. Operating from two extensive UK sites in Hampshire and Lancashire, they have over forty years of experience supporting the health and beauty sector.
Laleham have been a customer of the Adelphi Group of Companies since 2007, when they purchased a single
Response Benchtop Filler from Adelphi Manufacturing. It proved to be so effective that they now have eight, and the relationship between the two companies has gone from strength to strength.
Subsequently, when Laleham were experiencing difficulties with a problem product, sister company Adelphi Masterfil were happy to offer the chance to trial their innovative new inline filling machine.
Laleham have a key premium brand customer that sells an extensive range of cosmetics products internationally. Their products include creams, gels, and salt and sugar based scrubs, generally filled into jars and pots ranging from 50ml up to 350ml. The filling of the creams and gels could be tackled relatively easily, however they were experiencing extreme difficulties filling the highly viscous and abrasive salt and sugar based scrubs.
High viscosity combined with friction enhancing particulates was causing their existing automatic fillers to overload their servos unless they were run much slower than production demands required. However even when running slowly, it did not completely rid them of their problems as the gradual build-up of particulates also caused the machine to grind to a halt. The only solution offered by the equipment manufacturer was a costly bespoke modification. The Adelphi Response benchtop fillers had no trouble filling these products, however semi-automatic fillers just couldn’t deliver the output that Laleham needed to meet the customer’s increasing order levels. The inability to efficiently fill these scrubs meant every fill was actually losing them money and was proving to be extremely costly to the business. A solution needed to be found.
During a visit to the Interpack trade show in 2014, Laleham representatives Jason Eggbeer and Paul Marr visited Adelphi’s stand to discuss the problems they were experiencing. Adelphi Masterfil happened to have an early prototype of their System F filler on display, and after some discussion a solution presented itself that would benefit both companies. Adelphi Masterfil needed a partner with which to conduct extensive user testing, and it was recognized that the extreme nature of Laleham’s production requirements would test the boundaries of System F design envelope. Laleham also run three shift production, five days a week, and so from Adelphi’s perspective there couldn’t have been a more suitable candidate to trial System F.
Hygienic & Versatile
System F had been developed from the ground up as an extremely hygienic and versatile inline filler, capable of accurately dosing products with a wide range of viscosities, and even those with large particulates. Available as a flowmeter or volumetric filler with up to sixteen filling heads, Laleham opted for volumetric dosing with eight filling heads, fed by 500ml cylinders. Laleham would undoubtedly be taking a risk by installing a newly developed filler that hadn’t yet been fully tested, however their industry experience combined with their strong relationship with the Adelphi Group of Companies meant that it was a calculated risk that was worth taking.
Laleham could not afford any unplanned down time, and needed System F to run at more than twice the speeds being achieved on their existing automatic fillers. Back at Adelphi Masterfil, System F was demonstrated to achieve the required speeds over very short runs and so was installed at their Hampshire site. As with any newly developed piece of machinery, there were of course teething problems that were identified and rectified over the coming weeks and months. However this was anticipated by both companies, and was all a part of the development process; the exact reason for carrying out extensive ‘real world’ testing.
Although at first a little sceptical of System F’s ability to meet the required output levels in a ‘real world’ environment, Laleham have been pleasantly surprised. System F has been reliably running at the required 80 units per minute (330ml volume) and it is now the packaging line that cannot keep up.
Quick & Easy Set-Up Minimises Production Downtime
When asked about the benefits of installing the System F filler, Jason commented:
“Compared to the automatic filler we were using, the setup is so quick and easy. With two sets of wetted parts we can comfortably perform product changeovers in less than 20 minutes, and container changeovers in less than 10. With System F we also have independent and almost infinite control over each element of the fill cycle, which means we can fine tune our recipes to achieve the very best outputs possible.
Our existing fillers can match System F on water based products, but on the scrubs they just cannot cope with the viscosities, and frankly I want as much flexibility as possible in the machinery that we run. Modifying one of our existing fillers would have come with no guarantee of success and would have been extremely costly both in terms of cash and lost production time…
I am also very taken with the ability to easily add extra filling heads should we need increased output in the future. Combined with the option to add a second conveyor, this should ensure that System F can continue to meet our increasing output targets without the need for investment in another filling line.”
Flexible, Fast & Scalable
Paul Marr also added:
“Most importantly, System F gives us the ability to keep up with demand. It is an extremely advanced multi-purpose filler that I know we are not using to its full potential in terms of the variety of products that we could use it to fill. Price wise I feel the filler is very attractive to businesses like us that require flexibility, speed, and scalability. For what the machine can offer in comparison to what is available in the market place, the price is very reasonable. Also, when showing existing or potential customers around our production facilities it certainly helps to have machines that clearly demonstrate our willingness to invest in modern and well engineered equipment. The fact that it is aesthetically pleasing also generates confidence as if it looks right it generally is right”.
Following the trial period with System F, Laleham found that the filler had proved itself to be a benefit to the business which couldn’t be lost. They have since purchased the machine, with an interest in taking further fillers in the future.