The London-based manufacturer wanted to improve the efficiency of the production process, as its shampoo formulations took several days to mix, and delays were also caused at the filling stage.
Operations manager, Mark D’Arcy said the company’s existing two tonne vessel used to manufacture shampoos and cream peroxides took three days to mix shampoo, the most challenging product for the company to produce.
“Our existing mixing equipment with large blade impellers was also leaving too much air in the product, causing delays at the bottling stage,” he added.
Doubling manufacturing capacity
The company first experimented with recirculation pumps, but this led to an increase in power consumption and product aeration as well as inconsistent results, said Herb UK, which then looked to improve the agitator.
A viscoprop agitator was supplied by processing company Ekato which resulted in a 50 per cent reduction in processing times.
“We can achieve 100,000 tonnes per manufacturing year,” said factory manager Brian Crouch. “In addition, the new process is removing much of the air, reducing bottling time and the need for a recirculation pump,” he added.
Correcting pH value of formulations
According to the managing director of Ekato UK, John Smith, correcting the pH value of a formulation also becomes much easier as the multi-stage propellers can distribute the adjuster consistently throughout the batch.
Correcting the pH value is typically done by adding an adjuster at the end of the mixing process. As it is thinner and lighter however, and tends to sit on the top of the formulation, more is needed to ensure consistent values throughout the batch.
Furthermore, Crouch said that the fact the propellers are much smaller than the existing ones “makes the tank more accessible for removing the product and a shorter cleaning process reduces changeover times when we switch from shampoo to activators.”
Herb UK produces Organic Colours Systems, which, together with its supporting ranges are salon-exclusive products, the company says, and its Tints of Nature brand is destined for the retail market.