Coty employs reverse mentoring program at UK manufacturing plant

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Coty employs reverse mentoring program at UK manufacturing plant
An engineering student, cosmetics and robotics…. No, it’s not the start of a joke but rather the key components of Coty’s UK manufacturing plant’s new reverse mentoring program.

Mark Springer, Engineering Director, and Mary Brady, vice president and General Manager, came up with the concept as an opportunity to strengthen the skills in the use of the Adept technology, currently used in the factory for a number of automated processes.

To do so, they explored the practice of reverse mentoring by working with a local school to help develop a new training module.

In a growing age of the millennial, reverse mentoring is becoming increasingly commonplace as it enables senior leaders to gain a better understanding of new operations, technologies, or customer trends.

The colour cosmetics firm says it has implemented this strategy as it closes the knowledge gap for both groups giving veteran employees deeper insight into modern devices and tools, while young employees learn business terminology and practices from those more seasoned than them.


The program has been rolled out at the UK manufacturing plant and saw one of the company’s engineers work with Adept Technology to convert a redundant robot cell into a fully functional training cell, before student George Edwards from The Kings School, tested out the six-week development plan before deploying it to existing staff.

The scope of the project was to improve operations and resolve complex issues by strengthening the team’s knowledge base of the equipment and raise the aptitude in general fault finding.

Nick Laughton, a multi-skilled engineer with COTY for the past 15 years, was the one to work with Adept, to ensure that the machine could operate independently and conform to regulations before being able to qualify the machine for training purposes.

Student training

George was then inducted at the factory and commenced his initial training with Nick, and given short term objectives and goals that helped him gain an understanding of the benefits and impacts of automation within a manufacturing environment.

The student learned the language and writing of basic programs that manage system components and sequences, and the analytics of cycle times to establish the benefits of speed versus accuracy.

Since the summer of 2014, he has trained approximately 15 engineers and skilled trades employees in the program, teaching both programming and de-bug techniques. 

Coty claims that through the program, participants have gained a new level of confidence with the Adept robot system that has improved communications and resolved long-standing issues with equipment performance and reliability.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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