Perfume manufacturer achieves rapid growth using Flexicon filler pump

Lincolnshire-based Wolds Manufacturing Ltd, a specialist manufacturer of fragrances and other personal care products, has acquired a new Flexicon PF6 table-top peristaltic filling machine from Watson-Marlow Pumps Group. The machine was selected thanks to its rapid changeover capability, which is highly suitable to the company’s low-to-medium volume application area.

Niche opportunity

Wolds Manufacturing was established in 2013 to fill a gap in the market for the production of high end, boutique style eau de toilette (EDT) and perfume products in volumes deemed too small for the blue chip giants that operate in this sector. Despite being a young business, Wolds has over 50 years of combined experience in the personal care industry. The company is spearheaded by director Wayne Baker, who was keen to avoid hand-filling from the outset.

“I previously worked at a company that operated nine Flexicon PF6 machines filling water and oil-based liquids into bottles, so I knew the advantages they could bring,” he says. “We have found the machine to be extremely flexible – we fill everything from 1 ml tester vials up to 200 ml pump-type spray bottles. Furthermore, we can change the fluid path in under a minute, which makes it ideal for the volumes we handle. On average we change product around three times a day.”

Precision dispensing

The PF6 dispenser provides Wolds with both accuracy (±0.5%) and repeatability. The peristaltic filling principle delivers the widely recognised benefits of precise filling, zero cross contamination and ease of cleaning. Contamination between fragrances is avoided by changing the AccusilTM platinum-cured silicone tubing for each fragrance or by rinsing the tube. Batch sizes at Wolds range from 1000 to 3000.

“We knew of other peristaltic pumps but the Flexicon PF6 gives us the accuracy and throughput we require,” says Mr Baker.   

Installed in October 2013, the pump has proved revolutionary at Wolds Manufacturing. In fact, the company has since acquired another PF6.

“The business would not be viable without our two PF6 machines as we would have to pour the products by hand,” says Mr Baker, who is already looking to introduce further levels of automation into the manufacturing process.

“We are looking to semi-automate the set-up in the near future as the business grows,” he explains. “At present, we produce around 50-60 different products, but orders are growing week-on-week. I therefore anticipate that it will not be long before we need to look at automated filling capability, and the PF6 filler gives us the platform we need to achieve this.”

Indeed, the company has recently completed a major product launch for a customer in Ireland, resulting in 70,000 bottles to produce for the first order. All will be filled using the Flexicon PF6 machines.

Wolds Manufacturing is able to handle all aspects of EDT and perfume manufacturing, taking the raw fragrance and introducing it to alcohol, along with all subsequent processes such as cooling, filling, boxing, wrapping and labelling.

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