The 'Factory of the Future' awards were presented on 23 February in Flanders and Wallonia. In this series of articles, we will meet the various winners and outline why they deserved their award! We are continuing this series with the L’Oréal Group’s Libramont factory whose production processes have undergone several transformations over the years.
L'Oréal established its factory on the Libramont site in 1975.
Today, L'Oréal’s Libramont Factory specialises in the production of hair colouring, styling and care products for the European consumer market. The factory employs around 400 people, works with 4,400 finished products in 31 different formats and produces 200 million units each year.
The Walloon entity is continuously setting up initiatives to accompany L'Oréal's industrial adventure, identify performance levers, seek agile solutions and limit its impact on the environment. Over time, it has become a model for the Group in terms of sustainable development, new technologies, organisation and training, thanks to continuous investment in these different areas.
Plant Director Laurent Mercenier emphasises that one of the reasons why L'Oréal - Libramont Factory decided to embark on the "Factory of the Future" designation process was to recognise the expertise and mobilisation of the teams who are committed on a daily basis to finding agile solutions in order to improve their departments’ processes and quality. "The Libramont factory is a reference site for the Group. This designation will also enable us to give visibility to the group's industrial and environmental approach, and we hope to inspire other sectors too".
It is in this context that L’Oréal deems it important to build a local collaborative network to exchange methods and tools to support the digital transformation of industries.
The digital transformation at the service of "the fundamentals"
Digital transformation has always been a necessity for the factory and the L'Oréal Group, a real ambition in order to maximise what they call their "fundamentals": employee safety, product quality and the environment.
Mr. Mercenier emphasised: "Becoming Industry 4.0 requires the continuous commitment of the teams."
A precursor and pilot for many L'Oréal Group projects, the Libramont factory has invested over time in various pieces of equipment such as remote-controlled machines for moving pallets, cobots and connected applications to facilitate the work of the teams, a greenhouse for drying sludge to reduce waste, etc.
The Director of the Libramont factory told us: "We will never stop transforming ourselves. In 10 years' time, we will have made even more progress in our environmental and societal commitments after joining the "L'Oréal for the Future" programme, an ambitious commitment by the L'Oréal Group to sustainable development between now and 2030."
He also added: " In 10 years, we will have progressed in terms of performance, agility and technology as we work towards bold goals and projects to meet the needs of our customers, consumers and employees."
Finally, Mr. Mercenier concluded on the outlook by emphasising that they will also have evolved their ways of working and collaborating by supporting employees on a daily basis with respect to the professions of tomorrow, as well as towards greater autonomy and responsibility in their work.
What can be expected from a FoF designation in the coming years?
"Employees will be proud, and they deserve to be! It will also encourage them to launch new projects in our factory and in the L'Oréal Group in order to continue to support our digital transformation."
This designation also allows L'Oréal to position itself as a benchmark in the cosmetics market and to demonstrate its know-how to its partners, suppliers and future employees.
Finally, the Libramont factory is delighted to be part of a local network that will enable all the companies that have received the award to evolve, together, into the industry of tomorrow. "In this process, we have everything to gain. Whatever the result, it provides a real insight into the company's strengths and areas for improvement. It is important to be challenged, to constantly question ourselves, it is a matter of survival for the industry. And an outside view is often much more valuable than we think.”
Also read :
- The Danone production site in Rotselaar: Factory of the Future 2021
- Delhez Tôlerie: Factory of the Future 2021
- Cargill : Factory of the Future 2021
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