The French beauty multinational has two manufacturing plants in Spain, but it is in Burgos that it wants to take the rest. L'Oréal will invest 23 million euros in the modernization of this factory this year and next. Founded in 1971, it is the only factory of the 41 that it has in the world, where it produces 80% of what it sells, which is specialized in hair products.
Located in the Villalonquéjar polygon, one of the two large industrial enclaves of Burgos, which account for half of the city's urban land, it groups 550 companies with 16,500 employees, the L'Oréal plant distributes the 254 million products it produces to year to 52 countries. It is about dyes, shampoos, lotions, hair treatments, etc. of a dozen brands, including House 99, the banner launched by the ex-football player David Beckham for male care, or Botanea, with 100% vegetable ingredients. In total, some 5,000 references, according to the director of the factory in Burgos, Benoit Mocquant, responding to 1,722 formulas and produced in 43 production lines.
The factory wants to anticipate in a month the needs of the market through technology
The challenge of this factory, which employs around 500 people, is to speed up the orders that are distributed all over the world. It is the way to compete in the Burgos factory, which is determined to modernize, automate its machinery and integrate new technologies. The objective, says Mocquant, is to anticipate market needs in a month and for that the key is agility, the ability to customize the product and digitalization, which allows reducing delivery times.
A walk through the factory facilities shows more than 400 robots working together with their robot colleagues (collaborative robots, which interact with humans), which are more than five and have been baptized with first names. And it is precisely these last ones that are of most interest to L'Oréal, since they prevent employees from engaging in repetitive tasks, says the director of the Burgos factory, from where more than 8,000 trucks enter and leave each year and move more than 350,000 pallets.
This L'Oréal plant is the second or third most competitive of the multinational in the world, according to its director. And the first of the group they call "dry", that is, that reuses water. It has a biomass power plant, from where the energy it consumes is generated and it is neutral in carbon emissions.