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Beautiful skin thanks to Balthazar

Robotics solution for the automated manufacture of individualized cosmetic products

The MOTOMAN CSDA10F operating (Source: AlpStories)

The Slovenian start-up “AlpStories” has been implementing a successful business model: the company manufactures cosmetics and wellness products to customer specifications – from batches as small as size 1. This is achieved with the aid of an industrial robot developed in the laboratory environment: Yaskawa’s Motoman CSDA10F.

Simon Jereb, Research & Technology Director of AlpStories, explains the concept thus: “We enable people to put together their own natural cosmetics according to their tastes and needs.” In doing so, the fledgling enterprise pursues the basic principles of personalization, creativity and simplicity. In a first step, customers can select the basic product on the AlpStories website. This is followed by a selection of packaging size and skin type. On this basis the customer receives suggestions for the product which can be modified at any time.


Dual-arm Motoman CSDA10F robot

The individualization of industrially manufactured mass products was hitherto impractical due to the high unit labour costs. Modern robots now enable different product variations to be integrated into the normal manufacturing process without resulting in declining economies of scale. The dual-arm Motoman CSDA10F robot employed at AlpStories was originally developed for use under laboratory conditions. Thanks to multifunctional tools and grippers, it is highly versatile and able to learn new workflows easily and quickly.

The Motoman CSDA10F operating at AlpStories even has its own personality. Its name is “Balthazar“ and it is, so-to-speak a special design solution, equipped with a charming smile – as customers will see for themselves at the conclusion of the manufacturing process by online livestream. In addition, each product is delivered with a personal “making of” video.


Automated manufacture of individual products: Industry 4.0

Changing customer requirements and new technical options make the implementation of “mass customization” concepts in many industries increasingly interesting. Especially in Industry 4.0 they are assuming greater importance than ever before. Complex products from batch size 1 and the implementation of micro-series, however, present an enormous challenge for the automation of the required processes. The production line must be highly flexible to permit the conversion of layout and function for a new product. As the AlpStories example shows, this is possible with the use of advanced dual-arm robots.