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Coster producing new Unilever Lynx/Axe custom spray cap in the UK

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Coster inaugurated its UK Barlborough site in 2014 starting with aerosol valve assembly in a 5000 sqm large production area. The operation, which is based on a fully automated production system, has become a benchmark for the aerosol industry, with over 1 billion valves already supplied into UK market.

Following the success of the valve assembly plant, Coster has moved quickly into the production of aerosol spray caps – a natural fit with the production range of the Coster Group. When Unilever, a long term and strategic partner to Coster decided to relaunch the Lynx/Axe deodorant range, the decision almost naturally fell on Coster as the partner of choice for the new spray cap.

The success of the valve operation meant that the existing production space was fully utilised.

The original site was acquired with a surplus of land, and it was on this surplus of land that Coster embarked on phase 2 of the Barlborough success story.

Coster and Unilever expanded the site, and incorporated injection moulding could become a reality. In less than 12 months, a brand new state of the art production plant extension comprising six injection-moulding machines and two assembly machines was delivered on time and in full.

Supporting the local economy and drawing on resource from the surrounding areas, the new plant has seen the recruitment of a team of 10 new colleagues to run the production cells.

The new spray cap, codenamed Dark Matter, is an optimized version of its predecessor, maintaining the same functionalities of the current version with a lightweight design and fewer componentry.

As with all product development today, sustainability was at the core of the design principals behind Dark Matter.

Resin weight is significantly lower on Dark Matter than its predecessors which delivers a positive environmental impact without compromising on best in class functionality and performance.

Sustainability was also front of mind for Coster in designing the infrastructure necessary to make Dark Matter.

Each of the components of the spray cap are moulded with brand new, fully electric injection moulding machines that minimize energy consumption. The Barlborough facility also features high levels of environmental best practice in building design and construction, low energy LED lighting, roof windows that enable high levels of natural light and a heating system that re-utilises air blown by the compressors rather than dispersing in the environment are some of the advances incorporated into the new building.

The close proximity of Barlborough to Unilever Leeds also ensures minimal road travel, reducing associated carbon emissions.