An expert in mechanics and robotics, Christian Combeau comes from the automotive industry where he worked for nineteen years in different countries such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, the United States and Brazil . In 2002, he joined Puig as a planter in Chartres. Today, he is chief technology officer at Puig and vice-president of the Cosmetic Valley division.
What happened to the Puig factory, based in Chartres for 45 years?
The Chartres factory is 45 years old, but the Puig company has been established in France since 1968. The construction of the factory in Chartres, in 1976, called Paco Rabanne Parfums, produced between an added dryness. to a frozen record. 45 years later, we are happy to live there, it is well integrated into our territory and it has become a source of pride. It was also a good decision for the Puig family to stay in Chartres. At that time, we had special help from the Banque Régionale de l’Ouest, which greatly encouraged this arrangement. Puig in Chartres is the discovery of French knowledge with the skills in our factory.
Puig produces 30 million Paco Rabanne and Nina Ricci bottles each year in Chartres
Today, Puig employs many people in Chartres?
In fact, 141 employees work at Puig in Chartres. We sometimes call on volunteers. This brings the workforce back to an average of 150 to 160 people. This happens at times when we launch new products or have a spike in activity in response to increased demand, such as Christmas.
At Chartres, we promote the production of large volumes for our company.
After Paco Rabanne’s famous perfumes, what other products are made here?
Of course, we have all Paco Rabanne perfumes. We have Jean-Paul Gaultier perfumes, a growing French leader for us. Finally, we create Nina Ricci perfumes. At Chartres, we promote the production of large volumes for our company. In the family of products that everyone knows, we have One Million and Invictus. Based on our knowledge in this field, we have been able to isolate the process to better achieve our goals. We created, last year, the last Paco Rabanne called Phantom, with millions of pieces. Also, with Phantom, we have the first release of the associated perfume bottle. Chartres remains at the forefront of innovation.
How is it going this year? 2021 is very strong in terms of production if the first half of the year is stronger. I hope we will achieve our goals by the end of the year. We are approaching our 2019 stage. We are troubled by the lack of materials such as glue to make our cases. Recently, we have had a problem with the lack of wood to make pallets, and aluminum for some time. Fortunately, our supplier is based in Europe. That said, the rising cost of containers to produce is a big factor in this problem. Ship owners prefer to operate on Asia-America routes rather than Asia-Europe. These days, sailing to Europe is slowing down. We spend some time on the air. That said, we are happy with the development of the American market, which has more potential than the rest of the world.
About 600 players in the sector will participate in the 17th Perfume and Cosmetics Congress, in Chartres
Where are you with Factory 4.0? Four years ago, we tried to imitate the processes we saw in Germany at Audi. We wanted to find brands outside of the perfume and cosmetics industry. Therefore, we have maintained the website of our entire production line with a quick read of all our products. We are bringing cobots (Editor’s note: collaborative robot) to reduce or eliminate difficult tasks and conditions for our employees. We didn’t want it to be fun. The goal is to develop the skills of our employees. These are important for job interviews at the end of the year. Finally, we have organized special training plans to increase the skills of Puig employees in the company’s four factories in Chartres, Madrid and Barcelona. So we want social progress in this way. All this is done in connection with Sup Meca to receive PhD students in the digital twin programs of our contact line. This has resulted in unprofitable mergers and acquisitions.
Interview by Ahmed Taghza
23 to 24 million bottles of perfume will be produced at Puig in Chartres in 2021. A number down from the usual thirty million, due to health problems. Christian Combeau believes that in 2022, there will be another number of 30 million bottles.