The use of the Augmented Reality (AR) technology in the spatial design of a corporate production line.

The creation of the visualization of a production line in the Augmented Reality technology for L’Oréal.

L’Oréal SA is a global cosmetic corporation with registered office in Clichy (France). The company sells its products in over 130 countries all over the world. The corporation was established in 1909 by Eugène Schueller under the same of Société Française de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux. L’Oréal includes a number of global cosmetic brands, such as:
  • L’Oréal Professionnel
  • Garnier
  • Maybelline New York
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Helena Rubinstein
  • Laboratoires Vichy
  • Yves Saint Laurent
Various show business and fashion stars have been the faces of L’Oréal: Kate Moss, Andie MacDowell, Beyoncé Knowles, Penélope Cruz, Milla Jovovich, Jane Fonda, Claudia Schiffer, Jessica Biel, or Scarlett Johansson. In Poland, L’Oréal is present through the cosmetic factory (producing hair dyes, creams, and hair care products) in the town of Kania near Warsaw and through distribution and marketing structures of L’Oréal Polska.

Challenges and needs

Market dynamics (also cosmetics market) requires manufacturers to make quick changes in the matters of both production and distribution. In this market segment, one of the principal marketing tools is grouping products in packages (for example, shampoo + conditioner, cream + makeup remover). So far such process has been carried out in the Polish division of L’Oréal through outsourcing, which has limited the possibilities of a dynamic reaction to market impulses. Having such line for completing and packaging cosmetics directly at the manufacturing level would allow for a more efficient management of the entire marketing and distribution process avoiding potential losses in case of an inadequate or delayed reaction to the market needs. Once L’Oréal’s management in Poland understood this need, an investment process was initiated in order to buy and implement such packaging sleeving in the Polish plant. As this is a large investment (of several million EURO), the decision-making in this matter was based on the corporate process with the involvement of the Top Management from the L’Oréal headquarters in Paris.

Implemented solution

The decision on the investment coincided in time with the visit of Barbara Lavernos in Poland. Due to this, apart from the traditional investment process documentation, it was decided to reinforce the message with a non-standard visualization of a target production line based on 3D modelling and Augmented Reality with the use of Microsoft HoloLens glasses. This decision is a part of the trend of building in L’Oréal a global culture and technology that uses Industry 4.0.

Results

L’Oréal’s management’s visit of the plant near Warsaw was a perfect occasion to present the use of the above-mentioned technologies in the target hall where this production line will be installed. Apart from the visualization of the equipment, the presentation also included their technical variants, as well as handled questions of work ergonomics, and employee safety. For many people attending the presentation, it was the first contact with such advanced technology, so their enthusiastic reception of our manner of showing a complex technical and organizational issue comes as no surprise. In large organizations, message simplicity allows the decision-makers to better convey their concepts and ideas, which obviously enhances the probabilities of a positive investment decision if only through a direct and media-friendly message – devoid of detailed technical and professional knowledge that is unnecessary in this case.