Powder Press

cindyhrcindyhr Member, PCF student
I am looking for a powder press. I found several in China from Eugeng, ProMake and Ri-Way in Taiwan. They are priced from $4,300 for a semi automatic to $20,000 for a fully automatic press. In the US similar machines start at $55,000. 

I am leary of purchasing from China because they may not have the best service and support. We are moving from a single manual one ton press to a machine. We want to change pan sizes and shapes quickly and inexpensively and don't need to press a huge volume. I am wondering if it would be better to purchase a Carver lab press or go with a more automated machine from China. Safety of the equipment is also an issue. 

Any my input on this is appreciated!

Comments

  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Go to China and check it out for yourself. I would. Nothing to be frightened of.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Just a head up here, as Belassi suggested, go to China and check in-situ for what you need and want. Oftentimes, many indelicate companies would ship to you what they want and  what you probably don't need.

    Quality is near to nil if  you aren't present in the factory, avoid the so called middlemen as much as you can. HTH
  • cindyhrcindyhr Member, PCF student
    Thank you Ameen and Belassi. I will also be purchasing a hot stamp machine and pencil machine from Taiwan. It would be good to see the factory and even get some training on the machinery. 
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Oh, you will enjoy Taiwan. The people are very friendly. I went to a trade show there and found a great keyboard for my computer line (this was back when I had a computer assembly company). It was so good that IBM bought the same item and shut me out... Taiwan is all business. They will take you to the Mongolian Barbecue restaurant for sure. 
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • cindyhrcindyhr Member, PCF student
    Sounds great Belassi!  I am getting the pencil machine from Taiwan and it is the most expensive machine at $24,000. In the US pencils machines are $100,000. This same company quoted $20,000 for the powder press versus Eugeng at $12,500. Maybe I can get them down more on the press. I would feel more comfortable buying from Taiwan than China but I don't want to pay too much more. 

    I'll look forward to the Korean BBQ!
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Yes. During my trip I also visited Hong Kong. There were plenty of opportunities there but I was not made to feel welcome. I met a British guy who had been taken to visit a factory. The next day he decided to revisit it without bothering to make an appointment. He couldn't find the factory. It had been set up temporarily like a film set, to fool him.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Be aware that the economies of scale for the cosmetic pencil business are huge, and the market is cut-throat level competitive in a crowded market. You'll be competing with the Chinese on costs, US manufacturers on quick turnaround, and the Germans+Italians on quality - and all three are no-win contests. Just the environmental regulations for manufacturing pencils in the US are a nightmare.

    You would quite honestly be much, much better off financially if you took the money you were planning on investing in pencil making and instead invested it in pencil hot-stamping machines, while you bought your pencils unstamped from China.

    I worked for a pencil company, Cosmetic Pencil Manufacturing, that had spent huge amounts of time, energy, and money trying to make pencil manufacturing a profitable business, but they were driven out of business by foreign competition.

    Go to a trade show, like HBA in New York, to see what your competition will look like if you don't believe me, but I'm very serious when I say that it's impossible to make money manufacturing pencils unless you're selling $1 million a month or more.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    I'm reluctant to answer your question about the powder press in much detail on this forum, since this is exactly the area I consult in.

    The only advice I can give you (publically, at least) is not to disregard the used equipment market.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • cindyhrcindyhr Member, PCF student
    Hi Bob,  thanks for your input on the pencils.  The reason we want to do this is to produce pencils on a smaller scale for ourselves and other beauty lines private label.  There are very few natural pencils on the market made in the US. We found as a small beauty brand in order to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace we would have to buy 1,000 to 10,000 or more pencils at a time and they would not be natural or made in the US.  We want to manufacture and sell pencils on a smaller scale of 25, 50 or 100's at a time not 1,000's.  The brands that would come to us want it made in the US, natural and to be able to put their branding on them.  It would be a small niche market that the larger brands have not tapped.  Your thoughts on this are appreciated.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    There are very few "natural" pencils on the market because it is almost impossible to make a functional  "natural" pencil, let alone a high-quality one.

    What third-party "natural" standard are you planning on using to be sure that your pencils will be considered "natural" by consumers?

    Those are very, very small quantities. I can't even begin to imagine a business model that would let this be profitable.

    Were you planning to make wood-encased, lacquer-coated, extruded-core pencils? Or are you planning on making cast-core, propel/repel plastic case "pseudo" pencils?
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    OK, I know that everyone calls them "mechanical pencils". I'm letting my bias show. But I still don't like them as much as wood pencils, they're too finicky.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • cindyhrcindyhr Member, PCF student
    Hi Bob, We make only wood pencils. We will not make the mechanical or plastic ones. I purchased a really good formula for our brand and have been private labeling 50 pencils at a time hand-made and filled with a syringe for other companies. 

    My family has been in cosmetics retail for 50 years and now we sell lots of other brands in our brick and mortar to compare. We know our pencil formula is good. Some synthetic formulas are better, yes, but we are going for the best we can get in natural. I totally agree with you on mechanical pencils. I won't name the brands we sell in our stores but the quality of mechanical pencils overall is not good!

    I am seeing a niche for small brands in pencils and pressed shadows, blush, etc. The Indie brands only sell loose powders because they don't have equipment to do pressed. 

    We we want to help small brands and manufacture for ourselves. We aren't going to try to compete with the big boys. When a brand grows too big for us they'll probably move on to Mana. 

    You gave gave me a lot of food for thought. I'm going to run the numbers again and make sure that I can pay for the pencil machine in less than 6 months.

    Thank you!
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    The only other advice I'll give for free is to make sure your slats come from California Cedar and that they're stored in a temperature/humidity controlled room before use.

    I ran R&D there for four years, and I know a lot about all aspects of a pencil-making operation - if you want to move up to the next level, I am available for consultation.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • cindyhrcindyhr Member, PCF student
    Bob what is your email so I can contact you?
  • cindyhrcindyhr Member, PCF student
    Or reach me at cindy@chaletcosmetics.com. 
  • cindyhrcindyhr Member, PCF student
    Just FYI, I ended up purchasing an automatic powder press from Eugeng in China. It was about the same price as a single shadow lab press from the US. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Thanks for the update!
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