Ponzini: a specialist in brushes… Mascara brushes!

Founded 150 years ago, still family owned (5th generation) and “A” strong specialty: the manufacture of brushes (tooth brushes but mostly…mascaras brushes), the Italian company Ponzini is one of the companies that makes up the SMEs’ fabric which continues to make the strength of the Italian economy. Three plants for a total turnover in 2012 of 36 million euros, the company consistently produces each year about 86 million toothbrushes and 170 million mascara brushes. Background…An original story of this company based in Milan area which began one day in 1862 with the manufacture of carriages and “equipments” for horses. And in those “equipments” were obviously some brushes. This activity will finally be chosen and developed by the descendants of the company founder in the middle of the 20th century. Hair brushes, tooth brushes, the first small brushes on the market to apply mascaras… the story gathers momentum in the 1950s. Not that simple, a mascara brush! And even more complicated to manufacture at high speeds. A true know-how that will manage to cleverly develop leaders at Ponzini by designing their own assembly and cutting machines. A result, a speciality that draws the attention of industry players who foresee the fantastic boom of this make-up accessory, today the indispensable tool to feminine beauty. L’Oréal is one of them. “And who is still widely today,” says Lorenzo Bistoletti, Special Project Manager.

Two additional lines in 2013

Given the market growth, leaders plan to invest in two new lines this year.
To note that in 1997 managers at Ponzini decided to separate the two activities for the manufacturing of mascara brushes and tooth brushes. The first activity settles in Misinto in a 6,600m² building, the second stays in Lazzate. “Very quickly there was high demand from this growing market,” says Bistoletti. A market demand which has never stopped gaining in sophistication over the years. “We are now asked very high tech developments with hybrid mascaras and with more and more original shapes, often combining very different fibres from one another or combining fibres and injected plastic parts.” In 2007, the Italian firm decided to invest in a production plant in China. “We thought for some time that injected brushes were going to conquer a significant market share, says Bistoletti, but eventually the traditional fibre brush remained the mainstay of mascaras, even if the development and production of injected mascara brushes will continue thanks to innovation.

A success of traditional brushes that certainly owes a lot to the skill of mechanical specialists at Ponzini who, with the help of their “home-made” machines succeed in assembling, using a automatic process, fibres, textures and shapes of different sizes at impressive rates. A true work of art. “And believe me, say Lorenzo Bistoletti, there is still a lot to develop and discover.”