PT_Plastics Today

Plastics Today, September 2015

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Plastic Packaging global Plastics RePoRt 2015 43 to hold the applicator and tube together as a kit," Wilson says. Making it…better Through meticulous re-engineering and revision, P&G and Placon also finessed the blisters for production efficiency, from manufacturing at Placon through packaging at P&G. For starters, P&G saved 30% of the projected tooling costs by designing the front and back pieces to use the same final trim tool. Placon Sales Engineer Lewis Lee explains, "By using inter- changeable part ejector pucks along with designing the back mold to run on the upper form platen and the front mold to run on the lower platen, both the sleek, elongated lids and bases were able to run with the same identical, final trim tool for a total project cost savings." The package has four labels: two on the front (top and bottom), one on the left side and one on the back. Why so many? "The various labels are needed to provide critical benefit and use informa- tion to the consumer without obstruct- ing the ability to see the shade and con- tents of the pack," Wilson replies. Specifically: • The upper front label has the brand and product name; • The lower front label is printed in the color of the shade (in process color) to help consumers select the right shade; • The side label shows consumers the two-step application process and correct use habits; and • The back label includes shade name/number again, an ingredient list, UPC bar code and manufacturer info. All four labels are applied by Placon as a value-added service before shipping out the blister bases and lids. Both front labels are applied at the same time. Placon's Lee explains how this is done: "Applying the two clear labels on the front-facing thermoform required precise alignment via a puck system. The labels are applied and wiped down the smooth, contoured surface of the thermoform in one direction as the part passes under the label head in a single, unique process, made possible by the curvature of the design." A vision inspection system then confirms the labels' presence and posi- tion. The simultaneous label application is repeatable and has another benefit, according to Lee: "The single-pass pro- cess improves run efficiency, virtually eliminating label-to-label registration concerns while also eliminating label bubbling or warping with no overhang due to precision placement." Labeled bases and lids are stacked for shipment (rather than being nested) due to an ingenious undercut design in the four "corners" of the base and lid that does two things: 1. Keeps parts separated for easy denesting on P&G's packaging line; 2. Allows the lid to snap into the base in a secure fit so heat sealing, weld- ing or gluing is not needed. Lee affirms that they conducted extensive testing to make sure the package didn't pop open during drop tests yet could still be easily opened by the consumer via the bottom pull tabs. Shelf impact Even with these consumer and produc- tion features in place, P&G and Placon still were not done engineering the design, which was further finessed for retail display. The package cradles the foundation tube securely, with little movement in the blister. Lee says, "With liquid foundation, no two tubes are necessarily identical in density. Worst- and best-case scenarios were taken into consideration to ensure a snug product fit within the package, despite minor variances in product density." However, there is a little "wiggle room" for the applicator so consum- ers could easily see that it is a separate piece in the package. But the applicator is held in place for upright display. "A formed 'swoosh' was designed into the package to prevent the applicator, which is loaded first, from sliding down once it's assembled and standing up," Lee explains. To fit in existing retail spring-loaded pusher displays—and minimize skewing or crushing—the package is flat on the left side of the front and on the bottom. This makes aligning the packages easy with those ahead and behind. Addition- ally, a "slight raised 'lip' was designed on the base of the tray to eliminate packag- ing hanging to the product behind it when lifted out of the pusher display," Lee says. Lastly, because the front of the blister slopes gently from left to right, the tube rests at an angle in the package, rather than head on. As mentioned earlier, this helps communicate the product's "smooth" message. But there was a sec- ondary benefit: The width of the blister pack fits into the narrower spring-loaded display of one major retailer. This article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of Packaging Digest. The undercut design (circled) allows the blister lid to snap into the base to secure the package without heat sealing or RF welding. The same undercut allows the bases, and the lids, to stack rather than nest for easy denesting on the packaging line.

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