April – Five New Packaging Innovations

This month we have another five packaging innovations. Cook-In-The-Bag, a paperboard die-cut “wallet” for medical devices, both from the USA, EnDURO Ice Transparent paper, MF-PackFach automatic bottle partitions, both from Germany and the last from Canada: Planet People’s iQ household cleaner in an exceptional eco-bottle.

Superior Farms is an employee-owned company with its corporate office located in Davis, CA. Since 1963, Superior Farms has provided wholesome lamb and veal products. Superior Farms hopes to entice American’s to try lamb for the first time with a cook-in-the-bag leg of lamb. Using new packaging technology, new flavours and demonstrations and samples across the country, the company aims to show that lamb is easy and delicious.
Market surveys show that shoppers are hesitant to pick up lamb. About a third of shoppers have never even tried it.

The lamb legs, which weigh approximately 5 lbs (2.3 kg) and are boneless, include a pop-up timer and are vacuum sealed in a netted bag that is ready to go in the oven. This method allows the cut to retain its moisture and marinate while it cooks, which keeps the meat tender and juicy. An outer gusseted bag is used for dynamic graphics, nutritional information and easy-to-follow cooking instructions. The flavour profile was kept simple and used classic ingredients.

The funny thing is that the instructions aren’t talking about slow cooking. It is a perfect pack for slow cooking and getting the utmost of the taste of lamb on your table.
It is unfortunate that no more pieces of flavoured meat are offered in a vacuumed bag.
Superior Farms did a good job, although maybe they didn’t know really. Slow cooking is in, and widely written and discussed about. The problem is few people are able to vacuum the bag with the piece of meat, lamb or chicken.
Although I don’t think it was Superior Farms’ intention, but here comes the perfect packaging for slow cooking.

A die-cut “wallet” for medical device drills and pins
Called a “wallet,” a flat, die-cut HDPE card protects medical device drills and pins so that they can be packaged in a sterile pouch instead of the typical thermoformed tray.
The ConforMIS Drill and Pin Kit Wallet from Beacon Converters, Saddle Brook, NJ/USA cuts the volume of packaging components by more than 93% compared to a thermoformed tray and uses less energy to produce and ship. It is also customizable for different products.

The card, made from virgin, medical-grade HDPE and compatible with any product approved for use with Tyvek, securely holds heavy and sharp orthopaedic terminally sterilized devices of different sizes and shapes, and prevents them from potentially puncturing and breaking the sterile barrier, which would render the product unusable.

Products are hand-loaded into custom-cut slits and holes. Each component is protected from the others to prevent abrasions, enabling these sharp devices to be packed in a simple, economical pouch that survives challenging distribution.

After product loading, the cards are folded and closed with flaps on each end that simply interlock. This creates a flat, contained package that slips into a typical chevron-sealed medical pouch. This design allows components such as orthopaedic drill bits to be in two tiers when folded. When unfolded, the wallet allows easy access to each component for removal.

EnDURO Ice Transparent paper
The challenge was to produce transparent materials that can be processed like standard paper. As a result Sihl GmbH in Düren, Germany developed the new generation of transparent papers – EnDURO Ice. The name ‘Ice‘ gives an indication to the transparency of the paper, providing visual elegance with a smooth, quality feel. EnDURO Ice is a special transparent and tear-resistant paper. It combines the elegance of transparency with strength and protection. The product is tear-resistant, water-resistant, easy to convert, and eliminates breakage.

According to the company Ice papers have a special surface that enables printing with standard inks, can be converted easily, will not suffer whitened edges when folding, and die-cutting is also trouble-free. Gluing does not cause cockling of the paper surface(s). Stitching, perforating, punching and laser printing are all possible.
Another distinct product advantage is the strength of EnDURO ICE, making it durable, long-lasting and tear-resistant.
EnDURO ICE is available in a range of weights from 60 – 270 gsm.

MF-PackFach automatic bottle partitions
Paperboard partitions are used to separate adjacent bottles in a carton or carrier to prevent the bottles from contacting each other. This protects against breakage due to vibration and shock during shipping and handling. Typically, a partition used to separate the bottles of adjacent rows consists of a panel situated between the rows, including transverse dividers which extend out from the panel between adjacent bottles in each row.
In a typical packaging operation the transverse dividers of a partition blank are folded out of the plane of the blank to their final operative condition and the opened partition is inserted into a group of bottles by insertion equipment prior to loading the bottles into a carton.

Because the partitions are inserted from a fixed station of a packaging machine into a moving stream of bottles, the partitions must move rapidly into place so as to be properly located between the bottles of each group. It would be highly desirable and beneficial to be able to insert bottle partitions at rapid speeds while ensuring that the partitions will stay in place and not fall apart.

The MF-PackFach partitions, developed by Mölle Kartonagen GmbH in Kastellaun, German, uses a double-locking mechanism that holds the grid together, from flat (0°) to open (90°). No part of the grid can be lost while loading, opening, and inserting the PackFach. This is achieved by an entirely redesigned die cut and mount. Automation reaches new dimensions in reliability, speed, and efficiency for seamless integration into existing filling / packaging lines (min. 100 cases/min). In the past, conventional techniques permitted a maximum of about 60 PackFachs per minute.

Planet People’s iQ household cleaner
After Replenish, I wrote about in my article “Replenish – How to redesign cleaning products”, Planet People, based on Toronto, ON, Canada come up with an even smarter solution for household cleaners.
Its cleaning solutions are made using plant-based formulas and are free from toxins and chemicals. But what makes iQ stand out from all the other green products on the market is their unique eco-packaging, designed by Eric Machtinger of Overflow Design.
iQ features reusable bottles and sprayers, along with patented REFill (Reduced Environmental Footprint) cartridges containing different concentrate solutions for its all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, and floor cleaner. By filling the PET bottle with their own tap water at the point-of-use and inserting a self-deploying polypropylene cartridge into the neck of the bottle, consumers can reduce plastic waste by 80%, compared with traditional household cleaner bottles. Empty? Keep the bottle and simple add a new cartridge.

One response to “April – Five New Packaging Innovations

  1. I liked the lamb packaging and the partitioned bottle packaging, which I noticed was cardboard. The bottle boxes should ship safely when packaged in heavy duty cardboard boxes.

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