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Testor blazes a new trail in paint packs (sidebar)

Pouches reach U.S. in Visions line

Hobby finishing products used by modelers have been core products at Testor Corp. since 1929. The target: 9 to 15-year-old boys and adult males over 21. Much newer at Testor is its Visions line of home decor items chiefly stenciling and decorating kits aimed primarily at females. The first kits launched under the Visions brand carried paints in glass jars and metal caps. But in June 1998 the jars were replaced by flexible pouches produced on Testor's new pouch making equipment. Bill Neu director of sales and marketing for the Visions brand says the pouch has numerous advantages. "It isn't just paint in a pouch" says Neu. "It's a way of packaging paint that makes the package a functioning tool used to write spray stencil you name it. The response has been great." Neu says it's difficult to accurately quantify the total savings gained in going from glass to pouch because so many cost factors--materials distribution inventory labor--are involved. But at the end of the day he assures Packaging World the savings are "huge." Testor president David Miller agrees. "The only way to get paint to consumers any cheaper is to pour it into their hands" says Miller. Neu likes the reduction in solid waste that comes with a pouch. He also sees the pouch as an appealing delivery system for a wide variety of products that currently come in aerosol cans. He's not alone. A number of manufacturers have already contacted Testor to see about having their products contract packaged once Testor's second-generation pouch-making machine is off the drawing boards. Take a paint marketer for example who currently sells spray paint that's propelled from an aerosol can. If the propellant is a volatile organic compound growing regulatory pressure in some states could make the FlexPouch and compressed air an attractive alternative. Compressed air directed past the pouch's nozzle causes the atmospheric pressure at the nozzle to sink significantly and because of what scientists call the Bernoulli principle the liquid paint in the pouch is pushed toward this area of low pressure and right into the path of the compressed air. In this way non-VOC compressed air becomes the propellant.

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