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Glidden's paint testers pass with flying colors

High-density polyethylene test containers let homeowners test a color before plunging into the purchase of a gallon of paint.

If you're thinking about brightening up your house with a fresh paint job to usher in the new year but you're not sure about color selection Glidden may have the solution: Dulux® color testers. The four-part tester includes a blow-molded HDPE body with rounded corners and a threaded finish that contains the paint. An injection-molded polypropylene overcap permits easy handling with its protruding top. Fitting into the overcap is an injection-molded PP inner cap that actually threads into the body. The inner cap also contains a synthetic brush that extends downward into the paint. The overcap/inner cap/brush are preassembled by a supplier in England whom Glidden prefers not to identify. The components are beige in color for 90 interior paint products called Inspirations(TM). All 30 exterior colors referred to as the Endurance(TM) line come in a blue container. The Cleveland-based member of the ICI Paints World Group introduced Dulux last Spring. The 1.7-oz product provides enough paint to allow homeowners to test a 3' x 3' area with any of the 120 fashionable colors. The idea of course is that if the consumer likes the color he or she will then purchase a gallon. The testers have already proven successful for ICI in the U.K. Contract-filled Contract filler Custom-Pak (Medina OH) designed and built two single-head piston fillers specifically for its dedicated Dulux line. Each of the fillers use a small 5-gal hopper that permits easy cleanup. That's essential considering there are 120 different paint colors. "We usually run one shade in quantities of about 1" says C-P president Ron Camaglia "and we've done as many as 12 or 13 changeovers in a shift. With two machines we can prevent downtime because as one machine runs we can clean the other filler's hopper and piston. By the time we remove a roll of labels from the first run and put in the new roll then shake mix and add the new paint color to the hopper we are able to conduct a color changeover in about 15 minutes total." The machines fill 40 containers/min and were built specifically for Dulux. After filling a single-spindle capper applies the cap after which containers are labeled. Placing this primary label on the container is not easy as the label extends from just above the base of the body up onto the overcap. A white bar runs horizontally across the front and two side panels of the label at the precise point where the overcap is threaded onto the body. This provides a tamper-evident feature. Perforations along this section of the label make it easy for the consumer to twist open the tester for use. "During our preliminary testing we thought we could roll the label on like you would for a round" explains Custom-Pak's Camaglia. "However [we learned that] if we applied the label by rotating the container the labels started going askew and we had wrinkles all over the place. "We had orders we needed to fill so Park Products (St. Petersburg FL) quickly provided us with blow-on labelers with a soft plastic squeegee-like device that wipes the label down around the two sides of the container" he continues. "This way we get no askew or wrinkled labels. They are applied securely and look good. We then spin the container around and blow on a back label with the second labeler." C-P then packs four containers into a paperboard carton shipping orders in outer corrugated shippers as needed to home centers and independent paint stores nationwide. There the individual Dulux containers retail for $2.99. "When we first launched the Dulux testers we had a goal of getting it out to 300 outlets" recalls Zachary. "But it's been so well-accepted by retailers that we reached 400. The product gives retailers something new to merchandise and it creates more of a paint-store environment within their store's particular department that sells Dulux."

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