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Article | July 31, 2001
Cameras hit the vending circuit
Want to buy a one-time-use camera or a roll of film from a vending machine? Now you can, thanks to e-Vend.net of Kennett Square, PA. Packaging plays a key role.
e-Vend.net is part of a strategic alliance that includes Eastman Kodak of Rochester NY and the Dixie-Narco vending machine division of Newton IA-based Maytag Corp. Eastman provides film and one-time-use cameras both wrapped in foil. Dixie-Narco supplies the temperature-controlled vending machines which consumers access via credit card.The original package used by e-Vend.net was a 211x604 steel can with easy-open aluminum lid. Next was a polyethylene terephthalate container basically a two-ball tennis ball container. Again it took an aluminum easy-open lid; workers glued on a label by hand. This packaging however was not only labor-intensive but the labels tended to peel off in the climate-controlled vending machines. So about a year ago a new container was unveiled: a 300x504 composite can from Sonoco (Hartsville SC).Spiral-wound of two plies of 100% recycled paperboard the can also includes foil as a moisture barrier. Seamed onto the top is an easy-open aluminum ring-pull end. Workers at e-Vend.net place wrapped camera or film in the container and then seam on a steel end with semi-automatic equipment. The workers also glue a paper label to the canister. Soon however as volume warrants it Sonoco will begin applying a spiral-wound paper label printed flexo in six colors as part of its canmaking process.The switch from the plastic container to the canister says e-Vend.net marketing communications manager Maeve McKenna will bring a savings in cost of materials and labor. Specific numbers however are not available.Needless to say e-Vend.net is delighted with the new package. “Not only are we saving time and money we’re getting a package that meets the requirements of the vending environment which can be challenging” says McKenna.Appearing first in the Northeast in 1999 the camera- and film-filled machines are now in much of the country and will be nationwide soon. Pricing varies considerably depending not only on film or camera type but also on venue. (PR)
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