Innovation played the key role in this year's Vinyl in Packaging Awards competition. Some winners were decidedly "green" as well.
Displaying new applications from unique processes the 1994 V.I.P. Award winners have made their mark as packages using cost-efficient functional and recyclable polyvinyl chloride. The winners were judged on creativity marketing appeal product protection and environmental impact. Sponsored by the Morristown NJ-based Vinyl Institute winners were honored November 15 at an awards ceremony held in conjunction with Pack Expo 94 in Chicago. Highlighted here are a few winners. Awards also went to the following packages: the 500-mL Glacier Water container from Canadian Water Corp. and a line of barbecue sauces from Christie Foods in the food & beverage category; Westridge Laboratories I-D Personal Lubricant multipack clamshell and single-use pillows for the personal care category; Minwax's polyurethane clamshell in the merchandise display category; and Turtle Wax's Zip Wax Powdered Car Wash in the household/automotive category. Through rose-colored glass Or a rose-colored product in clear glass at least. For Greenwich CT-based Chesebrough-Ponds visibility was crucial for its new Self-Foaming Cleanser. The company wanted high impact on store shelves for its pink-colored liquid facial cleanser and hoped to gain an upscale image. The package won an award in the personal care category. In this first consumer use of PVC-coated glass the plastic is applied to a 4-oz glass aerosol container via a plastisol dip method by Wheaton Glass (Mays Landing NJ). The PVC is supplied by several manufacturers. In addition to the high gloss it imparts the vinyl also helps the container resist damage due to impact or thermal shock. Plus the safety coating can contain glass fragments in the event of breakage allowing a controlled release of pressurized contents. Graphics are designed by Chesebrough-Ponds and are screen-printed by Wheaton. Valve and actuator are from Emson Research (Boynton Beach FL) while Berry Plastics (Evansville IN) supplies a black overcap. The company chose Klearfold's (Warrington PA) 18-pt aqueous-coated SBS blister carton which uses 10-mil PVC and is offset-printed in four colors. The company began mass-marketing the product early this year. Axxent on printing Hollis NY-based Axxent Corp. maker of children's activity kits wanted its PVC clamshell (see photo on p. 33) to function in three ways: as a display package with built-in hang tab as a recloseable storage container for use while a child works on the project and as a frame for the finished scene. While this amounts to tough demands on Axxent it was even more complex for manufacturer Shepherd Thermoforming & Packaging (Brampton Ontario Canada). Shepherd creates the teal blue frame through a unique process in which 15-mil rolls of PVC from CanadianOxy (Tottenham Ontario Canada) are printed with registration marks on a web press prior to thermoforming. The company uses cationic inks which are specially formulated to withstand heat and distortion while providing solid color reproduction. Printing is done on the top side of the sheet so that during thermoforming the ink never comes in contact with the single-sided female mold. The use of registration marks keeps the colored frame aligned during thermoforming. Axxent activity kits are available nationally at most discount-type stores. Suggested retail price is about $3.99. Quadruple panels snaps Racine WI-based Walker Manufacturing maker of automotive exhaust replacement components and catalytic converters (below) wanted to showcase its new series of aftermarket exhaust parts introduced in 1993. Typical packaging for these products involves bulky chipboard cartons with corrugated liners and small acetate viewing windows that offer protection. The company's choice of Prent Thermoforming's (Janesville WI) PVC Quadrabox(TM) offered a less expensive and easier to load and assemble package that enhances visibility of the product. It won in the rigid film category. The Quadrabox(TM) design employs four hinged panels (top bottom and sides) that fold together encapsulating the product. Four-color inserts printed with product information are folded and placed in side panels and front inset at time of loading which is done manually. United Services Ltd. (Racine WI) offset prints and die cuts the inserts which are 12-pt. aqueous coated cover stock. After folding the Quadrabox(TM) four snap-style lugs developed by Prent specifically for this product assure a strong closure. Hang-tabs are die cut but the design also facilitates stacking. To withstand the weight constraints of these heavy automotive parts Prent chose Carom 49 PVC from GOEX (Janesville WI) for impact- and crack-resistance. The formulation is an EcoVinyl blend which uses 50% post-industrial Carom resin. Walker products can be found in automotive part stores nationwide. Paging cost-savings As demand for pagers increases Schaumburg IL-based Motorola needed a less expensive and more environmentally sound bulk package for distribution of its pagers to dealers. Innovative Plastics' (Orangeburg NY) thermoformed PVC bulk tray (above) is 65% cheaper than the corrugated box previously used and its compact size reduces warehouse space and shipping costs. It won in the industrial products category. PVC supplied by both Goex (Janesville WI) and Ex-Tech Plastics (Richmond IL) was chosen for its impact resistance as the products are shipped nationwide as well as abroad. Additional benefits include quick visual inspection due to PVC's clarity while the layout which holds 25 pagers and 25 batteries permits automatic robotic loading and unloading. Motorola plans to begin using the bulk tray next month.