The new inner cover on Maybelline's lipsticks has the word "discard" embossed in. It's obviously a throw-away part of the package. Yet it seriously challenged the expertise of several companies well known for technology. In fact the cover has already been awarded a patent. As you read about this second-generation thermoformed cover for Memphis TN-based Maybelline's lipsticks the thermoformer Plastofilm Industries (Wheaton IL) is continuing to work on the third generation. The first cover from Plastofilm was described about 18 months ago (see PW March '94 p. 16) and re-placed an injection-molded cover for lipsticks that are packaged in blister cards. This second version for uncarded lipsticks has been in use for nearly a year. It is an inner cover thermoformed of polyvinyl chloride that's deep-drawn from 27-mil sheet. Not only is the draw ratio a technical accomplishment but Plastofilm has put together two trimming stations in-line with the thermoformer. The first cuts four tiny "windows" into the sides of each cover while it's still attached to the web. The second station cuts the covers from the web with tolerances so tight that even Plastofilm expressed concern. The "windows" are necessary so that the outside or opaque cover can slip over the inner cover and snap into position over the lipstick body. This prevents the movement of the lipstick swivel assembly. The result is a clear cover that protects the raised lipstick when the opaque cover is removed from the body of the lipstick. Many of Maybelline's lipsticks are now sold from a variety of countertop and wall displays that obviate the need for bulky blister packing. But without the protective blister the cosmetics marketer needed something to safeguard the product from contamination and damage while allowing the consumer to be able to see the color of the lipstick. That's a pretty tough set of requirements: product visibility tamper-evidence product protection plus two others reasonable economy and the ability to be automatically loaded in position on the production line acknowledges Doug Lund manager of design development engineering for Maybelline.