"Get more out of your faucet than just water" is a marketing slogan used by Peerless® for its line of faucets sold at retail. A similar line "get more out of your packaging than just containment" would be equally appropos in describing the advantages provided by its new molded pulp inner trays and flexo-printed cartons. Peerless Faucet Co. an Indianapolis-based division of Masco Corp. began making the packaging changes last April. The trays from Molded Pulp Products (Cincinnati OH) enhance cushioning compared with previous skin-packs. Each tray fits within an outer carton printed flexographically in three process colors plus varnish by Lewisburg Container (Lewisburg OH). "One of the skin-pack's problems was returned goods" says Gary Chambers packaging engineer. "We've found that a lot of people like to look at the faucet within the package. When they opened cartons to touch and feel the faucet they sometimes tore the plastic skin making the pack look pilfered or allowing product to fall out. That product then had to be returned to one of our two manufacturing plants." The plants a 750-sq-ft site in Greensburg IN and a 450-sq-ft facility in Chickasha OK both would have required additional skin-packing machines to handle growing product demand. That potential capital outlay provided another reason for the switch to the pulp trays. Peerless was also dissatisfied with package graphics that did not serve retailer needs. With those factors in mind Peerless pursued alternatives. "We wanted to avoid buying new skin-packing machinery and we also wanted to improve the look and cushioning of our inner pack" recalls Chambers. "We decided to move into the molded pulp tray." The approximately 2 1/2"-deep tray fits snugly within the outer carton. Plumbing parts are packed within various recessed areas of the tray created during its manufacture (see sidebar page 33). These recessed areas prevent faucet parts from slipping out of the tray even if the outer carton is opened. "Our valves which are part of the faucet packs are quite heavy" Chambers says. "We have to make sure they remain secure within the tray so that they aren't damaged during shipment and so they don't damage other faucet parts or the outer carton. All components are basically locked into the recessed areas of the tray. In addition color is added to the molded pulp to make the package more attractive at retail. The rich blue-colored tray is visible through a plastic film window glued to the inside of the primary carton panel. This provides an attractive background to display our products."