Okay so it took an eleventh-hour addition of 1 sq' to fit it all in. When the dust had settled and production began McKesson Water Products Co.'s new packaging line proved to be just what management had in mind as it moved bottling from co-packers to its own Santa Ana CA facility. Running since February the new line fills half 1- and 1.5-L bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate at speeds of 300 240 and 200 bottles/min respectively. Just as impressive as the line's primary packaging segment (see Packaging World December '96 p. 33) is secondary packaging. It features a shrink bundling system that cranks out unsupported six-packs in printed film applied in register. Also quite new in the U.S. though well-established in Europe and other international markets is a handle applicator that McKesson uses to make its six-packs of 1/2- and 1-L bottles easier to carry from the supermarket. The shrink wrapping system was supplied by Douglas Machine (Alexandria MN). McKesson's marketing managers say they prefer it over other six-pack concepts like molded plastic carriers or paperboard cartons. Printed film provides a more prominent billboard effect on store shelves than six-packs in molded plastic carriers. And the film is less costly than printed paperboard carriers. Also combined with the carrying handle McKesson's six-packs are convenient and differentiated two important characteristics in today's market. "We're not the first in the U.S. to use this handle applicator but it's not very common here yet" says McKesson's engineering manager John Bradbard.