Lewis and Clark discovers new paperless multipacks

Lewis and Clark Brewery, Helena, MT, debuted in summer 2006 a new kind of environmentally friendly six-pack.

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The brewery adopted ITW's BrandPak[tm], a packaging collaboration from ITW Hi-Cone (www.hi-cone.com) and ITW Auto-Sleeve (www.itw-autosleeve.com) as the multipack of choice for its 12-oz bottles. A sleeving system from PDC Europe (www.pdceurope.com) applies the bands.

"This unique and exciting package is helping us launch our Miner's Gold brand quicker and more economically than with paperboard carriers," says brewery owner Max Pigman. "We also know that our customers appreciate the environmental benefits of the new packaging. It's a minimal design that generates less waste than paperboard carriers."
The film also makes the pack waterproof and capable of direct chilling in ice.

Improves production flexibility, too
Pigman also notes that the format permits greater production flexibility because Lewis and Clark can use generic cases to receive the bottles. Then the company packs as needed versus storing preprinted, product-specific packaging. The brewery can then pack the BrandPak into the generic cases and apply a label for shipment.

The package is produced in a two-step process. First, a double-thick Hi-Cone photodegradable low-density polyethylene top-lift ring carrier is applied to the glass bottles. Next, a wraparound band from ITW Auto-Sleeve made of 4-mil LDPE film is stretched around the six-pack to secure the bottles and prevent them from hitting against each other. Flexo-printed in seven colors plus varnish, the band also provides a high-impact billboard effect.

"We're getting good exposure from this new packaging," says Pigman. "We're happy and excited about it."

The company plans to convert its other brands including Lewis and Clark lager and Yellowstone Beer over into this format starting early this year.





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