Such was the inspiration for Solar Gear Sunscreens: a unique line featuring a patented "Hands Off" applicator for clean, single-handed application. The package incorporates four components, most from Norden Packaging (North Branch, NJ) affiliates. These include a push-on cap from Allied Mold and Die (Fontana, CA) and a polypropylene tube from Norden AndBro (Pittman, NJ); the tube is offset-printed in two to four colors, depending on variety. A shoulder-like "socket" with an outside rim holds in place the fourth component, a foam applicator pad with adhesive backing. Made of a closed-cell cross-linked polyethylene, the pad does not absorb the sunscreen, but merely spreads it after it's squeezed through the orifice in the socket and pad. Allied Mold and Die injection-molds the high-density polyethylene cap and socket, then inserts the pad and applies the cap, forming a single unit. That unit is shipped to A-D Pack (Lancaster, CA), where it's "welded" to the tube with a NBH6000 Hot-Air Weld Machine from Norden Packaging. This technology uses tiny hot-air jets to heat ridges molded inside the shoulder to specific parameters-in this case, to 500°F for exactly four seconds-then inserts and "welds" the tube into the shoulder. The tube is then inverted and filled and sealed using Norden's Nordenmatic Auto700 and the Design-A-Seal crimping process. Since its introduction in January '96, the line has become increasingly successful. The patented design has been borrowed for a variety of unrelated applications, including ski wax, skin bleach, horse hoof ointment and spackle. Solar Gear is available in a 1-oz travel size and four 1.75-oz varieties, including a citronella-based formula. Suggested retail price is about $6.00.
Geared for application
About all Scott Stevenson and Bijan Hosseini knew about sunscreen before they launched Newport Beach, CA-based Solar Gear, Inc., was that the greasy residue it left on their hands after use interfered with their outdoor activities, including surfing, golfing and fishing.