Thursday, 28 May 2009

Innovative Dispensing Bottle Caps for Sensitive Vitamins

It is generally known, that most vitamins and other nutrients are very sensitive and loose their power the moment they get mixed with a liquid, particularly water. And even worse the longer they stay mixed, the less efficiently vitamins and nutrients work.

One of the features a properly functioning ‘vitamin injection’ cap requires is the unavoidable extra space to house the rising volume which occurs when carbon dioxide releases from the liquid, which might end up to some 15%.

Recently two developments came to fruit solving this problem.

In April the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued VIZ Enterprises LLC of Atlanta, Georgia, a patent covering the VIZcap dosing and dispensing bottle cap. The VIZcap offers manufacturers of functional and energy drinks, spirits and pharmaceutical products the ability to create more fresher and potent beverages.

The VIZcap stores liquid and powder nutrients in an oxygen and moisture-restricted chamber situated in the bottle cap, until the consumer releases the still potent ingredients into the content of the bottle.

The system is simple to operate. Around the bottle cap with its transparent dome-shaped moisture-free chamber, in which the fresh ingredients are stored, sits a tamper-evident tear-strip, which should be removed, after which the plunger (the dome-shaped cap) can be pushed downwards and the ingredients are released into the liquid.

Besides the typical characteristic of a fresher and more powerful drink, the VIZcap features the appealing advantage that the vitamins and nutrients are visible in the clear dome where they are housed.

Formation Design, one of the most well-known industrial design companies, developed the VIZcap not only as an aesthetically pleasing, user-intuitive and flexible dosing and dispensing cap, but also as a bottle cap that could seamlessly run at existing bottling lines.
The VIZcap can be moulded and manufactured to fit any bottle size and can contain both large and small powder quantities.

VIZdrink doesn’t manufacture the bottle cap itself, but licenses its VIZcap technology to third parties to get it on the worldwide beverage market.

Is the VIZcap a development out of the blue without a first customer to use it, the second is a development instigated by the Croatian food company Cedevita and executed by the Dutch injection moulder Teamplast.

Cedevita is in Croatia a well-known quality brand for healthy vitamin drinks. For her newest product, Cedevita Gol, the company selected the Dutch injection moulder Teamplast to develop a dispensing bottle cap. The result: with a simple, rotation of the dispensing cap 26 gr vitamin powder is dispensed into the liquid of the bottle, creating a fresh, healthy, on-the-go bubbling multi-vitamin drink.

Since the communist downturn in 1992, the Croatian food brand Cedevita developed from a faceless brand, selling its vitamin powder in simple 1 en 1.5 kilo bags, to a creative commercially operated quality food brand with a western look, packing its products in shrink-sleeved plastic jars and introducing the new ready-to-go vitamin drink in a PET-bottle with an cleverly designed powder dispensing cap.
Mixing the liquid and the vitamins at forehand is useless as vitamins in dissolved status have a shelf life of only one day.

Teamplast developed a system which transfers a rotating movement into a linear one. The movement is activated by a handle which is connected to an oval disc with at the bottom a sharp knife-like point pinching the seal foil when the handle is moved.

The dispensing cap features two pieces: the, with an aluminium foil sealed ‘vitamin chamber’, including the handle with the pinching knife and the bottle cap itself.

The system works as follows: A device which picks up the top of the handle when rotated is located inside the cap. Moving the handle anti-clockwise (opening the bottle) pushes the knife down.
The beauty of the system is that activating the vitamin drink the consumer has only to exercise the common doings of opening a bottle, namely to turn the cap anti-clockwise to operate the ‘vitamin-system’ and to get access to the vitamin drink.

These powder dispensing closures offer many new market possibilities for the energy and healthy drinks sector, even dispensing pharmaceuticals or the ingredients in drinks known as ‘beauty foods’, ‘nutracosmetics’ or ‘neutraceuticals’. They feature all one characteristic: a separate dry storage, which avoids the ingredients to deteriorate, and to loose their glamour and power, before they are mixed with the liquid.


Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The Fruity Bottle for AriZona Infused Water

Arizona Beverage Co., a brand of Ferolito Vultaggio & Sons, recently introduced Arizona Infused Water, a line of four lightly sweetened and flavoured waters. The waters are packaged in a proprietary 20-oz (600 ml) plastic bottle. A colourful lifelike illustration of fruit printed on a shrink sleeve covering the ball-shaped top of the bottle right under the bottle screw closure. Under the ball-shaped top the bottle is stretched, where a paper label is wrapped around the middle to give the illusion that the water drips through “the fruit stored in the ball”, before the water is consumed.

Constar International Inc., a producer of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic containers, designed and produced the imaginative package for the launch of Arizona's new Infused Water product.

Constar's challenge was to create a unique package that would help Arizona differentiate this new product in a market that is seeing a large number of new entrants. Due to the vacuum generated as a result of being hot filled, new and innovative vacuum absorption features had to be designed and developed. Arizona Beverages did not want to use the standard under-the-label vacuum panels common to most hot-filled beverages.

Using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Constar manipulated the design to produce an innovative combination of functional elements including material distribution, horizontal ribs and three customized vacuum panels. The entire bottle geometry works to relieve the vacuum.

This design brings together a number of visual elements to create a distinctive look. The neck portion of the bottle is spherical and provides the right location for an eye-catching shrink label. The upper portion of the base section accepts a more traditional wrap-around label leaving the lower portion of the base for a unique use of "branding panels." These provide an easy grip feature for the consumer and reinforce the Arizona name, which is embossed in the centre of the vertically oriented panels.


Saturday, 23 May 2009

Beer in a CarboPouch

The development of the CarboPouch, a stand-up pouch for low-carbonated drinks, opens the possibility for draft beer microbreweries to fill on-site clean, ready-to-go stand-up pouches, featuring a spout and a cap. Storage and shelf-life requires refrigeration, but the organoleptic film structure ensures no intrusion of flavour and is designed to handle the pouch ‘stretch’ after filling and carbonation expansion.

The stand-up pouch technologies most recently developed by PPi Technologies Global contain flexible stand-up pouches for wine, beer and spirits. Besides the interesting VinoPaQ, which is targeting the bag-in-box wine market as an alternative, is the eye-catching and much more interesting stand-up pouch for low-carbonated drinks, such as beer. Although stand-up pouches for drinks are quite common, the technology for flexible stand-up pouches for carbonated drinks is clearly a dimension higher.

The BeerPaQ, also known as CarboPouch, is developed targeting the small craft beer brewers, who, in several countries, are located in a restaurant or supermarket. But also the organisers of big sports or music events now have the possibility to fill clean, ready-to-drink, single portion, non-dangerous Single45 of Single25 stand-up pouches with beer. The CarboPouch can also be filled with low-carbonated water.

The film structure is designed to handle the pouch ‘stretch’ after carbonation, and the filling process doesn’t leave a ‘free headspace’ in the stand-up pouch after filling. The three-side sealed stand-up pouch fits perfectly in the hand and while neither sun light nor oxygen can interfere the beer has a shelf-life of 30 days in the refrigerator. The BeerPaQ has a 90% less CO2 footprint in comparison with an equivalent Bag-In-Box packaging.

The Single45 is a 16 oz. (454 ml) and the Single25 an 8 oz. (227 ml) stand-up pouch. Multi64 (1,8 litre) bulk pouches are available for outdoor activities. Also available is a 150ml size for children and is used for water; 200ml, 250ml, and 300ml sizes are also available.

The film structure used for the traditional standard stand-up pouch is fairly thick to give it a certain stability before opening, but almost none stability after opening. The CarboPouch gives a rigid stand-up pouch for low-carbonated drinks (with the exception of carbonated soft drinks), which also offers a stability after opening.
In contrast with traditional stand-up pouches, the CarboPouch stands upside-down, resting on its tamper-evident closure, which is located over the threaded drinking fitment.


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Gaïa and Infinite Glass

In Greek mythology, Gaïa is a primordial goddess identified with "Mother Earth". She is the maternal ancestor of divine races, but laboured also many children as monsters.

photo: Eon and Tellus (Gaia) surrounded by four children, perhaps the personified seasons, mosaic of a Roman villa Sentinum early third century, Glyptothèque Munich (Inv. W504)

The French glass manufacturer Saint-Gobain Desjonqueres SA created Infinite Glass, the 1st 100% recycled glass, from which sprouted the Gaia range of bottles and jars, designed by the design agency Extrême Paris and dedicated to the perfume and cosmetics market segment.

Glass, endlessly recyclable, is known to be one of the most environmentally friendly materials. Although 100% recyclable, its composition is never 100% the result of recycling.
Cullet, a raw material used by glassmakers, coming from selected glass waste and reintroduced into the glassmaking process, can account for up to 95% of the raw materials used for glass manufacturing. On average, cullet makes up 53% of the raw materials used for packaging containers.
In the perfume industry, glass is usually composed of 30% of in-house cullet (recycling of the production loss) and 70% of raw materials (silica sand, limestone and soda ash).

Using a higher level of cullet in the glass production enables lower (virgin) raw material extractions, lower carbon dioxide emissions as each metric ton of cullet used in the furnaces results in a CO2-reduction emitted into the atmosphere of around 500 kg and lower energy consumption, since collected glass melts at a lower temperature than natural raw materials.

Glassmakers' performance is dictated by the requirements of excellence in terms of quality imposed by their customers, albeit restricted by the manufacturing process, glass have to be flawless. This does of course apply to recycled glass just as well as to new glass. The greater the amount of cullet used in glass manufacturing, the higher the risk of impurities will be.

To highlight the importance of the newly developed 100% recycled glass matching perfumery standards Saint Gobain launched Gaia, the first 100% environmentally friendly range of bottles and jars for the world of perfumes and cosmetics.

The designers at Extrême Paris, a design agency specialised in luxury and beauty products, were asked to base the designs on the idea of a continuous cycle, where nothing gets lost and everything is infinite. They have managed to convey the values of the project by creating a highly distinctive form. The design plays with material movements, the fluidity of waves and the balance of elements. The first curves of an eco-designed receptacle were born, inspired by creations from the goddess of nature.

In a press release Saint Gobain concludes: “Almost 18 months of research and development went into creating the Infinite Glass and its first incarnation: Gaïa. It constitutes a genuine call to beauty specialists to promote environmental responsibility,”


Thursday, 14 May 2009

A Creative Moderation of the Industrial Standard

Packaging can’t make coffee in it self taste better, but the right packaging is critical to the success of any coffee product, not only in terms of fresh, convenient and attractive, but also in terms of communication, as the variety and number of coffee products on the shelves increase and the decision process of the consumer is restricted to a few seconds. The package may be the only form of communication for that coffee brand the consumer may ever see. The role of that package is, therefore, as critical as the product inside.

In the highly competitive ‘coffee’ world, the quality of the product is critical, but no one will purchase the product if the packaging is unappealing. Consumers respond best to attractive packaging which highlights the brand’s image as well as establishes its quality.

Rigid ‘bricks’ for vacuum packed ground coffee and soft bags for the roasted beans are the standard for coffee packaging and provide the necessary physical protection, oxygen and moisture barrier, and a reasonable level of packaging convenience.

Recent changes in packaging have evolved beyond typical designs such as valve packs, pillow packs, cans, freeze-dried or bulk bins. There is now a tendency to establish a brand image while competing on non-price factors, such as quality. Though quality is a huge aspect to attract consumers, the initial sensing of the product is through the packaging.

For Del Brujo coffee, Ovum Packaging Solutions, a design agency located in Medellin/Colombia specialized in packaging design, developed a creative moderation to the industrial standard.
Del Brujo coffee, a brand of Inversiones Velez Uribe Ltda, is a 100% organic Colombian coffee estate, selling exclusive roasted organic coffee directly from its plantations.
The series of new packages, Ovum designed, are for Del Brujo’s 250 gr (½ pound) Plantacion Ricaurte, Candela's Maragogype and Peaberry packs.

The new packaging design uses the industrial standard as point of departure, but breaks the paradigm of the brick form thanks to the application of curves and a tilt at the front. It features prominently printed graphics, a high printing quality, a die-cut shape and the use of pertinent materials. Creating mark differentiation in coffee products through typography, background colour and banner nuances, it's in harmony with the “gourmet” market segment it’s targeting.

The, 9.0 x 7.0 x 16.0 cm, 250 gr packs are made from 360 g/m² C1S (0.48 mm) cardboard - C/1S indicates "coated on one side" - and printed in 4 x 0 offset with a matte finish.


Monday, 11 May 2009

Excellence for Her

The new packaging for Narciso Rodriguez is a product from Axilone, a subsidiary of Ileos, a leading supplier of packaging to the fragrance, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industry.

Usually I do not write about perfume packages as it is dominantly the design and not the technical or technological performance which create the innovation. I am not a designer and although I love beauty in all forms, it is very hard for me to find the lyrical and analytical words to describe a design. But this perfume packaging is different; it combines a beautiful design with some high tech innovations.
As a consequence this is a two-in-one post, in other words for the design I follow (translated) the description of my colleague-blogger, Rogerio Oliveira, an industrial designer in Curitiba/Brazil, who saw this packaging at the CosmoProf in Bologna, and reported about it on his blog “Um Dia, Uma Embalagem”. After his perfect description I add some words about some technical details. But first Rogerio Oliveira:

During my visit to the recent CosmoProf, the world’s most important international event in the beauty and cosmetics sector in Bologna, Italy, one of the packages that most caught my attention was the perfume “Essence for Her”, the brand of stylist Narciso Rodriguez. Some may even say that the packaging is not pretty, as the format is very organic and irregular, in contrast to the packages usually developed for the perfume market. But it is the irregularity of the form that has, in my opinion, its greatest qualities. Furthermore, these organic forms are the trademark of designer Ross Lovegrove, responsible for this packaging design. I do not know if it was intentional, but we can say that this package is an "amalgamated" version of the male packaging, with its absence of straight lines, contrasting with the almost mathematical and architectural precision of the version for men. The bottle, produced in glass by Saint-Gobain Desjonqueres SA in France, is completely organic and crystalline, showing a typical feminine elegance, purity of soul and sensuality as imagined by the designer. What really impresses in this package is the finishing inside the bottle, a mixture of metalising and paint, giving the bottle a surprisingly nice appearance. According to Saint-Gobain, unlike the male version that holds an inside bag that prevents the product to come in contact with the painting, the bottle of “Essence for Her” does not need this trick because they achieved to create a finish, which is fully compatible with the product. The visual effect caused by metalising the inside of the bottle, together with the metal cache and the bottle cap, is impressive, leaving it hard to not be noticed in the gondolas of the shops. Rogerio is very short about the bottle cap, so let me do that.
Is the bottle made of glass, the bottle cap is moulded using Surlyn PC 2000 creating a harmoniously entity with the bottle.

Surlyn is a commercial thermoplastic ionomer resin that was introduced by DuPont in the early 1960’s. Surlyn can be used in conventional extrusion/co-extrusion, blown film, cast film, and extrusion coating equipment designed for polyethylene resins.
Moulded goods made with Surlyn are virtually unbreakable, and offer unusual design freedom, combining toughness, clarity and chemical resistance. It is one of the materials most favoured by designers, for complicated and bold designs.

Thanks to a direct removal of this fully massive, isomorphic, and smooth piece from the mould, no mould parting line is visible, leaving the transparency of the cap perfect.

Credit: The large photo is made by Rogerio Oliveira.