EcoLab’s Computer Designed Cleaning Twin

Ecolab’s Proforce Cleaners assemble a “work”-spray bottle nicely clicked in the contours of a bulk container. The consumer can refill the spray bottle from the bulk container. The TwinPack was specifically designed for two new cleaning products with the building service contractor (BSC) market in mind.
A bracket is mounted to the wall, similar to a bookshelf. The bottle glides into its place, securely held there by moulded-in grooves. The set up provides for a more organized and safer environment as the product is not stored underfoot and dispensing occurs without lifting heavy containers or spillage on the floor.

The 16-oz (474 ml) spray bottle is extrusion blow moulded from high-density polyethylene by MGS Manufacturing Group. The 1.25-gal (4,73 ltr) container, measuring 7 1/2”x5 1/4”x11 1/2” (18,8 x 13,1 x 28,9 cm), is extrusion blow moulded from high-resistance high-density polyethylene by Fortco Plastics. TricorBraun, the container distributor that supplied both bottles and other components to Ecolab, played a key role in the design and manufacturing.

Complementing the two bottles, the TwinPack comes with a dispensing spray fitment on the 16-oz spray bottle, and a spigot (used for refilling the smaller bottle) that fits alongside the 16-oz bottle in a “cave” created in the side of the larger bottle. There are also two screw caps on the top, a larger one where the spigot goes to dispense the cleaner, and a small cap that reveals a vent hole.
The packaging footprint was optimized for in-line filling lines with little changeover required. The package is very space-efficient for in-line handling, shipment and store display due to cubed shape and stacking nubs designed in the container top, bottom and side panels, as well as the indented “pocket” area in the package for the sprayer bottle and spigot.

The large container has a 7” x 18″ (15,6 x 45,2 cm) pressure-sensitive label from Meyers adhering to three sides of the large bottle and manually labelled immediately after blow moulding when the bottles are still warm. The labels are designed with 4% shrink to reduce wrinkling as the labelled bottles cool. That keeps the graphics looking nice and neat. The shrinkage occurs within the first 15 minutes after blow moulding.

During the development, the Ecolab team called on Stress Engineering Services (SES), to conduct state-of-the-art stress engineering modelling to help in the design of the bottle and mould. SES also interfaced with TricorBraun, whose role was crucial in last-minute tweaking.
Design studies and computer modelling and simulations were performed to predict problematic areas, and adjustments to the package were made accordingly. A particularly effective feature is the load-locking nubs at the top of each container that fit into corresponding indents in the bottom of the container positioned above it. The design helps stabilize the load and contribute to a case-free pallet.
Its rectangular shape guarantees efficiency in handling, shipment, storing and display. An 80-count, two-layer-high unit load achieves 98.5% of “perfect” pallet utilization.

From the beginning the project was baptised “Legoland”, as it was targeting a solution in which the containers could be stacked in different orientations.

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© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman
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For more and more enlarged images go to: “The Best Innovations in Packaging – 2007″

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