Fred always had what he calls an ‘inventive spirit.’ As a kid, he would tinker with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to see if he could make them work better. While his friends had dreams of growing up to be astronauts and baseball players, Fred wanted to become an inventor. And he did, but that came later in life. Fred first started a successful fence-building business, with weekends devoted to tinkering around with how to ‘build a better mousetrap.’ Then one day as he was walking through the house, he once again became annoyed with the number of half empty water bottles scattered about. Which bottle was his from other family members? With no way of knowing, Fred had to throw out all of the half-empty plastic water bottles for obvious hygienic reasons. He thought to himself, “What a waste of water and plastic!” And then his inventive spirit kicked in: What if he could create water bottle caps that could clearly identity who the bottle belonged to?
Different colored caps, of course! So that’s exactly what Fred invented with the CapTaggers™. Beyond the color coding, Fred magnetized them for sticking on refrigerator doors and made the top ‘writeable’ to further identify ownership.
First product launch – promotional products
The CapTaggers™ were sure to be a slam dunk winner for the retail market. But then Fred was hit with another idea; CapTaggers™ would be perfect for the promotional market. By branding the bottle caps with a company logo or an action hero, companies could use them as promotional giveaway products or sold as company branded merchandise. And that’s exactly where Fred wanted to launch CapTaggers™ – at the 2021 ASI promotional products show in Chicago, mid-July.
Fred made this decision in late 2020. He had the product and the artwork ready to go – but needed a packaging manufacturer that could meet his deadline. But more than that, Fred needed an experienced partner who could guide him every step of the way, because this was his first packaging venture.
Fred chose Rohrer for packaging and guidance
So, Fred called Rohrer. He chose them not only for their best-in-class blister packaging, but also for their deep industry expertise to guide him through the whole process, from design to heat-sealing.
Rohrer’s design engineer, Mike Leonard received the artwork and the product. His directive from FredGo was to align one of the CapTaggers™ to the top of the water bottle graphic on the card. This mandated that Mike design a double-cavity blister that held one bottle cap on the left and the remaining three to the right. The single cap would lay on its side to create the bold bottle cap visual, and the other caps would lay flat. From the beginning, this configuration would demand very precise geometry. He sent the first blister sample to FredGo, and their feedback was to move the single cap to the left by one centimeter. Apparently, when FredGo overlayed the blister sample over the artwork, the caps were too close together, and the visual impact of the single cap topping the bottle graphic didn’t ‘pop.’
Precise geometry for a double cavity blister
Rohrer could certainly make that change but it would require a larger card, and some rework on the bottle image from FredGo’s graphics team. In the interim, Mike Leonard was busy with the challenge of designing the precise geometry of the double-cavity blister – that could perfectly align the single cap to the bottle image and secure the other three caps in place. Once the larger card and the blister design hurdles were resolved, the next challenge was choosing the optimal gauge of plastic. Initially, thin gauged 10 mil PVC was considered to allow for the precise, geometric contouring of the blister, but wouldn’t hold up to shipping so 15 mil PVC was used instead. But before production could begin on Rohrer’s cost-savings ezComboSM program, there was a structural issue caused by moving both the single cap one centimeter and using a thinner gauge plastic. The solution was to add a plastic bridge between the two cavities to add strength during the production run. In addition, 20 pt. SBS was chosen for the card and the first 25,000 units card and blisters were produced.
Rohrer as the heat-sealing consultant
As mentioned, FredGo chose Rohrer to help them through their first-ever packaging venture. But now FredGo faced perhaps their biggest challenge, doing their own heat-sealing with their newly purchased equipment. This is where Rohrer truly proved they were more than a packaging manufacturer but also a valued consultant. Once Brian Gaffney, Heat Seal Manager knew their exact heat-sealing model, he was able to customize trays that would specifically seal the card to the blister. Moreover, Brian and his team could also advise on operational efficiencies such as pressure, temperature and dwell time.
More than a packaging vendor
Rohrer delivered on time and on-budget for the big product launch at the ASI Show. And CapTaggers™ made a big splash, with a lot of potential business in the near future followed by the retail launch. Time and time again, Rohrer has proven their industry-leading status as a value-added packaging partner. And this starts when every customer – large and small – first makes contact with Rohrer. That’s when the Emerging Business Department ensures that every customer gets personalized ‘white glove’ treatment to meet or exceed their needs. This is especially true for first-time customers who are new to the packaging process. They need more than a quality product; they also need expert guidance so they can make informed decisions or even get mentored to take on their own sealing operations. And that’s exactly what Fred was looking for in bringing his first invention to market and plans to come back to Rohrer with his next inspiration!
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