HDPE oil bottle squeezes another prize

Appeared Nov. 11, 2000

Another packaging Cinderella story is written as a once-abandoned brand revives with a vengeance. This time it's 3-In-One lubricant from San Diego-based WD-40 Co., for seven months appearing in a HDPE bottle with telescoping spout for improved access. This month the bottle will be named package of the year in the annual competition of New Jersey Packaging Executives Club. Surpassing a field of nearly 50 entries, the 4-oz bottle, modeled after the ubiquitous oil can common in the early years of the last century, is submitted by Setco. The bottle, based on an idea from WD-40 Pres. Garry Ridge, is developed with consultation by David Faughnder Engineering, Inc.

Featuring a long neck calibrated by 15-mm blow pins on a Bekum 602D machine, the bottle needn't be squeezed from the bottom, as was the ancient can, to dispense the combination oil, cleaner and rust preventive. Instead, there's a nifty self-sealing tip assembly that UPT Plastics produces, consisting of a red LDPE snap cap, clear LDPE self-sealing pressure-fit tip and black ABS extender attached to a vinyl tube with fiber doughnut-shaped washer from Kelcourt Plastics. Allowing a full 6-in extension for hard-to-reach places, the telescoping segment won't come free of the bottle, since there's a flange at the tube's base. The package is completed by a 11/2-mil vinyl label from Gilbreth with heat-activated inside adhesive, and surface gravure printed with the familiar brand red, black and white.

WD-40 new sku development manager Pete Fougner notes that a design patent is already granted on the bottle, "with a function patent in the works." The marketer's assistant brand manager for 3-In-One, Wanda Griffin, tells PD, "We're excited about this. When customers see it, they love it because they immediately see its benefit." She says the company is investigating the feasibility of using the bottle to replace the 3-oz metal can, but no decision is made yet. Meanwhile, the NJPEC prize caps a year in which the bottle captured the award for distinguished achievement in display merchandising and packaging from American Hardware Manufacturing Assn., plus a 2000 Automotive Aftermarket Global Design award for packaging and the best new product in the diy and home improvement category at the Garden and Leisure Show in UK.


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