Injection-molded Design Energizes Battery Packaging

November 1, 2004
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Injection-molded Design Energizes Battery Packaging

by Rob Croft
Category leading brands use the most generic of blister packaging. Why? Very often, the category is so entrenched in this packaging style that marketing executives overlook alternative packaging systems. Also, consumers accept the generic package. No impetus exists for structural innovation.
Both reasons stifle a tremendous opportunity for improvement.
Challenging the blister is a worthy exercise, especially when you create a point of difference, add functionality and consider the lower parts costs.
Very often the tooling costs associated with injection molding can be inconsequential when amortized over millions of components per year. Additionally, polymer resin prices are a fraction of the cost of the same volume of thermoform material because the thermoformed component undergoes several processes (i.e., extruded, vacuum formed and trimmed).
This month we decided to address disposable blister packaging for batteries with an injection-molded design that locks onto a rigid coated paperboard graphic panel.
Shape promotes stability
The hexagonal shape allows the package to stand upright without the need for those “tippy feet” that are common with blister packaging. The shape allows the package to tessellate when put into a shipper, achieving a high-cube-out ratio.
The component may be removed from the graphic panel, allowing the consumer to use the clip as a “battery keeper.” Rotating the end-cap allows access to all six chambers for easy removal.
Consumers can insert used batteries into the clip upside down, allowing them to keep track of the number of depleted cells. Encouraging the consumer to keep unused cells contributes to the clip’s final role as a recycling component. Users can discard the clip at many of the recycling points that are appearing in consumer electronic stores.
The design demonstrates how brand managers can investigate functional and aesthetic opportunities provided by an alternative manufacturing process to re-engergize their disposable battery brands. BP
The author, Rob Croft, is Managing Partner of Swerve Inc., specialists in 3-D brand design. Contact him at 212.742.9560 or rob@swerveinc.com

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