Viscount Plastics wins 2006 NZIP Innovation Award For New Paint Can
Viscount Plastics New Zealand has won a major packaging industry award with a straight sidewall 8 litre paint can that has also caught the eye of sister company Ropak, one of the largest packaging manufacturers in North America.
The Mt Wellington-based packaging and supply chain solutions company was recently awarded the New Zealand Institute of Packaging Innovation Award 2006, ‘Packaging Component or Complete Product Package’ category, for its development of the 8 litre EZY Can paint can.
The award winning 8 litre EZY Can is currently gaining market exposure through the October release of Taubmans EcoProof, a new eco-friendly interior acrylic paint system from Wattyl (NZ) Ltd that is virtually paint odour free during application and drying.
A key feature of the EZY Can is the moulded-in lid removal lever developed and patented by Viscount Plastics New Zealand. As well as eliminating the need for tools to lever off the lid, ‘Liftab’, as it’s called, doubles as a highly visual tamper evidence device; one that doesn’t present the waste disposal issues of a tear-off strip.
Paul Joass, Brands Marketing Manager with Wattyl, says he views the strong partnership and depth of design as the catalyst for getting together with Viscount Plastics to develop a plastic paint container that was can-like rather than having the tapered sides of a pail.
“Consumer feedback about existing products on the market highlighted the need for a more user friendly paint can. Retailers and consumers wanted an alternative to using tools to lift off and replace the lid. Also in their list was secure resealing, no gutter to fill up with paint and enhanced shelf percents.
“This feedback was the catalyst to explore the creation of a completely new paint container design, which would also address stacking and point of sale shortcomings of tapered pails.”
For the Viscount Plastics packaging development team headed by Ross Crook, this was a project that took them onto paint production lines and into retail outlets to study the specifics of paint mixing shakers and to better understand shelf stacking and other point of sale issues. The team also delved into freight logistics and pallet stacking, and even handling and stacking paint cans on hand trolleys.
“We reviewed the requirements of all supply chain partners by way of observation, surveys and trialing a range of imported, competitive and existing products,” explained Ross Crook. “We looked at issues affecting the trade and end-user markets. We gathered information from the country’s leading paint manufacturers and key retailers such as Mitre10 and PlaceMakers to understand needs from a retail perspective.”
The outcome of what Ross Crook and Paul Joass now joke about as several years hard graft is the world’s first straight sidewall plastic can with ‘Liftab’ lid.
Although he says he can list at least 24 solid advantages of the new design over metal paint cans, Ross is obviously proud of the way EZY Can achieves its primary point-of-sale objectives.
“Looking like a paint can rather than a pail creates more of a quality image with the straight sidewall affording a larger surface area for labeling and decoration, free from pail taper distortion. It can also accommodate direct offset printing and in-mould labeling. The straight sidewall very definitely achieves improved space utilization on shelves and freighting pallets.
“In terms of stacking, the straight sidewall transfers loads directly down the walls for excellent stability and top load performance. The base of each can locks into the lid of the one it’s stacked on.”
Close to the top of Ross Crook’s ‘advantages’ list is the EZY Can’s ergonomically’ designed plastic handle. At 15mm wide he says it’s so comfortable a painter will hardly know they’re carrying the can. At the same time it is more secure than a metal alternative. He also points out that with all components being Polypropylene, EZY Can is 100% recyclable, an appropriate synergy with an eco-friendly paint.