How Amazon developed a leak-free trigger sprayer

Lisa Pierce in Closures on July 04, 2018

Shipping liquids is especially tricky in the small-parcel delivery environment where packages could find themselves oriented in any direction. Ecommerce titan Amazon rose to the challenge, and worked with a key closure supplier to engineer a trigger sprayer and bottle finish for brands that passes its stringent performance criteria, while cutting rework time and costs.

The new Ultimate-E (ecommerce) trigger sprayer from Rieke Packaging, a Trimas Co., prevents leaks of liquids shipped in the small parcel environment—even for liquids with minimal product viscosity.

Amazon gave Rieke three criteria:

1. Eliminate leaks, rather than simply reduce or contain them.

2. Provide an equivalent or better than brick-and-mortar experience for the customer—that is, for convenience, have no inner seals to remove and a product that is ready to use.

3. Allow consumers to remove the closure—to refill the bottle, for example—which required a redesign of the closure’s ratchets.

The patented Ultimate-E hits on all points, and offers an omni-channel solution for brands looking to expand into ecommerce while preventing proliferation of stock-keeping units (SKUs).

It also helps cut down on merchandise damage during ecommerce shipping, which costs millions of dollars annually (think of window cleaner leaking on a $350 pair of Bose headphones when shipped in the same order and case).

And the new leak-proof trigger sprayer eliminates the need for packaging rework by Amazon to prepare products for shipping, such as:

• using a lot of bubble wrap;
• adding tape on closure and nozzle locking mechanisms;
• including custom-made trays to minimize item movement;
• sealing products in a zipper bag to contain any leaks;
• shipping trigger sprayers separately (that is, not applied to a bottle);
• attaching free gift items, such as sponges or a brush applicator, around dispensers to act as a cushion for drop impacts.

Available in two versions—one for Heath, Beauty, Home Care and the other for Industrial products—the closure comes standard in a 28/400 size with a 0.9-milliliter dose. Rieke worked with bottle manufacturers Alpha Packaging (for polyethylene terephthalate containers) and C.L. Smith Co. (for high-density polyethylene bottles) to adapt necks finishes for this closure on various materials (PET and HDPE).

Justine Mahler, Amazon’s manager of Customer Packaging Experience, and Kean Lee, technical director, Health, Beauty, Home Care (HBHC), at Rieke Packaging, tell us more about this much-needed development on page 2. Hit "next" to learn how it was done.



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