Label/clamshell light the way

Bernard Abrams

January 29, 2014

4 Min Read
Label/clamshell light the way


Sometimes a package only seems complete. In the two-year marketing evolution of its Inova™ Microlight mini flashlight, Emissive Energy Corp. (EEC) acknowledges that the need for improvement is constant, especially with changing and growing distribution requirements.

Co-owner Jean Wolfe, at EEC's Warwick, RI, headquarters, believes the package, after an adjustment implemented five months ago, is now as good as it can be for expanded international distribution of what the product's labeling describes as "the smallest, brightest light, anytime, anywhere."

For one thing, its clear clamshell with butterfly die-cuts lets consumers test the tiny, (less than a 2 in. sq apart from its stainless-steel clip) high-tech flashlight without even lifting it from the hanging display. For another, its equally high-tech label, actually a folder made by Proma Technologies, uses a combination of materials and holographic features to enhance the product's appeal.

The innovative label says it all. While establishing brand identity and dramatizing the Microlight's brilliant beam, the external surfaces make the package tough to counterfeit. The label stock is a 60# coated-one-side paper to which Proma applies both overall and spot holography in a rainbow pattern designed by ITW Holographics (at the time IHP). The holographic hues on the main display surfaces, supported by descriptive copy, differentiate the line's eight stockkeeping units.

Inside copy, printed via sheet-fed offset in one color by Challenge Printing, presents conditions for the light's limited lifetime warranty plus replacement information. The Microlight functions with either one or two coin-cell lithium batteries. With one-mile visibility, the LED bulb is said to have a +110,000-hr plus lifespan.

These features are enhanced by the graphics that emit variable, highly visible color effects, even when the Microlight isn't turned on. The light is captured facing upward by the cavity molded into the face of the transparent clamshell, a 20-mil vinyl thermoformed by Capco Plastics from multisourced resin. Horizontal ribs molded into the rear segment improve the structure's strength.

In the latest improvement to the package, Wolfe explains to PD, "Our expansion in distribution is changing one of the basic requirements. In certain overseas markets, tamper-resistance is secondary to being able to open the package without a tool. So while the clamshell's seal must be positive, it must also be somewhat easier to break than it has been in the past."

The solution at copacker Pack-All is the installation of the new sealer in its plant in Ansonia, CT. This machine, Starview Packaging Machinery's Model PHS-6, is a rotary 6-station unit with programmable logic control that regulates heat and chill stations. "With this machine," Pack-All ceo Tony DeLucia tells PD, "we can quickly heat seal and then chill the clamshells to customize their seal strength, without any change to the material or added coatings. We keep and operate our two radio-frequency sealers, of course, but with situations like those at Emissive Energy, it's important to have this alternative."

Bright idea
Coincidental with this change is the addition of an on/off switch on the Microlight's lower case. Both casings derive their flexibility from translucent polycarbonate that Truebro vacuum forms in all of the colors of the line.

"Little by little," Wolfe says, "the Microlight is evolving into a useful instrument that consumers relate to instantly and even purchase in multiples to use in the home, the car and other places. With the latest improvements in the product and its packaging, there's no telling where it can go."

Where it is, is in sporting goods, consumer electronics, HVAC, automotive stores and in specialty retailers including Sharper Image and Eddie Bauer, she says.

"Where it's going is everywhere else," she adds. And she's doing her best to light the way.

More information is available:

Label: Proma Technologies, 800/343-6977. Circle No. 374.

Holographic design: ITW Holographics, 215/997-8006. Circle No. 375.

Label printing: Challenge Printing, 952/942-7086. Circle No. 376.

Clamshell: Capco Plastics, 401/272-3833. Circle No. 377.

Contract packaging: Pack-All, 203/734-4261. Circle No. 378.

Sealer: Starview Packaging Machinery, 888/278-5555. Circle No. 379.

Casings: Truebro, 860/875-2868. Circle No. 380.

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