The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) has announced the winners of its annual AmeriStar Package Awards Competition. In all, 80 packages in 14 categories competed in this year’s competition, with 30 earning an award. The judges evaluated the packages based on materials use, innovation, performance, sustainability, economics, protection and marketing.
The top three awards in the 2016 competition went to: Philips Respironics, for Best of Show; HP Inc., for Design Excellence; and Diversey Care (a division of Sealed Air), for Sustainable Packaging.
Best of Show: Philips Respironics’ Amara View bubble pack (photo above)
The Best of Show Award honors the package recognized by all the judges as outstanding on every judging criterion. This year’s winner was the “bubble” pack designed for the Amara View full-face mask, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) sleep apnea mask from Philips Respironics (photo above).
The Amara View bubble contains the mask without touching the sensitive silicone membrane that seals to the user’s face. To accomplish this and also keep the packaging minimal, Plastic Ingenuity designed the package with a post on which the mask floats.
To secure the mask on the package’s post, claw-like components on either side of the thermoformed part snap onto headgear clips located on both sides of the mask. The claws also show the user how the headgear clips attach to the mask.
“The most innovative features are the retractable claws on each side of the package that allow for a very aggressive latching mechanism, while still being thermoformable,” says Rob Helmke, marketing director at Plastic Ingenuity.
“The most challenging aspect was providing a secure package while having minimal contact to the product in very few, select areas,” he adds. “From avoiding the silicone mask to avoid deformation, to not making contact with the majority of the clear plastic face plate so as not to scratch the material, there was very little room to contain the product.”
Per Philips’ request, the packaging was molded to resemble a human face so patients and healthcare providers could see how the mask should be worn. The packaging is made from 0.030-inch high-impact polystyrene with an impact modifier.
Next: HP’s Design Excellence Award
Design Excellence: HP Inc.’s Star Wars Special Edition Notebook
The winner of this year’s Design Excellence Award, which recognizes outstanding structural and graphic design, was HP Inc.’s Star Wars Special Edition Notebook pack, which HP designed in-house, in collaboration with Disney.
The package design is fun as well as functional, with the outer box incorporating a handle for easy transport from the store and an inner accessories pack that can be repurposed by the consumer as a storage case for Star Wars memorabilia. The accessories pack is a rigid box with a magnetic closure.
Both the outer box and the accessory pack are decorated with vivid depictions of Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, storm troopers and a red lightsaber.Spot UV printing highlights the HP and Star Wars logos, the product name and Darth Vader’s image.
The package’s end-cap cushions, when attached to the notebook, make the product look like Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter Advanced vehicle. So in addition to protecting the notebook in shipment, the cushions essentially become part of the product. The highly detailed cushions are molded from black polypropylene foam.
“The most innovative feature of this pack is far and away the collectible nature of the cushions and the accessory box,” says Glenn Paufler, notebook packaging manager at HP Inc. “Cushions shaped like Darth Vader's TIE fighter…a prize for any Star Wars fan, and the fabulously printed rigid box we used for accessories is a perfect size for Star Wars action figures new and old.”
Finally: Diversey Care’s Sustainable Packaging Award
Sustainable Packaging: Diversey Care’s Smart Mix Pro pouch
The Sustainable Packaging Award this year went to the Pro Series Smart Mix Pro pouch from Diversey Care. A division of Sealed Air Corp., Diversey Care supplies commercial customers with cleaning products and other sanitation and janitorial products.
The Smart Mix Pro package, which incorporates two fitments and five film structures, is a pouch-within-a-pouch concept. The small inner pouch contains a dosed concentrate of cleaning solution. The user fills the outer pouch with one gallon of water and presses the inner pouch to release the concentrate and create a perfectly diluted solution. Users then refill spray bottles with the solution.
According to Sealed Air, the pouch cuts plastic waste by at least 60%, versus conventional ready-to-use cleaning products, and it also significantly reduces shipping costs and warehouse-space requirements.
In addition, the package requires 80% less storage space than bottles, and the package design protects workers from contact with the cleaning concentrate. The pouch also provides cost savings, reducing end users’ product cost per quart by 38%.