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What do you call a one-of-a-kind enhanced clamshell that closes securely, yet opens easily with one hand?
Jay Baker, CEO of Jamestown Plastics, a seasoned inventor with more than 40 design and utility patents, calls his patented invention a Clamtainer. At the heart of the design is the “Click-it” closure that benefits both manufacturers and consumers.
Although the Clamtainer has been around for years for applications from ammunition to, more recently, cannabis, Baker and his favorite invention appeared in a recent video that promoted alignment with the popular "frustration free" benefit.
Seeing this prompted a “what’s new with the Clamtainer?” outreach that uncovered the fact the invention isn’t frozen in time. Instead, through further improvements and options, it remains an ever-evolving format.
“A recent innovation that was added is our Riblock design that prevents sidewall penetration by locking the lid to the base,” Baker points out. “We are also continually adapting the Clamtainer for various markets and applications within specific markets.”
Also recent is a project involving high-strength adhesives in Canada, which required child-resistant packaging. The previous packaging approach involved the adhesive tube inside a plastic bottle with a child-resistant cap inside a blister pack.
“To the best of our knowledge Clamtainer is the only clamshell package in the world that can become certified child resistant, so it is a great solution for these adhesive products,” notes Baker. “Product pack-out is more efficient, product presentation to the consumer is drastically improved, customers can easily access the product, and the package retains its child-resistance when the product is placed back inside.”
What about material options?
Baker says the Clamtainer can be made from any thermoplastic material, all which Jamestown Plastics processes. These include polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinylchloride, polystyrene, PET, and polycarbonate.
The Clamtainer is being used in multiple markets including industrial, consumer, ammunition, and most recently, cannabis.
There’s another major market Baker believes hungers for his container. “We are actively pursuing applications for deli and produce within the food industry.”
Additional custom options are available.
“Most often when working with our clients, the Clamtainer is customized for their needs,” says Baker. “For example, we could provide a custom molded logo within the package or even use a stock Clamtainer with a custom insert to better secure and present a specific item within the geometric space. Using a stock Clamtainer helps to reduce up-front costs for the client and increases speed-to-market.”
One project with a major consumer packaged goods company involved simplification across various SKUs. According to Baker, “we evaluated 10-12 different SKUs, found the commonality among them, and created a single package that could be used for all SKUs. This resulted in fewer package types being needed, which increases the volume per package, which then decreases cost per package.”
The simple design fits seamlessly into automated operations.
“We also have customers fully automating their pack-out operations using our Clamtainers,” says Baker. “This is because the only thing needed to close and ship a Clamtainer is a simple downward stroke of an arm or tunnel. Clamtainer is the simplest clamshell for automation ever invented!”
And there's more in the works, in fact much more.
“From a development standpoint, we are actively pursuing freezer-to-microwave-to-dishwasher applications, along with utilizing electrostatic discharge (ESD) material,” Baker discloses “In addition, the next evolution of Clamtainer will provide low-hassle, tamper-evident packaging solutions that will further improve pack-out operations and consumer satisfaction.”
Amidst the variety of appropriate products and categories, Baker points to a common theme that explains the container's longevity.
“It’s a win-win-win…the client wins with a more efficient pack-out operation, a package that uses less material, and reduced liability in the case of child-resistance; their customer wins with a frustration-free package and less space required for shipping and storage; and the consumer wins with an easy-to-open package that can also be reused or recycled.”
About the Author(s)
Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday
Rick Lingle is Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree from Clarke College and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.
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