Push-button tamper-evident opening and the debut of the Stay-With band to optimize recycling distinguish this unique sports bottle closure.
Aptar Avantage cap's TE feature shown before and after opening.
If you assumed push-button convenience was limited to electronic products, consider the amazing Avantage sports drink closure from Aptar Food + Beverage (Lincolnton, NC) that opens with the push of a button found on the front of the cap. The ingenious design presents several distinctly unique advantages that balance convenience with safety including tamper-evidence. The cap is engineered with two key features:
The tamper-evidence is compromised when the flip-top cap is removed by pushing the button on the closure front;
Once opened, the press button has a permanent whitening effect to indicate that the product has been opened.
It also boasts the introduction of Aptar’s Stay-With drop band that keeps the polypropylene closure tethered to the bottle top as an anti-choking safety precaution for children and at the same time promotes recycling and reduces litter.
The closure is available in a 28mm neck finish for cold ambient filling.
Our sister publication Packaging Digest reported on the new Avantage closure in November (Tamper-evident sports closure opens with the push of a button), which debuted in Europe with brand owner Ribena. Now PlasticsToday drills down deeper into the development in this exclusive interview with Jean-Marc Philbois, Global Market Development President, Aptar Food + Beverage.
|Plastics materials and technologies for closures and more can be found Feb. 7 to 9, 2017 in Anaheim, CA, at PLASTEC West and Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West that’s co-located with the WestPack packaging exhibition. For more information and to register to attend, visit the PLASTEC West website.|
PT: How many parts does the closure have and from what resins are they molded?
Philbois: Avantage is a one-piece PP flip-top closure fitted with a SimpliSqueeze silicone valve with 7mm orifice. It was entirely designed to reduce waste and encourage and enhance recycling rates.
PT: How complex was the cap development?
Philbois: This particular development is a combinations of technologies and innovation that we are excited to bring to the market under one single closure. Some features are new and unique to our line, like the tamper evidence press button, others are recurring successful features, like the SimpliSqueeze valve, which makes the closure spill proof for on-the-go convenience and is the culmination of years of experience with R&D and innovative developments.
PT: Were any special tools used in development?
Philbois: We strive to innovate in new and revolutionary ways, in order to achieve this we must one key focus has to also include the latest software and tools at our disposal, 3D printing has certainly helped us for models and fine-tuning our closure development helping our designs come to life. Of course, state-of-the-art tools arm our engineering, research and design teams globally to create, develop and even adapt our closures best to meet our clients’ and the end consumers’ needs.
PT: Has Aptar used this resin and supplier before?
Philbois: Yes, we chose to use our standard PP for its ease of recyclability along with PET bottles, but with the added unique whitening effect that increases visibility for the Consumer for tamper evidence. We also include our SimpliSqueeze valve technology, which does not interfere with the PET recycling stream process thanks to its unique swimming formulations which allows it to be separated from the PP and PET in the recycling line. The Stay-With band also encourages recycling by keeping the closure attached to the bottle even when it is entirely unscrewed.
PT: Has the Stay-With band been used before?
Philbois: The Stay-With tethered drop-band debuts with Avantage. This revolutionary patented technology allowed us to design a non-detachable piece, minimizing litter and increasing closure-to-bottle recycling rates as requested for by the Association of Plastic Recyclers “Caps On” Initiative. It is unique and we are proud to be the first in the industry to achieve this.
PT: Were there challenges to the assembly and/or injection molding?
Philbois: Due to the nature of our business and clients, we work collectively to timely invest in equipment for the best functionality for each closure. We want to be sure to be able to answer high volume demands or local product launches at the same time, so having our own production lines and equipment for each launch is essential to us. This innovative closure, as with any highly innovative development, can have its challenges but we make sure to work closely with our customers in all stages in order to accomplish our and their expected needs and expectations.
PT: What options are available?
Philbois: Currently available stock colors are red, blue, green and black. We wanted to offer these options from launch since the color is important to the push button TE, which has a whitening effect after first engagement use. We are scheduled to launch a new production line in Latin America later this year.
PT: Can any other customers be disclosed besides Ribena?
Philbois: Ribena was the first to launch this unique closure in Europe. As you can appreciate, due to client confidentially, we unfortunately cannot discuss future developments but foresee a bright future for this smart, secure and sustainably friendly closure. As with other upcoming developments, we strive to balance between convenience and safety while leveraging innovative technologies to reduce packaging waste and increase closure recycling rates. The Avantage closure is a perfect example of this.