Those who have never changed the differential gear lubricant in an automobile or truck should know it’s a major pain in the neck, which is something that those who have done it already know all too well.
That’s the insight from Parnell Thill, senior marketing manager, AMSOIL (Superior, WI), regarding the company’s August 1 launch of the functional Easy-Pack stand-up pouch that makes for a better user experience with less waste and mess.
Thill explains the customer-motived reasoning behind the conversion from high-density polyethylene bottles to the same-volume 1-quart multilayer pouches for the company’s two most popular gear lubricants, AMSOIL Severe Gear 75W-90 and 75W-140 100% Synthetic Gear Lube.
“Where the fill is located in the differential beneath a vehicle is like trying to pour uphill against gravity,” he says. “You can’t really tip a bottle of oil up all the way to empty them so users end up needing more than a bottle—it’s a highly inefficient and messy process with a lot of waste. Until now the only alternatives have been expensive pneumatic pumps or DIY jury-rigged setups like adapting a lotion pump bottle.”
The Easy-Pack pouches have a specialized nozzle that can be positioned into the opening even in tight quarters, unlike bottles. And the squeezable nature of the pouch performs like a hand-driven pump, made easier by the pinched-waste format.
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The efficient flexible packaging dispensing less mess and less waste than bottled oil. Also, the pouch packaging can be efficiently and completely emptied. “It rolls up like a used tube of toothpaste,” Thill points out.
The collapsed pouch can be disposed in a fraction of the space of used bottles, which are rarely recycled due to the oil residue.
The Easy-Pack is AMSOIL’s first pouch, and the latest innovation from the company that invented synthetic motor oil in the 1970s.
Helping drive the packaging development was Matt Erickson, AMSOIL’s technical manager, PCLT (passenger cars light truck) and mechanical R&D. The concept had been essentially put on the backburner for more than a year until it was prioritized last December and developed in a fast-track timeline.
“We benchmarked the pouch against the bottle,” Erickson explains. “Because our products are shipped worldwide, we developed with help from our partner companies a 10-plus-layer pouch structure that provides a great barrier against oxygen and moisture. We considered different constructions and this was the best.”
Besides the nozzle’s convenience in dispensing the lubricant, the pouch’s hole also provides a convenient finger grip that enables users to carry the two or three pouches that may be required for the job, Erickson points out.
Pouches create wow factor
Prior to the launch, the company tested the new packaging with several dozen local shops. “As soon as anyone who has ever changed differential fluid sees the pouch they say, ‘wow’—they get it right away,” Thill reports.
The product is sold to small shops and DIYers through a network of salespeople for global distribution and is sold online at the company’s web site.
As a bonus, Thill says the distinctive package is a great sales tool. “The novelty factor of the pouch is big, and gives our salespeople a door-opening talking point for customer visits.”
The product is rolling out globally at a suggested price of $17.40, same as the bottles and without requiring that users have or purchase a pump for the job.