Learn how Flexcraft’s in-house mold design, manufacturing and rapid prototyping capabilities helped to streamline SMB International automotive packaging design and product development process.
SMB International has been manufacturing and packaging automotive chemicals, additives and car-care products for more than three decades. Based in New Jersey, with manufacturing and warehousing facilities throughout the country, they are a company who values creative and innovative packaging to make their branding and product pop on store shelves.
SMB manufactures many different types of products, many of which are fuel additives, typically poured directly into a car’s fuel tank.
With hundreds of fuel additive products on the market, they have no shortage of competition, so they needed a solution that helped them stand out as an industry leader. Additionally, in recent years, many new cars have been designed and manufactured with a “capless fuel system.” This design doesn’t have a gas cap, and instead the valve remains locked until the nozzle at the gas station triggers the valve to open, allowing users to fill the tank with gas.
This created an opportunity to explore a new innovative automotive packaging design that would mimic the gas nozzle and allow the user to pour the contents of the bottle directly into the gas tanks of these newly designed cars.
Flexcraft was tasked with the challenge of creating an innovative bottle that was strong enough to unlock the tank, without crushing the bottle in the process. In addition, the strategy had to consider an equally lightweight design to reduce material use and be economically produced by the millions.
With this concept in mind, the Flexcraft team worked directly with the customer to create design concepts and working prototypes for testing to ensure the automotive packaging design consistently met processing requirements in a cost-effective way.
Once SMB approved the overall concept, Flexcraft worked with partners to optimize the bottle design for manufacturing.
The final design was perfect for Flexcraft’s one-step injection stretch blow molding equipment (ISBM) since allowing them to design a custom preform that distributed the perfect amount of PET material throughout the container. This enabled Flexcraft to produce SMB’s product with a solid neck and thin body section.
Flexcraft’s one-stage process was also an ideal process for SMB because of their various color requirements. Instead of having to manage inventory of various different preforms, the one-stage ISBM process allows for a quick 15-20 minute color change necessary to proceed directly into the next color.
The end result of Flexcraft’s streamlined automotive packaging design process translated to a beautifully innovative, patent pending container that met the required functionality, price point and design criteria, and most importantly, another happy customer!
Do you need unique mold and manufacturing for your automotive packaging design with flexible rapid prototyping? Contact us today to see how we can help or call 732.502.9500.