A proprietary technology allows containers to be injection blowmolded into different shapes and sizes, creating a package with two compartments, one smaller and one larger. Dubbed the Smiler by its creators, Emergent Technologies LLC (Chanhassen, MN) and Plastic Technologies Inc. (PTI; Holland, OH), the technology can create a portable container that holds a single-serving of two compatible products, such as milk and cookies.
The second or bottom compartment is created by drawing the base upwards, which forms a small cavity into which a heat-sealed portion cup, containing solid, granular or powdered products, can be inserted and held by friction. The base opening can then be closed using a variety of heat-seal or pressure-sensitive materials and methods. The top compartment utilizes a traditional finish and closure.
The companies said the biggest challenge in the project was figuring out how to create a base cavity deep enough to house a second product. "We went through multiple iterations over a year-plus to make sure that both the design elements and the blowmolding process would meet performance objectives," said Scott Steele, vice president PTI....