The traditional container for disinfectant wipes is a bucket and lid with a closure in the top. Sizes vary but the problems remain the same: the container is bulky which means storage and subsequent disposal of the empties is difficult and costly. One of Allied Paper’s customers stated that it was costing over £15,000 per annum to dispose of them.
The lids can easily come off with the result that the wipes can become contaminated or dry out over time. If the end of the wipes drops back into the container the lid needs to be removed to feed them through again resulting in a similar problem if the lid is not replaced securely.
One possibility was to produce a refill bag. However, there was a risk of the wipes being placed into a contaminated bucket. There would also be a need for the refill bags to be cut, which meant bringing an additional hazard into the workplace.
Another solution was a dispenser bag with the dispenser unit glued into place and access to the wipes was through the top of the bag. Again, this option had serious contamination issues so was not acceptable to Allied Paper’s high standards.
What was needed was a permanently sealed bag with a means to access the wipes should the end become detached.
Allied Paper approached Rutland Plastics because of the latter’s experience in design and development. Working in partnership the patented Quick Release Dispenser System was developed.
The design of the locking ring was evolved to make assembly and disassembly easy together with a positive feel when the closure was in the correct closed position.
The wipes closure itself was designed with a deeper recess in order to contain a larger piece of wipe and still be able to seal the closure. The cross feature in the closure was also refined to ensure the correct balance between gripping the wipe and not tearing it, except when required.
Before progressing to tooling, Rutland Plastics produced prototypes for Allied Paper to assess the effectiveness of the design and to obtain feedback from customers.
Once tooling had been produced, Rutland Plastics then carried out development work on a blend of materials for the locking ring to ensure the right properties. This included sonic welding trials to prove the blend and strength of attachment to the bags.
The Quick Release Dispenser system has a sealed for life bag greatly reducing the risks of contamination from bacteria, viruses and foreign bodies. More product per pallet compared to the traditional bucket system which means less lorry space and less warehouse space. The reduction in materials also means the product is better for the environment, QRD reduces packaging waste by 80%, QRD dramatically reduces landfill and disposal costs.