Lubrication Engineers Inc. (LE) is a leading manufacturer of industrial lubricants, fuel additives and other performance solutions for heavy equipment and machinery. Its BTU+ Diesel Fuel Improver, an additive that cleans injectors and stabilizes fuel, has been a dominant product for years among users of diesel-powered construction vehicles, material handling equipment and over-the-road trucks.
Prominent products inevitably have competitors, so this year LE has made changes to its product, packaging and sales channels, in part to secure its leadership with heavy duty on- and off-road equipment. The changes will also expand sales in the truck and passenger car marketplace. The brand updated the formulation to improve the end-user experience and collaborated with TricorBraun Design & Innovation Group to develop new packaging with a strong shelf presence.
TricorBraun is one of North America’s leading providers of bottles, jars and other rigid packaging components, and the TricorBraun Design & Innovation Group is a business unit of the packaging provider. The group’s primary mission is to design, engineer and manage the development, production and delivery of customized rigid packaging solutions for a wide range of CPG categories.
“Our traditional market is also changing,” points out Paul Grimes, LE’s marketing manager. “In the past, our salesforce would go to worksites and factories and sell directly to the end-user. Today, more young people are entering the industry, and they are more comfortable buying online. Our packaging needed to become more visually appealing to reach them.”
As part of the change, LE also rebranded the former BTU+ brand to Full Torque Diesel Fuel Improver and initiated specific plans to begin selling the product through its website as well as through its salesforce.
Following development of the new formulations, LE tested them by making the new products available to a number of equipment owners in Alaska, where engines face dramatic weather challenges. The results were extremely positive and led to high-volume orders for the new products.
“We knew we needed a new bottle design,” says Grimes, “but we didn’t have the capability to create it. TricorBraun stepped up and made it easy for us, conducting market research and bottle studies, and presenting design ideas when other package designers we talked with were still waiting for us to give them direction.”
LE’s interaction with TricorBraun designers began with an online storyboard question-and-answer session during which designers created visuals that LE marketers could react to and the designers could adjust in real time. Following that initial exchange, TricorBraun’s designers created three concepts in detailed renderings and FDM (fused deposition modeling) models. These were later tailored using LE’s subsequent comments to arrive at the final design.
The final 16oz bottle includes a Baker neck finish that enables it to be used with current cap-less diesel automobile fuel inlets, and a distinctive body shape that includes molded ridges for secure gripping. While construction vehicles and trucks are LE’s primary market, this design feature is also attractive to the automobile market. The metallic color and a rough metal surface finish on parts of the bottle reinforce the Full Torque power image and give the bottle a dramatic shelf presence.
The 32oz bottle, used primarily for heavy equipment, echoes the same body design, but without the Baker neck finish. Both bottles are molded of HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and feature large, eye-catching pressure sensitive labels. The 16oz bottle, potentially used by consumers, has a child-resistant closure.
The 16oz bottles are molded by Hub Plastics using molds built by TricorBraun; the larger bottles are molded by Silgan Plastics. The 22-400 CRC closure with heat seal is provided by Berry Plastics; the 32oz bottle’s 38mm tamper-evident closure is provided by Hoffer Plastics. TricorBraun collaborated with LE on the design of the label graphics.
“This bottle design is so perfect for our marketplace that we are planning to use it for many of our other products,” says Grimes.
> PACKAGE DESIGN
1. Lubrication Engineers’ upgraded and rebranded product needed a new package as well. A distinctive body shape includes molded ridges for secure gripping.
2. A child-resistant closure tops the 16oz bottle because the brand’s market is changing; this size will potentially be used by consumers.
3. The metallic color and a rough finish on parts of the bottle reinforce the Full Torque power image and give the bottle a strong shelf and online presence.