Top Twister – Gwalia’s opening device
At the recent Caps and Closures conference in Amsterdam, Gwalia Packaging Group, the South Wales-based closure and container manufacturer, presented its latest product innovations for ‘ease of opening’ for elderly people.
The company presented a paper at the event that discussed the emergence of a totally new international standard, ISO 17480 Design Criteria - Ease of Opening, due in April 2015.
The Gwalia presentation showed graphically some of the effects of ageing including impaired sight, manual dexterity and fingertip strength; and it concluded with two examples of Gwalia’s product developments aimed specifically at people between 65 and 80 years of age.
The first of the two developments is Top Twister, an opening aid. Tested in summer 2014 by 100 people aged 65-80, using the same protocol as the one in the forthcoming ISO 17480, it achieved 100 percent acceptance, says the company. It is a single piece injection moulding in polystyrene, harder than the PP or HDPE closures on which it is used and it will fit closure sizes from 20 to 38mm.
Although Top Twister was designed for push and turn child resistant closures Gwalia says it can be used on standard screw tops and other applications.
The second development is Savalot, a squeeze-and-turn, child-resistant closure with a specially developed ‘soft’ hinge. This feature, says Gwalia, enables the closure to be operated with considerably less pinch strength than its competitor closures. In addition, because of its design, Savalot uses less polymer weighing in at substantially less than the weight of its nearest competitor, says the company.
Despite these modifications, the closure’s squeeze and turn, child-resistant feature remains unimpaired. And, with suitable containers, Savalot is capable of complying with ISO 8317; the international standard for reclosable child resistant packaging.
Rod Parker, Gwalia’s Managing Director said. “I’m looking forward to the publication next year of ISO 17480, the new international standard for ease of opening. It will give us a number of goals to aim at and formalise some of the things that I believe we’re already doing quite well.”