3D printer taps out a beer carrier

Lightweight craft beer carrier is still strong enough to hold a six-pack.

Lightweight craft beer carrier is still strong enough to hold a six-pack. Image source: Roberts PolyPro, powered by Pro Mach.
Lightweight craft beer carrier is still strong enough to hold a six-pack. Image source: Roberts PolyPro, powered by Pro Mach.

Roberts PolyPro, powered by Pro Mach, utilized advanced design tools and the rapid prototyping capabilities of 3D printers to develop can carrying handles for two-, four-, and six-packs of craft beer that are an affordable and flexible option that use less plastic without compromising on strength, says Roy Tetreault, general manager, Roberts PolyPro.

“The present can carrier in the market is difficult to get off and usually shakes up the beer,” he says. “Our new handle consumes 30% less plastic that the old style handles.”

The handles are available in any PMS color to complement a can’s graphic design. The high-density polyethylene (HDPE) #2 handles are 100% recyclable. And, the handles can be reapplied to cans for carrying unopened cans home or empty cans to recycling bins. The handles allow the cans to be closely stacked for efficient packing.

“Tabs that push to hold and lift to remove give the new handles their distinctive appearance,” said Richard Brothers, product manager at Roberts PolyPro.

A 4-pack handle weighs approximately 9.3 grams. “Sustainability is very important to our designs. Once we are satisfied with the design, the goal is to remove as much plastic without jeopardizing that design.”  

The Roberts PolyPro sales and engineering teams work with customers to determine what speed the applicator must function and determine any features they would like incorporated into the machine design. “Most of our carriers are applied after the product is filled, capped and cased. However, we can develop new machines or adapt existing machines into the line before the product is cased,” says Tetreault.

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