The biggest container problem in the paint industry is dented cans. If the coating on the inside is chipped as a result of the dent, the container will rust and contaminate the paint inside. The relative ease with which this can happen leads to huge losses in the industry as a result of returned paint and the disposal costs of that paint. Letica partnered with Benjamin Moore to create an all-plastic solution. While I was at it, I generated a number of ideas to use the container to optimize the painting process with features like handles, pouring spouts, or roller pans. The customer was taking a much shorter view of the issue however. They wanted a replacement for the age old metal can and they insisted that it fit on their existing filling lines without modification. We did it and we did it well. I spent hours upon hours in the test lab getting a baseline on metal cans and tweaking and improving its plastic replacement’s design and materials. By the time we reached our deadline, we had a decisive advantage. The metal can could not be tipped and retain its seal (much less an un-dented appearance) at any height in excess of nine inches. In fact, that’s as low as the drop tester would go. Our Letica paint container would withstand drops of six feet and retain its seal each and every time and look as good as new afterward. The only part of their fill line that needed modification was the lid placement machine. That used magnets and making plastic lids cheap and magnetic was just not going to happen.
Patents #6,588,618 and #7,584,866
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