In light of the growing problem of marine plastics, environmentally friendly design is a crucial aspect of new container development. In developing containers, Lion strives to apply the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) and to use renewable materials. In particular, Lion was an early adopter of computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulations in its drive to solve the core problem of reducing material usage and has been using this technology in container design since the 1970s.
Producing containers requires the use of metal molds. These molds are extremely expensive to fabricate and, once a mold has been made, the container shape cannot be easily changed. To avoid this problem, before the metal molds are fabricated, we use computers to run simulation tests of various container designs to predict how each will perform, with the aim of determining the optimal form. We run a diverse range of computer simulations, such as single bottle strength tests that include analyses of performance when dropped or compressed, as well as simulations of the interactions of multiple containers during production and shipping and of the flow of the liquid product from the cap. All of these inform development.
Our previous KireiKirei Hand Soap refill packs were cartons made from paper laminated with plastic film. While these paper cartons were made from environmentally friendly materials, separating the paper and plastic for recycling was difficult. Looking ahead to advancements in recycling technology, Lion decided to redesign the container to be made from a single material in order to facilitate recycling. For this material, we selected polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which offers good strength, and we utilized CAE technologies to design the shape, realizing a tough, lightweight container.