Beer Cooler Ices Design and Manufacturing Challenges

beer cooler | rotomolded coolers | rotomolded cooler manufacturer | benefits of rotational molding | reinforcing ribs
beer cooler | rotomolded coolers | rotomolded cooler manufacturer | benefits of rotational molding | reinforcing ribs

Beer coolers can do more than keep beverages ice cold. They can also function as point-of-purchase (POP) displays that capture consumer attention. Heineken, one of the world’s top-selling beers, already stands out in the crowd with its distinctive labeling and green bottles. Yet, Heineken is also sold in silver-and-green cans as well as in mini-kegs for occasions where draught beer, or draft beer, is preferred.

Refrigerated POP displays like the Heineken draught keg cooler that’s described in this article are more than just coolers. They help to build product awareness, something that even one of the world’s best-known brands clearly values. For this project, Gregstrom demonstrated its capabilities in rotational molding, assembly and testing, and shipping. If you’re a product designer, how can we help you?

Overcoming Cosmetic and Functional Challenges

Cosmetically, this beer cooler needed to share the shape, color, and texture of what was then a new-to-market, 5-liter draught keg. Functionally, the refrigerator needed to hold up to 250 pounds of beer and other products over an extended period of time and under a variety of environmental conditions. In a crowded retail environment, floor space is always at a premium, too.

Rotational molding, a manufacturing process that produces strong, hollow plastic parts, enabled Gregstrom to overcome several cosmetic challenges. To hide any parting lines, the main part of the unit required a six-piece mold. To achieve the look of the aluminum that’s used in Heineken’s 5-liter draught keg, the POP display was rotomolded from a specially-formulated, silver-metallic effect LLDPE material.

Gregstrom overcame functional challenges as well. To support attachments without secondary hardware, the top ring was made from a six-piece mold with four removable pieces. This yielded undercuts that allowed for attaching the ring to the keg cooler with snap fits. To form the top handle lever and the silver spout, three separate rotomolded parts were attached to each other and to the keg itself.

Product Assembly, Custom Packaging, and Shipping 

Rotational molding was an important part of the solution, but it isn’t the entire story. For the Heineken draught keg cooler, Gregstrom assembled the finished product from 40 off-the-shelf hardware components, five custom-fabricated components, and five rotomolded parts. Then we packed and shipped these refrigerated POP displays directly to Heineken distributors.

In a crowded marketplace, how will your brand stand out? For refrigerated products like beer, wine, cider, or soda, the competition can be fierce. If you’re designing a refrigerated point-of-purchase display, or if you’re considering any type of project where value-added rotational molding could give you an edge, Gregstrom is ready.

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