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Big Heart Brands

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Big Heart Pet Brands, a pet food and treat company, invented the Milk-Bone Brushing Chew, a dog treat that “tastes like a treat and cleans like a toothbrush”.

Award winning “toothpaste box”

“The goal was to have customers instantly associate the products as beneficial to a dog’s dental health,” said Paul Baker, senior manager projects, packaging R&D, Big Heart Pet Brands. “After careful consideration, we came up with the idea to create a package similar to a traditional toothpaste carton, making it recognizable and different from the standard stand-up pouch.”

The Flip-Top Carton

Baker and his design team prepared a prototype of the carton and took it to PACK EXPO International 2012 in Chicago. They presented the carton to several machinery suppliers, but the complex recloseable feature discouraged the suppliers from even entertaining an offer.

When Paul and his team walked onto what was then the Kliklok-Woodman (now Syntegon) booth, they were greeted by Gary Akin, Special Projects Manager. After a brief discussion and examination of the prototype, Akin recognized the design was similar to topload cartons they had previously formed and closed.

Kliklok-Woodman's contribution to the line was a custom-built Vari-Pitch FT (Flip Top) closer and a pair of ECT-625 glue-style topload carton formers. The closer features Kliklok’s patented Variable Pitch Technology, which uses on-demand pop-up lugs to guide the carton along a double-right angle path. The formers use a four-head turret that maintains constant control of the carton blank as it rotates through the forming process.


Big Heart Pet Brands products

In addition to selecting the cartoning equipment from Kliklok-Woodman, Big Heart Pet also chose Bosh Packaging for the re-closable Doy Zip pouch.

Forming the bag

The challenging requirements included applying a Velcro closure on the Doy Zip bag, running film with a pre-applied closure to form the side-gusseted stand-up bag and having the flexibility to cater to the three carton sizes and two bag styles.

Syntegon recommended the SVI 4020 WR vertical bagmaker for its flexibility in handling a range of bag styles. Since Big Heart Pet Brands wanted a unique re-closable bag, Syntegon customized the SVI 4020 WR to adhere a Velcro zipper instead of the common string zipper, enhancing ease of use.

“The level of service and machine quality we have seen from our experience with [Syntegon] over the last 20 years made us feel very comfortable,” said Baker. “The range of solutions and ability to customize and easily upgrade technologies will give us the flexibility to expand production as the brand grows, while meeting current business goals.”

The new packaging has been well received by customers. In addition, the innovative packaging line design was recognized with PMMI's Packaging Line of the Year award in November 2014.


PMMI Packaging Line of the Year Award - Chuck Yuska (right), CEO and President of PMMI, Paul Baker (center), Senior Manager of R&D Projects at Big Heart Pet Brands, and Ross Long (left), Former Executive VP of Sales and Marketing at Kliklok-Woodman.


  •  Watch a video of this packaging line - the PMMI packaging line of the year 2014
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