Carolina Color’s G3 and G2

Carolina Color G3 for packaging applications bottles caps and closures

Plastic packaging producers delight in both the tremendous cost-savings and ease of use of Carolina Color’s G2/G3 colorant technologies.

The advanced G3 and G2 pellets are exceptionally well dispersed and effectively distributed in both large and small parts, improving the physical and visual properties of a blow-molded bottle. In addition, G3 delivers considerable cost-saving possibilities. Since G2 and G3 introduction, many plastic processors in the packaging industry are making a switch.

Below are a few examples of current customers and the cost savings they have received by using G3 and or G2 instead of other options.

Carolina Color Yellow Blow Molding bottle

The Blow Molding Bottle Trial:

Carolina Color recently participated in a trial with one very large blow molder in the packaging industry. The company had been impressed with their current suppliers let down ratio, however, after talking with the team at Carolina Color they agreed to trial G3.

The incumbent supplier’s color concentrate had a recommended let down ratio of 2.5%. Carolina Color made the decision to run two tests with different let down ratios of 1.5% and 1.7% respectfully. By running the trial at these lower let down ratios, Carolina Color knew they would be able to demonstrate G3’s ability to lower overall cost.

During the blow molding trial, Carolina Color’s G3 achieved the proper color specification at a 1.14% average usage while the competitive material’s actual average usage rate was 5.96%. Post-trial analytical testing confirmed that Carolina Color’s G3 concentrate contained 65% pigment versus 26% in the traditional concentrate–a roughly 40% loading/coloring advantage for G3.

The Testing method used for the bottles produced on the line: Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA): The decomposition of the concentrate was tested from 40°C to 650°C @20°C/min in nitrogen to obtain the total residue of the concentrate and bottle samples. Samplings were taken from the two (2) areas (i.e., Front and Side) of the bottles and each of the concentrates was measured in triplicate.

Most importantly, Carolina Color did not need to make any changes to the blow molder’s processing parameters during this trial, eliminating any additional challenges for the manufacturing team.

Carolina Color Caps and Closures Color Supplier

Carolina Color ensures well-dispersed color while dramatically reducing cap and closure application costs.

Carolina Color has been successfully helping customers in the caps and closures market since 1967. Yet, with the introduction of G2 in 2008 and G3 in 2015 they have seen large growth in this marketplace—not only because the market is growing—but, also, because customers switching over to G2 and newly introduced G3, have been able to mold caps and closures at a reduced cost while maintaining color quality.

The Challenge: Maintain Color Quality At a Reduced Cost

Molding caps and closures to meet customers’ demands is challenging, most days. Then, add the challenge of having a major brand’s customer demand that the color of the product must be an exact match every time. Continually meeting such exacting brand retail shelf expectations is nearly impossible. For example, one closure manufacturer for large brands needed to lower overall cost while still maintaining a consistent color for every part. After exploring several options, the manufacturer selected G2 from Carolina Color.

Carolina Color’s patented G2 in which pigments and additives are highly loaded, exceptionally well dispersed, and effectively distributed in both large and small parts. The qualities of this next-generation coloring product enable manufacturing possibilities that save time, space, and money. Most packaging manufacturers see up to a 30% cost-to-color reduction, along with letdown rates matching or exceeding liquid colors.

The Result: Lower Cost and Improved Color Distribution

When the manufacturer incorporated G2 into their molding operations they were able to lower the cost on some critical closure products for major brands and while continuing to produce parts matching those on the shelf every time. Here are a few benefits the closure manufacturer was able to quickly see after making the switch to G2.

On a red peanut butter closure application:

– Lowered their use rate from 4% to 0.65%

– Generated approximate savings of $100,000 annually

– Improved color distribution, even with the substantially lower use rate.

Caps and Closures Blue ColorOn a stock blue color used across various applications:

– Lowered their use rate from 5% to 2.2%

– Achieved an estimated cost savings of 10 to 15%

On a protein powder supplement green closure application:

– Lowered their use rate from 4.5% to 2.2%.

– Improved color distribution on a translucent lid (even with the process improvements noted below).

Carolina Color G3 for caps and closures

– Enabled the customer to eliminate the use of a special mixing nozzle that had been required to achieve acceptable quality using the incumbent color

– Enabled the customer to run the part under normal processing parameters as opposed to the special adjustments that had been required on the incumbent color

Carolina Color Packaging Foam TrayCarolina Color’s G3 colorant technology can load dyes up to 43% for polystyrene (PS) foam-packaging customers.

Molders of Polystyrene (PS) foam packaging for applications such as poultry, meat, vegetables, and eggs are extremely cost sensitive. Carolina Color’s R&D team knew their G3 technology could exceed standard loading rates of 24 to 27 percent.

Carolina Color recently ran a trial for a manufacturer of foam trays that used roughly 100,000 pounds of colorant annually at a recommended let-down ratio of 1%. To properly compare the strength of Carolina Color’s G3 to the current vendor, a trial was conducted on a thin sheet (approximately 35 mil) at the same 1% let down of the incumbent supplier.

At a 1%, the G3 colors were far more heavily saturated, so the engineer running the trial reduced the let-down to 0.4% and then to 0.3% and was even able to go to 0.25%.

Still, the customer wanted to make sure there were no color variations from roll to roll due to the low let down ratio. The result? The remainder of the master-batch was run without issue.  At a 0.25% let-down, the G3 delivered a color that well within the customer’s spec and with no variation from from roll-to-roll. Also impressive was that they were able to use their existing color feeders to consistently deliver the color at the 0.25%. The manufacturer ran approximately 15,000 pounds of the foam roll material and formed the equivalent amount without issue. Needless to say, the color was approved and the now new customer enjoys a 22% savings in their colorant spend.

The Carolina Color G3 polystyrene trial results summarized:

  • G3’s offered a 75% lower let-down ratio than incumbent’s colorant
  • G3 can load dyes up to 43% versus industry standard 24-27%
  • G3 uses the same resin, ie. styrene in styrene and PET in PET

“The results from the trial are mind-boggling. G3 delivered let-down ratios that no one in the industry can even begin to fathom. The bottom line is that polystyrene customers can now pay a lot less to color their products without sacrificing one iota of performance,” stated Ronald M. Harris, PhD., the director of technology at Carolina Color.

Carolina Color G3 for packagingEliminate Slip Agent Failure and Overall Cost When Compared to Liquid by making switch to G3 or G2S

Plastic molders need every advantage to remain competitive, especially in the packaging industry. One additive that is critical for packaging is a slip agent—without slip, parts can stick to a mold, slowing down processing speeds that increases product cost.

Recently, a very large packaging processor was using a slip agent delivered in a liquid carrier. The molding operators noticed the slip agent was settling too quickly, thus separating from the carrier. The result was inconsistent slip levels in the final parts, which led to lost production and increased cost.

The processor concluded they needed a better solution and called Carolina Color whose technical staff developed a highly-loaded, custom slip concentrate utilizing their new G3 technology. Successful trials were completed in a matter of weeks and the processing engineers recommended a switch to G3.

One of the main reasons behind the change was that G3 delivered the slip in a solid pellet form eliminating the risk of product separation that occurred in the liquid slip. It was also able to do so at a lower cost that obviously pleased the purchasing group.

“Carolina Color has invested nearly $10,000,000 in plant upgrades and new equipment over the past 8 years,” stated Matt Barr, CEO. “Our product development team has simultaneously done amazing work successfully launching several paradigm shifting technologies. During this time, the company has also adjusted its business processes, streamlined operations and implemented a new ERP system all without losing the high-touch customer service which has been our hallmark for these 50 years.”

Carolina Color is perhaps best known for inventing two revolutionary technologies — patented G2 and patent pending G3. These two products have raised the R&D bar leaving most of their larger competitors scratching their heads and once again proving the old adage that bigger is not always better.

To learn more about our G2 and G3 product lines visit: