Single-serve Pouch Spouts New Design, Safety Cap

Consumers who have confidence in the Dole brand of quality products can now put their trust in the new Trust-T-Lok spout designed specifically for flexible, single serve pouches by the leading trusted name in custom packaging solutions, Hoffer Plastics Corp. Trust-T-Lok was engineered and tested for more than a year and resulted in this creative “T”-shaped cap for flexible package spouts that meets all CPSC choke-proof specifications, provides superior tamper evidence and easy-grip shape and texture.

The unique patented Trust-T-Lok spout/cap offers a new alternative to the flexible pouch industry and was created to meet customer demand for a cap similar to those currently on the market but with different features. Hoffer Plastics, with its’ more than 60 years of expertise in plastic product design, design and manufacture of high-tech injection molds and precision molding capabilities, collaborated with the customer to innovate the Trust-T-Lok square spout/cap to exacting specifications. Trust-T-Lok also comes in a rounded cap version, Trust-T-Lok R, which is also an ideal solution for baby food pouches for toddlers.  

The Trust-T-Lok was chosen for use on the Dole Squish’ems apple sauce pouch. Designed and tested for toddler safety, the Trust-T-Lok has won the confidence of parents who are assured of a total quality product: Dole and Trust-T-Lok.

The Trust-T-Lok and the Trust-T-Lok R provide a unique plug seal that maintains seal integrity for one full rotation of the cap. The cap reveals superior tamper evidence at one-quarter of a turn of the cap, and remains sealed even at three-quarters of a turn. In addition to providing safety, it means that shelf-life is not compromised if the cap is accidently turned slightly.

The three ribs on the spout are a critical part of the design, helping the spout to adhere to the LDPE flexible packaging to provide a strong, tight seal. For co-packers, this design provides assurance that there will not be leaks during the filling process. And, the Trust-T-Lok and Trust-T-Lok R design ensures that the spout matches exactly with the form, fill and seal equipment for that added measure of safety and security. The spout and cap are assembled at Hoffer’s facility and shipped to the packer.

With its’ history of expertise in developing innovative packaging products for its Fortune 100 customers, Hoffer Plastics helps National brand owners differentiate their products while providing safe, easy-to-use and sustainable solutions for spouts, caps and closures, and stay at the forefront of the markets they serve.

About Hoffer Plastics:  Hoffer Plastics Inc. has been setting the standard for quality, on-time delivery and engineering excellence in the plastic injection molding and mold manufacturing industry for more than 60 years. As a family-owned business now being managed by the second and third generations, Hoffer Plastics’ values, dedication to customers and commitment to service and quality has made us a leading supplier for the packaging, industrial, and consumer products markets. With 27 talented mold makers on staff in three tool rooms, and 110 injection presses ranging from 35-600-tons clamping force, Hoffer Plastics has the capacity and the capability to provide the best in innovative and sustainable solutions, quality, and service.

Hoffer Plastics: There’s a part of us in every piece

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  “Made in China” is 30 years of reform and opening up China’s manufacturing industry in international trade a major breakthrough achieved in the area, many Chinese products, especially light industrial products for the country make a significant contribution to export earnings.

The violin musical instrument manufacturing industry growth rate in nearly two decades more prominent industrial projects. Ten years after the last century, the country’s annual output of nearly 500,000 violin and then just a few years time, production to achieve double surge in exports as the world’s first cello exporting countries. Violin light industry and manufacturing became important export commodity for some provinces and cities and cultural industries projects.

   In recent years, China’s annual output of the basic maintenance of violin around one million, although the small-scale production and processing enterprises after another, but the domestic musical instrument information institutions look at the statistics, the domestic production of major companies tend to smooth violin, industry size and export have remained roughly stable. Chinese violin industry into a platform for development of the industry period.

Chinese Violin hit the other side of “Butterfly”

    Enter the new millennium, an implicit pre-recession of the “butterfly” wings in the ocean on the other side frequently, although it has not attracted as 97 years, like a catastrophic “financial storm”, but enough to cause a global blowing worried about a recession, “Hurricane.”

According to data released by Chinese Customs, China’s exports to the U.S. growth rate since 2007 began to decline in 2007 a quarter of China’s exports to the U.S. year on year growth was 20.4%, in the second quarter narrowed to 15.6%. July 2007 sub-prime mortgage crisis, three quarters of China’s exports to the U.S. only 12.4% year on year increase in the fourth quarter, and then narrowed to 10.8%. But in February this year, exports to the U.S. even recorded a negative growth of 5.2%.

    The United States is China’s second largest trading partner is China’s largest export market and China’s violin products, the most important export markets. Violin manufacturer in China able to achieve the nineties of the last century the rapid expansion of industry-wide, to a large extent benefited from the mid-90’s once booming U.S. economy and positive consumer market. In the book “Why People do not need to buy things,” a book described as a musical instrument as part of cultural consumption, to meet people’s spiritual life of entertainment and leisure expenditures in an important position, and musical instruments as consumer demand for entertainment is a transmission in nature.

    A family at the beginning of music consumption, the family members the opportunity to increase access to musical instruments, musical instruments, the impact on family life along deeper, musical instruments, household consumption will be in the form a certain amount of consumption habits. In the economic conditions are favorable circumstances, this joy of life continue to be strengthened and spread of emotional and musical instruments of this seemingly unnecessary consumption, the consumption has also been rapid growth, and gradually developed into a symbol of the quality of life. Therefore, the violin industry as Europe and the United States music market, the leading category of exports is one of the good social and economic development is also an important resource for promoting one of its growth.

    Beginning in 2006, the U.S. economy recession shrouded in gloomy shadow. At a time when the Chinese violin industry is more mature than a decade ago, the anti-risk capability has also been enhanced, but the superposition of the various factors of instability, or let the Chinese violin industry escape the “butterfly effect.” This in-between “toy instrument” and “musical instruments” between the products, from the most market potential of products in turn become the market of products most at risk. The U.S. sub-prime mortgage crisis and the yuan against the U.S. dollar not only by merchandise exports to China affected, while the U.S. market for imported commodities, especially in entertainment spending power supplies has been damaged.

   Commence the reduction of some overseas dealers or order, or gradually increase the orders for standard, violin exports threshold was encompassed by the elevation, but in order to maintain the products in the international market share of Chinese violin had to bear the increasingly heavy burden on the export of , there is no choice but to call the operator, “bored with the sweet burden”! On the international market, general understanding of the Chinese violin of view, once the loss of price advantage, the present Chinese violin is difficult to grasp the more favorable competitive chips, so although a variety of factors have forced the Chinese violin industry profits decline, but no company dared to with the challenges of the current market price of endurance. Chinese violin industry into the development of industry-wide plateau and the low-profit era is inevitable.

Chinese-made violin adjusting their pace of development

    General Administration of Customs released from the stringed musical instrument in 2007 export data show that throughout the year more than 1,3 million of stringed instruments exports achieved more than 45.29 million U.S. dollars in foreign exchange rates, although continued growth momentum, but the growth has slowed down.


    As a export-oriented, labor-intensive violin manufacturing industry, since 2000, the industry continued increase in the size and international influence, constantly increasing, is the violin trade from simple processing trade industry, the development of national key cultural industrial projects. The village-run enterprises have now developed into an internationally renowned violin manufacturing enterprises.

    Some domestic large-scale enterprises indicate that although the overall environment more than in previous years is difficult, but because enterprises have been in accordance with market changes and modify its development plan, through technological progress and product-level enhancement, and gradually increase their anti – risk capacity and coordination with the market, while in the country to vigorously develop cultural undertakings under the guidance of the spirit in the development of production at the same time pay attention to the construction of enterprise culture and the violin-depth development of cultural undertakings, and changes in the market at home and abroad , for product sales strategy and focus on a modest adjustment, so in the past one or two years, the enterprise development is still in good condition can be controlled being.

    Step by step with large enterprises, a number of emerging small businesses, obviously these sudden changes are still seem caught off guard. In Beijing, the size of a small piano, the reporter met a Beijing suburb violin company sales personnel. According to him, their businesses were modest, but there are 5,6 years of production time, and in the past they have been sent to the city finished the piano for consignment. However, beginning in 2006, a number of piano has been reluctant for their consignment, as they have a more piano bulk supply of the violin, and consignment sales profits than they do small business products.

    In addition, even if some piano agreed consignment of their products, but also proposed to provide product test reports or the product packaging, the annex to higher demand. For such changes, the operator is also considered to be an inevitable development of the market, although he stressed that his company had been produced in violin from the exterior to quality are excellent, but about product testing and other issues, he said, to consider the cost.

Because businesses have is to bring down the cost of production, but how long this state can be maintained, he also said that bad. When asked that, if the product is a problem, can find they are responsible for maintenance, etc., will be how to deal with after-sale problems? He candidly stated that current businesses simply can not afford to take so much responsibility, if it is a small problem, consignment of the piano can help to deal with the best, it is not, that they can change on the change, there is no other better way.

    In fact, like in the violin industry to “maintain” small businesses, in the current number of Chinese violin industry has a lot of years. Taixing, Jiangsu, there is only one town, violin business more than 50, while the number of individual violin studio even more numerous. These small-scale production unit, in addition to high-end technology with hand-violin making and repair of a small number of high-end technology Guqin staff, more as a technology of general production factories, these enterprises due to lack of appropriate technical support and policy support the industry, only in the low-end market, “wandering.” These enterprises to develop, in addition to the face of domestic pressure to increase in production costs, but also to withstand the impact from the industry to upgrade its information and technology, “lag” will be the larger of these small enterprises are facing problems.

Industry to explore new ideas for the development of violin

1, “green” concept

    At the just-concluded Boao Forum for Asia 2008 annual conference theme of “Green Asia: In the transformation to achieve win-win” theme, foreign dignitaries and people on the environment on our economy and the challenges of life to explore, to find out how “more green” path of development to ensure economic and social sustainable development, through innovation and reform, to achieve win-win situation. Renowned pianist Mr. Kong Xiangdong in the discussion on the current status of China’s piano industry, proposed the reduction of low-end products, reduce the amount of wood waste and improve the industry’s entry threshold.

    In fact, timber, not only in the piano industry, the number of instruments related to wood raw material production industry is that there is a resource utilization. In the past, we have been there is a knowledge that is good use of the material is a good instrument. In fact, from recent years, a number of technical staff in the study found that even in some of the Vivaldi handed down, there are some application of common materials, works, some of them are perfect for stitching technology applications, and has created a conventional technology can not be realized Boutique or special sound effects. Can be seen that the rich timber resources or not, is not the only means to resolve the productivity of enterprises.

    At present, the violin’s wood applications, some companies have started research institutions and professional cooperation in research projects. These studies, is fairly extensive: There is the traditional timber for re-use of violin study, the performance of emerging alternative materials testing, there is conservation of timber from the starting point of the technology research and development, as well as the artificial cultivation of timber from the treasure of the field and so on .

It can be said for the use of timber, individual enterprises have recognized its importance and urgency, in the past year, the musical instruments with the general rise in timber prices nearly doubled. Raw materials, low cost, the advantages of a former Chinese violins prices of one of the factors, but now also “a corresponding rise.” Therefore, the “treasure resources, green development”, should be placed on a violin industry to explore new developments in the starting point of the road station. From the selection of materials to processing and utilization of timber, until the re-utilization of waste wood at all aspects of an overall consideration of environmental protection for wood utilization and sustainable development strategy.

2, “Seiko” idea

    In Europe, the violin as a musical instrument was the “Prince” is the most poetic of musical instruments, is also the most elegant atmosphere of art. Thus, in the traditional violin workshop where it is difficult to see large-scale machinery, craftsmen used as cutting tools for wood and processing parts are also very fine, compact. Of course, the hand-crafted with our factory processing, from production concepts are different. But that is not to say that we do not have a violin factory, “Seiko” concept.

The primary processing of wood from the violin to the creation process of specialization, as well as product data and operating techniques of the integrated use of all aspects of the operation, are not only a standard, but can be broken down into different levels. Violin violin factory represents the “rough”, it is only between “toys” and “professional” as a transition between the product, which is obviously want to develop our country, the violin industry, there is a distance.

    Today, the Chinese-made cars, home appliances and other industrial products, can be successfully enter the international market, and have become increasingly strong international competitiveness, which is “Made in China,” development “Precision” technology-based industries are not strong determination to sub – open. Therefore, the more adverse conditions in the international environment, our industry more violin can not stay in its original state, but rather an extension to a higher level, improve the product level and technical level.

3, “Slowly” concept

    With the pace of yuan appreciation, export tax rebate and processing trade policy changes, and labor costs rise, drive up land prices, environmental requirements and public awareness-raising, China’s traditional export enterprise is already in distress? Through China’s export growth, market share, export enterprises profitability, pricing analysis, UBS economist Jonathan Anderson, global emerging markets (Jonathan Anderson) that China is still in the early stages of adjustment, and now discussion of China’s export enterprise is caught in a crisis too early.

    At present, China’s traditional export enterprises, and have not lost competitiveness. In his view, the face of these factors change, China has undoubtedly will experience a series of adjustments. Internationally, similar changes will take several years, not just a few months will know will know of. Therefore, the problems faced by the special period of calm rather than anxious a good attitude, but also the right business decisions necessary to achieve the quality upgrading.

    In recent years, the violin business production statistics show that most enterprises in the last three years, capacity has emerged as a stable state. Their annual output, the product type of distribution and value terms are not more substantial changes. This shows the stability of business, but also show that in a smooth development process, the uncertainties arising from the risk will also be reduced. In the uncertain economic environment, situation, enterprises need to slow down the pace of development by reducing the expansion of capacity, putting more energy into the vertical enterprise upgraded.


The international competitiveness of Chinese violin is still strong

    From the Chinese musical instruments, published in 2007 export data, China’s Violin products in the global market share continues to rise. Even if the U.S. economic impact, violin exports in U.S. market share has not increased significantly, but the current market share is still maintained at high levels. Meanwhile, the Chinese violin in Europe, Southeast Asia’s market share is growing. For the attention of the export market, violin margins, companies believe that China’s exports by reducing profit margins violin is not to maintain export growth.

   Although the production cost pressures continue to increase, but the Chinese violin products respond to changes in the international market in improving the maturity of the enterprise through a variety of means to make profit margins remained stable basically. The recent period and in the future, longer-term period of time, technology updates and product upgrades of the results will become increasingly apparent, the enterprise’s profit is not only will not fall, but will move to increase access. Some long been engaged in the export business that the violin, because the Chinese violin products in the market share keeps rising, so that Chinese export enterprises violin can form a whole, and thus have greater pricing power, by increasing export prices, to maintain its profit margins.

    In recent years, China’s manufacturing industry overall in the fast-growing trend, foreign trade and foreign investment to maintain rapid growth of the manufacturing sector, so the manufacturing sector overall opening pattern has been formed. At present, the world’s top 500 enterprises have been more than 80% invested in China, expanding the scale of foreign-funded projects, while foreign investment in all funds, 63% for manufacturing industries. Violin manufacturing is the most international exchange of industry, the European system of piano skills for the modern factory production still has learn.

    Therefore, in China and the International Piano piano manufacturing industry has been to establish a broad context of cooperation, the Chinese violin industry should also violin makers in time for a strong entry of foreign capital before the start of effective co-operation with the use of foreign technology and brand to form a Chinese violin industry core competence in the development of the Chinese violin, while the manufacturing sector to create a global industrial development of the new system of violin.

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Using Water Bottles As Art

Using Water Bottles As Art

There are many art projects you can engage in by using water bottles. This is a great way to create something beautiful whilst recycling. Encourage your young ones and others to go GREEN with these crafts endeavors.

Lava lamp
All you need are simple materials that can be found in the kitchen or around the house: –

1 transparent bottle with cap
Food coloring
Either vegetable or mineral oil
1 flashlight
Salt or baking soda

First, fill the water bottle with oil, about three quarters and add on water. Leave a little space at the top. The water will descend to the bottom and minute bubbles will emerge. Add a few drops of food coloring, two or more to add dimension. It will take a few moments for the color to merge. Switch on the flashlight and point it to the makeshift lamp. Drop little bits of baking soda or salt into the concoction, and voila, you now have your very own unique home-made lava lamp. To get the same effect later on, attach the cap on the bottle and turn it upside down. A word of caution – do not expose the lava lamp to high temperatures as it can explode.

Water bottle hat
A contraption your children will love.

2 socks with cuffs folded
2 plastic water bottles
2 pieces of aquarium plastic tubing, preferably 42 inches
1 baseball cap

To start off, sew the socks directly unto sides of baseball cap. Discard the bottles’ caps and fill with water. Thrust the plastic tubing through the holes made vacant by the discarded caps and place the bottles in the sock pockets. You can further embellish the water bottle hat with stickers or drawings.

Message in a Bottle
This is a beautiful piece of art that can be tailored for any special occasion.

Empty water bottle
1 sheet of stationery paper
1 cup granulated sugar
Plastic or acrylic jewels, beads and confetti
Marker pen (choice of color is infinite)
Thumbtack or glue

First, make sure that the bottle is clean and free from all labels. Using your marker pen, write a note or poem on the stationery paper. Tie the note with some ribbon, leaving one end and attaching it to the end of the bottle cap using a thumb tack or glue. Set it aside. Pour sugar into the bottle, enough to ensure that the letter is visible in the neck for easy removal. Now, drop the beads, confetti or jewels into the sugar. Carefully, push the note into the neck of the bottle. Make sure that the long end of the ribbon is also in the neck and put in the cap. Decorate your bottle using paint, making your designs as festive as possible.

Recycled garden
A garden made from recycled bottles and other easy to find materials.

Empty 2 liter bottles
Pipe cleaners
Dryer sheets
Drinking straws
Construction paper (various colors)
Popsicle sticks
Cardboard box
Styrofoam bowl (for containing paint)

Fashion flowers out of the dryer sheets, and place them one inside the other. This can be done by dipping each cut flower into a Styrofoam bowl filled with paint. Do not forget to lightly pinch the flowers in the center. Next, wrap the pipe cleaners around the pinched areas and twist to hold the flowers. Fluff the flowers to make them seem alive. To form the stems, slip the pipe cleaners down into the drinking straws. Utilizing the cardboard box as the base, cut out one side and start decorating with construction paper. You can fashion a fence using Popsicle sticks. To hold the flowers in place, cut the bottom of the water bottle and place it upside down into the bottom of the box. For grass, use green construction paper. is a large distribution company based in Miami, Florida. They are web-based and factory-direct which allows them to keep prices lower than the rest of the competition. They also have a huge selection of promotional products from wine glasses and shot glasses to tote bags and water bottles.

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Easy Science Fair Projects Kids Can Do

Easy Science Fair Projects Kids Can Do

Doing science fair projects should be fun for the kids. Here is one of our easy science fair projects kids can do that is fun. It needs very little supplies, it also needs very little work, but it will need a little time. It is very easy though and if you have the time the kids will get a trill out of it.

In this experiment kids are going to look at how organic matter decomposes. Your kid will see that soil teems with life such as worms, slugs, millipedes and beetles that feed on the decaying matter. The decomposers are microscopic bacteria, fungi, woodlice, mites and small insects. This decomposing is the process where all organic material is turned into rich fertilizer for the growing plants in the soil.

This project actually consists of two easy science fair projects for the kids to do. The first your kid is going to look at the conditions needed for the decomposing process and in the second your kid is going to look at the decomposers.

Remember to make meticulous notes from your hypothesis to your conclusion and for your display purposes it is a good idea to take photos of each step as you go.

Having a look at the optimal conditions for the decomposing process:

What you need:

* A trowel
* Good soil
* Dead leaves
* Water and a watering can
* Two clean plastic containers, one with a tight lid
* Tags
* Pen
* Note book
* Camera
* Plastic gloves

This is what you have to do:

Wear your gloves for both of these experiments

1. Remember your notes and photos
2. Using your trowel fill the two plastic containers three quarters full with dry soil
3. Place a layer of dead leaves on top of the soil in both containers
4. Mark the container with the lid “A” and the other “B”
5. Now you water the soil and the leaves in your container marked “A” thoroughly and press the lid on
6. Keep the soil and leaves in the container marked “B” dry, do not add any water to it
7. Place both containers in a dry place and wait a few weeks
8. Have a look at both and you will notice that the leaves in the wet soil will have begun to rot while the leaves in the dry soil has dried and shriveled.

In the next experiment that is the second of our easy science fair projects for kids to do we are going to look at the decomposers.

What you will need:

* Once again your plastic gloves
* A plastic funnel
* A large clear jar with a neck into which the funnel will fit
* Some rotting leaves from a compost heap
* Black paper
* Sticky tape
* A desk lamp
* A magnifying glass
* A field guide
* A notebook
* A pen
* A camera

This is what you have to do:

1. The plan is to see the insects on the rotting leaves
2. You are going to separate them by using a lamp, a funnel and a large jar
3. Place the funnel in the jar
4. Wearing your gloves loosely fill the funnel with your rotting leaves
5. To keep out the light, you have to tape the black paper around the sides of the jar so it is dark inside the jar
6. Now you place the lamp in such a position that it shines onto the leaves in the funnel
7. What you want to happen is for the insects on the leaves to move away from the heat and light from the lamp
8. While doing so they will fall down the funnel and into the jar.
9. After an hour, take a way the lamp and remove the black paper from the jar
10. There will be several insects in the jar
11. Identify them by looking at them with the magnifying glass and the field guide
12. When you are finished, return them to where you found them and be careful not to kill them. These creatures are very important in the eco system of the earth!

As you can see, kids will be able to the most of the work in these two easy science fair projects for kids to do. The two combines should give you enough material for a good display.

There are things you need to know about doing a science fair project in the correct way. For all the info have a look at Magriet’s Squidoo Lens: Good Science Fair Projects and for another one on the role of decomposers have a look at her site Easy Science Fair Projects.

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Green Homes for a Greener Future

Green Homes for a Greener Future

Sustainability is the biggest environmental issue of the 21st century. More people and businesses as well as the global community are coming to realize that embracing eco-friendly principles is the only way to help save Mother Earth. Now more than ever, the meaning of the green movement has found its mark.

Today, that mark had found its way to the Australian continent and surprisingly, the Australian consumer is greener than many people have realized. As a matter of fact, a survey conducted by the Domestic Energy Consumption in Australia revealed that more than three- quarters of Australians accepted that the climate change is a major problem and they are prepared to make sacrifices and necessary changes to support the green movement.

Because of this awareness, the green principle had not only spread though the different industry across Australia, it had also dominated the Melbourne house builders market and Urbanedge Homes is one of the few home builders in Victoria who had incorporated green principles as a part of their new home designs and building a house options.

Urbanedge Homes is proud to introduce its newest range of new homes – the GreenSmart homes. GreenSmart homes feature sustainable design principles which can help reduce water and energy usage while still offering the latest in new home designs and styles.

Through careful solar orientation on the site, the sun’s energy is maximize throughout the year, while natural ventilation methods are used to circulate air in and around Urbanedge green home. Effective insulation is used to prevent heat loss and heat gain through walls, roofs, and floors, while heat loss through windows is reduced through high-performance glazing.

Urbanedge Homes green homes demonstrate improved energy, resource and water efficiency, which in turn will reduce household running costs and green house emissions into the environment.

With GreenSmart, homeowners’ will not only achieve an environmentally responsible green home that is cleaner and healthier for their family to live in, but they will also be able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with cheaper running costs.

For more information on Urbanedge GreenSmart homes and other Urbanedge house and land packages log on to or visit one of Urbanedge display centers in Victoria and new show homes in Melbourne.

Find more information about building a home visit us online at

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