The design story & technical detail behind the Bapco Lubricants bottle design.
Bapco – The Bahrain Petroleum Company.
- Unique brand styling with excellent handling performance.
- Technically optimised for maximum production, distribution & cost efficiency.
The Bapco Lubricants range has 30 product specifications packed in 5, 4 & 1 litre bottles. Formulations run from ultra high performance fully synthetics to mineral based offerings covering all engine types. Gearbox and ATF transmission fluids, engine coolants, brake fluids & greases complete the range.
Although a major global source of oil, Bapco had never produced finished lubricants for end users. Our brief was to develop the brand identity & packaging designs for a new consumer division. The starting point was to look for a unique & ownable brand story.
In 1931 Bahrain became the first country in the Middle East to discover oil. Inspiration for bottle design came from days before oil, when pearl diving was Bahrain’s principle source of income.
“B” bottle concept
The design idea behind the original concept sketches was inspired by the traditional boats used for pearl diving. The base of the bottle represents a boat’s hull with Bapco branding embossed on it’s bow. Labels are positioned & shaped like sails. Strong handles styled as “Bs” for both Bapco & Bahrain offer multiple grip & balance points for carrying & pouring.
Inspired by history, an original design for a new brand.
Handling, Balance & Pouring:
How a bottle handles & pours can influence which brands are stocked by service stations. We made sure Bapco bottles perform beautifully, both easy & accurate to use. Pour angles and anti-glugging features minimise the risk of spillage. Bottle handles were designed for secure multi-positional grip offering great balance from initial pour when full & heavy to emptying out the last drop.
CAD development is all about detail. Focus turns to perfecting aesthetics and functional practicalities such as handling, stability & strength for material light weighting. The diagram above illustrates how bottle fill level was set so initial pour angle avoids dribbling and air flow prevents glugging.
FEA Strength Testing & Optimising Distribution Efficiency
Specialist software analysed the distribution efficiency of each bottle size. Inputs include pallet size, packing quantities, shipping carton material thickness & bottle dimensions with allowance for bulge after filling. Dimensional adjustments during the process target maximum efficiency. All Bapco’s shipping cartons/cases are extremely efficient on pallet & in containers. Stacking configurations are self stabilising.
FEA analysis of virtual prototypes simulated top load stresses & drop test impacts in extreme temperatures. By identifying potential weaknesses, bottle performance was optimised by design & weights minimised. All Bapco bottles have excellent strength to weight ratios. FEA data also helps mould makers by guiding zonal mould cooling requirements to assist material distribution & counter thin walling.
The final result is a totally integrated bottle design, from great aesthetics to pure technical efficiency.