On the occasion of this year’s annual conference of the European Tube Association (ETA) the contest „Tube of the Year 2001“ was held. The contest comprises the following three material categories: aluminium, laminate and plastic tubes. The tubes are judged under the aspects „Technique“, „Design/Printing“ and „Innovation“.
The first prize for aluminium tubes was awarded to Kaufmann & Sohn (Germany) for a tube with a hexagonal canula. This absolutely new canula type allows two-colour-printing and the use of the canula as information carrier. For example, by means of striking colours on the canula kids can be informed to take care when using the product.
A tube of Linhardt (Germany) which is fitted with an individual code ranked second. Amongst others the code contains information about production date, order and series number. Especially in case of complaints the traceability of the product is of major importance. The code constitutes an efficient tool in order to secure a “back-to-the-cradle” traceability of every single tube.
The third prize was awarded to a tube of CEBAL (France). The sleeve, as well as the connecting ring and rod of the tube are first lacquered in the same white colour. The sleeve is then printed with an orange offset. The design of the printed sleeve is in excellent harmony with the decoration of the closure (orange canula and white top). On top of that, the tube is also fitted with a specific head for perfect air tightness and a useful anti-unscrewing mechanism. To unseal the tube, the consumer removes the cap, then the ring, and screws the cap back onto the tube head. The notches at the base of the head lock the parts together and avoid unintentional unscrewing. Once the seal is broken, the tube and the canula form an integral whole.
In the category of laminate tubes the first prize was awarded to the “Dual Tube” of CEBAL (France). Thanks to the two chamber system paste and gel remain separated until dispensing. The tube consists of a plastic extruded inner tube and an outer foil laminate (38 mm diameter) snapped in a specifically designed flip-top cap. The cap is easy to open/close and allows for “clean” and regular dispensing of both components. In terms of filling, specific solutions have also been im-plemented under partnership to ensure the same efficiency than for single tubes. The “Dual Tube” is printed on a standard 6 colours plus varnish letter press printer. Hot stamping is optional.
The second prize was won by Hoffmann Neopac (Switzerland) for its POLYFOIL® Airless tube. By means of a valve which is integrated in the head of the tube the penetration of oxygen into the tube is prevented. The protection of the filling against oxygen is required especially in the pharmaceutical but increasingly also in the cosmetics industry (oxydising products without preservatives). Through the integration of a valve in the tube head this requirement can now also be met with plastic tubes. In addition the tube excels by its good barrier properties and thus guarantees an optimum protection of the filling. The attractive relief printing conveys to the tube an exclusive appearance and is therefore also suitable for high priced cosmetic products.
The third prize was also awarded to Hoffmann Neopac (Switzerland) for a POLYFOIL® laminate tube with a striking real metallic effect and corresponding silk screen printing. The transparently coloured outer PE layer with slight colour traces gives the graphical designer a creative platform. The metallic effect is reached through the laminate which glitters through the transparent layer. On top of that the tube has good barrier properties, can be produced in big series and can be recycled without any problems.
In the category of plastic tubes a semi-transparent tube with satin effect of CTL Packaging (France) won the first prize. It is a coextruded tube with a longitudinal window on which the right quantity to use is shown. The pearly cream colour of the tube with a satin lacquer finished to an unusual opacity gives the tube a sophisticated touch. The long head of the tube can be fitted with a sealing membrane without affecting the thread. Finally, the bi-coloured two-part cap, specially designed to combine opacity and transparency, adds originality to the whole pack due to its ergo-nomic form.
CTL Packaging (France) also ranked second with a tube with mother-of-pearl effect. The tube used in the field of decorative cosmetics is the result of one year of co-development between Guer-lain and CTL Packaging to find the right material, colour effects and production process to reach the fixed objective. The main innovation of the tube lies in the interferential effects in the semi-transparent tube body and cap as well as in the shiny lacquering and the golden relief printing. The half-round closure with a punched golden coloured ring gives the tube an extraordinary exclusive-ness. This tube underlines the trend that tubes with original colour effects and additional accesso-ries are increasingly used for up-market cosmetics products.
The third prize was won by Kaufmann & Sohn (Germany) for its “diamond tube”. The specially formed shoulder of this tube is fitted with “precious stones”. Put in a favourable light, women will be magnetised by this irresistible accessory. A tube for female consumers who do not only care about their own appearance but also about the look of the products they use.
Once again the contest has impressively reflected the consumer-orientated innovative spirit of the tube industry and the appeal and functionality of the tube as packaging.