cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, toothpastes, food, household or technical
products, tubes excel by their outstanding properties. They meet with
consumer needs and give the filler a competitive edge in the
Protection of fillings
One of the key functions of a packaging is the
protection of the filling. If a filling is spoilt for whatsoever
reason, consumers confidence in the product gets lost and with it all
resources needed for its production. An economic and environmental
Whether aluminium as absolute barrier or other
multi-layer structures with plastic or ceramics barrier materials,
flexible tubes offer effective protection of the fillings and thus
safeguard the shelf life of products.
Through their efficient barrier properties the product is protected against
Since the tube is unbreakable it can withstand the rigours of transportation and handling.
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Often tubes contain sensitive and valuable fillings.
In these cases the economical dosage of the product is of predominant
interest to the consumer. Tubes offer the possibility to apply valuable
active ingredients sparingly in a controlled and hygienic manner. There
are even pin hole orifices for low viscosity products.
Tubes are unbreakable, clean, light and small which
allows the product to be safely, easily and hygienically dispensed in a
controlled manner. They are also ideal for travelling when only limited
space is available. The durable nature of tubes means that they are
suitable for use in many different environments from the bathroom to
the beach to the workshop.
Until the end of the 1980s tubes were packed in
carton before offered on the shelf. This has fundamentally changed with
the rising of the stand-up tube. The big cap enabled the tube to go
alone and dispense with the carton thus minimizing packaging waste.
Today – apart from pharmaceutical tubes - most tubes do not require a
protective outer carton. In addition the thickness of aluminium,
plastic and laminate layers is limited to the absolute minimum to
secure indispensible packaging functions. On top of that aluminium is
fully recyclable, and plastic materials are either recyclable
or energetically recoverable.
Point of Sale Appeal
Often consumers decide spontaneously at the point
of sale which product they buy. In these cases packaging acts as a
differentiation instrument substantially determining the purchasing
decision. Tubes offer all possibilities to create point of sale appeal
and product differentiation which is needed to create or further
develop a brand.
The wide range of shapes, colours, finishes and
decorative effects on offer adds up to an attractive packaging solution
which has a strong impact on the shelf and allows plenty of opportunity
for product differentiation. Thus tubes add value to products through
enhanced shelf appeal.
Available printing techniques are flexo printing,
offset printing, silk-screen printing, roto-gravure printing, hot
(foil) stamping, foil blocking and relief printing.
Further decorative options are, full or spot
varnishing, marbling effects, pearly gloss or matt effects, frost
effects, soft touch effects, holograms, iris printing with tapering off
colours, optical surface (OS) tube laminates or tubes with a side
window. In the last few years also labelling has made some inroads into
The appeal of the tube can be further enhanced
with sophisticated caps. There is an ample variety of caps serving
different purposes. The styles range from the ordinary screw or
stand-up cap to the soft line cap, flip-top cap, twist-off openings to
highly sophisticated one-hand closures such as snap-on flip top caps
orientated to the tube design.
product safety and liability reasons tamper evidence has become a major
topic in the packaging industry. On the filler’s request all tubes can
be equipped with a membrane neatly fitted over the orifice of the
nozzle before the cap is applied, and which subsequently can easily be
removed by the consumer. The seal on the orifice is either a plastic or
an aluminium foil.
An alternative method of protection can be
added externally to the tube body linking tube body and screw cap
through an automated sleeving process, which from the customer's point
of view is clearly tamper evident. This mostly transparent sleeve can
be removed by simply drawing on the identification strip which is set
into the sleeve material.
In addition there are tamper evident closures with
nozzle seal available which has to be opened with a spike included in
Another possibility to secure tamper evidence is a
plastic rim which can be twisted off from the tube with a special tool
included in the tube’s closure.
Packaging cannot be too careful these days. In times
of tampering, counterfeiting and shoplifting, no area is immune from
these brand-damaging, sales-sapping activities. Fortunately, there are
steps they can take to protect their products from harm and keep brand
equity intact. Several innovative advancements designed to counter
threats to brands are offered by tubes.
Tubes with holographic materials are ideal for
security purposes. Not only do holograms offer a distinctive appearance
with shifting colours and patterns, but the production process presents
a barrier to counterfeiters because it requires specialised equipment
and is relatively expensive.