The winner in the Aluminium Tube category was ‘The Jam Tube’ from Italian manufacturer La Metallurgica. It contains different marmalades and jams of absolute top quality and in unusual flavours. It is ideally suited for on the go, when travelling or at home, of course. A simple, classic aluminium tube but the prize winner still managed to provide a number of groundbreaking benefits using revolutionary DigIT technology. Photorealistic printing produces lifelike images and at the same time very small production runs also allow very special flavours to be produced precisely in the quantity that is demanded or required. The DigIT system enables customer requirements to be satisfied individually. Each tube is thus a unique product that is documented each time by the respective serial number.
The ‘Überwood Tube’ developed and produced by TU-Plast of Hungary won the Plastic Tube category. This novel concept takes account of the growing demand for organic and natural products and packaging. The polyethylene tube contains more than 25 per cent real wood-based material. And these natural constituents are not only visible in the surface structure of the tube material: the Polywood tube offers a unique tactile experience, one can virtually feel the wood and one can even smell it. The body and head of the tube can be printed in every possible colour. The special structure of the Polywood tube means that hot foil stamping, screen printing and overprint varnishes do not develop their full impact. The manufacturer therefore recommends offset printing for decoration. Not only does this produce great results but it also brings the tube’s authentically natural surface particularly to the fore.
The winner among the laminate tubes was a joint development from L’Oreal Paris and French tubemaker Albéa. The aluminium barrier laminate (ABL) tube for the hair dye product Casting Crème Gloss is a real revolution for the tube market. It not only has an excellent aluminium barrier in the sleeve but in the tube shoulder as well thanks to a membrane that covers the whole shoulder.
This means there is complete protection of the contents and no chemical migration before opening the tube for the first time. In addition, the special web stock prevents air suck back during use. An optimised welding technique used for the side seam and shoulder improves the tube’s efficiency and cost economy. In general, convenience and consumer benefits are a top priority. The tube material is pleasant to the touch and when it comes to visual appearance flexo printing with its superb capabilities offers innumerable options for design and decoration.
Two first prizes were awarded in the Prototypes category. One of the winning tubes is produced by Hoffmann Neopac AG of Switzerland. The tube impressed the jury with its innovative dispensing system, which is protected by the ‘Spin’n‘ dose’ trade mark. It solves the problem of dispensing viscous medicinal products perfectly. The dispenser wheel supplies 0.5 mg or 1 mg doses, even without a pump. The principle and handling are as ingenious as they are simple: applying pressure to the tube produces the initial filling, with the inner chamber of the system becoming filled with product and the coloured ball being forced upwards. One then turns the wheel through 180 degrees. When one presses the tube once more, the product begins to flow, the ball moves to the top and cuts off any further flow. The exact quantity is thus dispensed. For every subsequent application, one only has to turn the wheel and press on the tube. After application of each measured portion the dispenser chamber fills up again automatically with exactly the same portion.
The other winning tube in the Prototypes category also came up with a compelling concept. With its ‘Be Unique’ plastic tube, French tubemaker CTL Tuboplast presented a pioneering combination of its patented in-mould label (IML) technology and its ESTube with a new digital offset printing technology: Use of the so-called mosaic effect enables individual, specific print elements to be applied to each tube, each tube to be individually numbered for limited product editions and a QR code to be used for each individual tube for perfect communication. This results in almost unlimited opportunities for decorating the plastic tubes: 360-degree hot or cold foil embossing from the shoulder to the welding area at the end of the tube, direct colour or heptachrome printing, and an optional combined matt or gloss finish.