European Tube Industry Demonstrates Innovativeness and Creativity
The now traditional ‘Tube of the Year’ competition organised by etma (european tube manufacturers association) took place during the association’s annual congress again this year. The entries were an impressive demonstration that the European tube industry is embarking on an innovation drive following the crisis in 2009. There were numerous new ideas in design, functionality and production technology. The seven jury members from etma member companies chose the best tubes in the Aluminium, Plastic, Laminate and Prototype Tube categories again in 2010.
Linhardt was the winner of the Aluminium Tube award this year. The company, which is based in Viechtach in Germany, impressed the jury with its combination of an aluminium tube and clearly visible tamper-evident protection.
A coloured threaded nipple is attached to an aluminium tube that has a protective membrane. A pre-assembled closure and application device is then forced onto the nipple. The coloured nipple is proof of the integrity of the tube before it is used for the first time. There is no longer any need to remove a troublesome spacer ring. When the user screws the closure and application device onto the tube for the first time, it perforates the membrane at the same time. The contents can then be applied comfortably and with pinpoint accuracy using the ergonomically designed applicator.
A product from Tubex Rangendingen from Germany came out on top in the Plastic Tube category. The design of the tube body wth its matt appearance is in appealing contrast to the high gloss, colour-coordinated flip-top cap. The closure, which is aligned precisely with the brand name, enables the product to be used simply and extremely comfortbly with only one hand.
Small burls on the upper and lower edges of the tube provide an additional, haptic feature.The application desription on the reverse is particularly legible thanks to the white screen printing. The combination of silver hot embossing and the high-gloss screen printing on the matt-finished tube body convey a special touch and a high perceived value to the tube.
Linhardt was also successful in the Laminate Tube category. The special fature of the winning product here was a Multiflex® tube with an invisible weld seam being combined with an airless dispenser system that is forced onto the tube. A vacuum is created by a special system when the user operates the dispenser, and a certain quantity of the contents is delivered. The tube is compressed more and more with every stroke.
The laminate tube with an aluminium barrier layer thus displays all of the benefits of an airless pack. As the contents do not come into contact with the ambient air, they cannot become contaminated and thus require significantly less preservatives. An additional benefit for the consumer: the special dispenser functions in any desirable position so that without any further ado the tube can also be used with the opening at the bottom.
In the truest sense of the word, the Swiss company Obrist provided a shining example for the further development of design and brand presence with its Alu-Digital-Foil-Tube, which carried off the prize in the Prototypes category. Using a digital printing process, photos can be reproduced on a thin plastic film of PET or PP in outstanding quality that impressively matches the appearance of the original.
The film itself is applied to the tube at the end of the tube-making procedure using heat. This is carried out either with rapid machine set-up times at Obrist or even directly at the customer. The product offers marketing specialists new opportunities to put an up-market premium design and brand image on both the tube and on the shelves.
etma Secretary General Gregor Spengler was very satisfied with the standard of competition: “I am particularly pleased that the innovations and prototypes presented demonstrate impressively what creative potential the European tube industry can unleash. Even during economically difficult times the member companies have obviously continued to further develop the packaging material intensively and have invested sustainably in the future of the tube. That is very encouraging for me and sends a clear signal to the European packaging market.”
Here you can download all the winners in high resolution pictures.