Last updated: 30 Mar 2022 | 711 Views |
Plastic tubes are the most popular packaging for liquids and gels. They come in many different sizes, colours and textures, and the caps of these tubes are designed to be the most effective way to dispense the contents.But why do they all look like they do? Why are they all flattened at one end? Wouldn’t a cylinder taking up the same length and width as these tubes be more efficient? It would certainly hold more product.
People have been asking these questions ever since the plastic tube became the most popular choice for liquid and gel packaging. These tubes are almost the only type of packaging on the shelves for liquids and gel cosmetics, and health and beauty aids. Whether the product is sold by a huge international corporation or a small boutique company, every company chooses the same crimped plastic tubes.
The reason these tubes have become the preferred packaging for liquids is a balance of several factors. These factors make plastic tubes the most economical and fastest to produce of all packaging types that have been tried in the past.
The basic shape of the packaging is indicative of how they're made. Whether they're extruded tubes or PBL tubes, the basic finishing steps in the production process are the same.
A length of tubing is printed with many smaller images of the completed product graphics. Then the tube is cut into smaller lengths, and one edge is heat-sealed with the characteristic crimp. The shoulders are made in a separate, offline machine and merged into the online assembly. The individual tubes are then fed into another machine that applies the shoulders with the cap opening, again sealing them to the tube with heat.
After the tube is complete, it goes to the capping station, where the cap is applied and closed. The finished tubes are then delivered to the customer's factory to be filled with product.
This process is fast and automated. Even though each tube consists of three parts, the process has become so streamlined by using heat alone as a binder that the tubes are virtually seamless.
The more these tubes were used by manufacturers, the more their reliability and ruggedness began to be trusted within the cosmetic and health and beauty industry and the more the movement and shipping of the products could be speeded up. The ruggedness of the tubes results in far less breakage, and this translates into quicker turnaround times and shipping of products on the customer’s end.
Walk into any drugstore, and you'll see discounted items in plastic tubes that are often haphazardly tossed in a bin without leaking or showing any signs of damage. This is thanks to the durability of the plastic tube packaging.
Although the tubes may look the same as the first time you saw them, technologically speaking, they’ve advanced considerably. When the tubes first graced the shelves of stores around the world, they all used paper labels to display the product name and ingredients. And they were only offered in limited colours. The capping systems were also limited to just a few different nozzles that suited the majority of products. But paper labels added weight and increased the shipping costs. And with customers all over the world, shipping had to be cost-effective.
Plastic tube packaging manufacturers invested a lot of time and money perfecting a system of printing using inks that could be directly applied to the exterior of the tubes. They also developed dyes that could transform the tube material to match the client’s desired colours. Today, there are tubes in every colour of the rainbow. The exterior of the tubes can now be matte, glossy or shiny to suit the customer’s requirements.
Custom capping systems are designed to suit how customers use the product. There are also various shoulder designs that can be applied to the tubes to help differentiate between the many brands on a shelf; afterall, every manufacturer wants their product to be recognised among their competitors.
Victor Packaging of Thailand is an industry leader that helped develop plastic tube packaging into the world favourite it is today. Before deciding on a plastic tube packaging manufacturer for your next product, please get in contact with Victor Packaging and hear about the continuing development of their products and processes, and learn what they have in store for the future of plastic tubes.