The tube is a universal form of packaging for virtually any semi-solid and paste-like product. With its many special advantages over other forms of packaging, the tube scores heavily mainly because of the sheer amount of special features and beneficial properties:
On top of that, tubes offer numerous additional benefits that one does not realise at first glance but which one learns to appreciate on use – and then no longer wants to do without.
The tube is profiting from the growing number of single households which are driving the demand for smaller pack sizes. It is also benefiting from the trend towards increasing mobility and a nomadic and on-the-go lifestyle.
In this context tubes offer extremely eco-friendly packaging solutions. The fact that they require minimal use of materials and their contents can be portioned precisely and economically is in line with the trend towards better resource efficiency. In addition, their little weight reduces the amount of energy used during transport and thus protects the environment.
Tubes are extremely user friendly. Intelligent closures and dispensers make precise and economic dosage easy. An added benefit for hygienic applications is the fact that ointments and creams can be applied without contaminating the constituents. Application and dosage can be carried out precisely as recommended. Tubes can be resealed simply and without difficulty. This ensures a long product life.
An optimal closure is now available for virtually every product and application: practical one-hand closures, solutions that are suitable for the elderly, caps with childproof features and one-drop closures that allow even more precise application and dosage.
Tubes are light, space-efficient, robust und unbreakable. Therefore they are ideal for consumers with a modern lifestyle who are mobile and often travelling. Smaller packaging formats are in keeping with the trend towards smaller households.
There is hardly any other form of packaging that has such excellent barrier properties as the tube. It is impermeable to light and air, water and humidity, and germs, bacteria and other contaminants, as well as being corrosion resistant and unbreakable, so its contents are protected perfectly. At the same time, sensitive and volatile constituents cannot escape. The unique properties of the aluminium or another suitable barrier material in laminate or plastic tubes offer tailor-made product protection.
Tubes offer a high degree of safety and reliability, not only in use but also during storage and transport. Everyone involved in the supply chain benefits. Producers and the retail trade know that the product is well protected and will maintain its quality and effectiveness for a long time. Customer complaints and harmful discussions that could permanently damage a brand and its image can thus be avoided. In turn, with products in tubes the consumer has top quality that is maintained reliably and over a long period for applications in all spheres of daily life.
Hygiene is of paramount importance in the fields of medicine and pharmaceutical products and for all other sensitive products. The tube’s unique principle is clearly superior to most other forms of packaging where purity and hygiene are concerned: contaminants, germs or bacteria do not enter the tube when it is opened and used. Easy and trouble-free resealability plays its part, too: tube contents like ointments or medicinal or cosmetic creams do not become contaminated and can therefore be used safely and for a long time.
It is not without good reason that in most countries creams and ointments for medicinal purposes are only available in tubes and dispensers, and not in pots or similar containers. Only materials that meet the strict requirements of the pharmaceutical authorities in Europe and the USA are used in the production of tubes for medicinal products. And only food-grade materials that conform to the EU and US food contact regulations in force are used in the food sector.
Depending on the specific client requirements, etma’s tube producers can achieve defined degrees of cleanliness for the tubes produced and their surroundings for all steps in the process chain. Tube production in clean rooms is part of everyday practice. Tubes thus guarantee clients and consumers the highest possible degree of hygiene from start to finish.
Modern printing and conversion techniques, photo-realistic illustrations, and a host of special effects make the hearts of designers and product developers beat faster. Eye-catching designs lead to market success at the point of sale, support brand bonding and trigger emotions and a spontaneous impulse to buy.
However, thanks to modern technologies, tubes are capable of conveying much more useful information. For example, for medical staff or for technicians in the case of special applications. Digital technologies can offer the consumer valuable tips on a product’s use or can transmit an instruction leaflet directly to a smart phone or a monitor at home. Progress is extremely rapid, and inventiveness, creativity and fantasy know no bounds.
There is good news for designers: this coded information can now be applied to the tube in such a way that it is invisible to the naked eye. Logos, word marks, images and other design elements are not affected. The brave new world of the tube.
The consumer can be sure that quality is safeguarded when tubes are used. Aluminium or plastic membranes over the aperture guarantee that the tube’s contents are genuine and have not been tampered with. Protective films around the whole of the closure cap serve the same purpose. Different manufacturers offer special closures with so-called tamper-proof seals. All of this provides protection against manipulation and tampering, which is something that in addition to endangering the consumer can also mean a considerable loss of image and damage the brand.
Counterfeiting, particularly of premium brand cosmetics and expensive pharmaceutical products, is on the increase. Tube manufacturers have developed effective techniques to prevent counterfeiting and combat product piracy. Holograms are perhaps one of the best known and also the most attractive options. Their distinctive appearance gives tubes the appeal of being genuine with an attractive design at the same time. They offer security of the very highest standard thanks to the relatively complex conversion steps involved.
The tube can be printed using the widest possible range of techniques, processed and then equipped with special caps and closures. Versatility in design like this is ideal for product differentiation at the point of sale. Thanks to its compelling presence on the shop shelf, the tube influences purchasing decisions, generates attention and creates a fascinating brand.
Innovative printing techniques and special inks provide unlimited creative freedom including the photorealistic reproduction of motifs. The possible combination of different processes like offset, gravure, screen, flexo, relief or foil embossed printing ensures that the tube design is distinct and readily recognisable.
An all-lacquer finish or spot lacquering, marble or frost effects, pearlescent sheens or matte lacquers, and other forms of surface finishing create a premium appeal. Soft-touch effects address the haptics and create a strong, emotional bond. Holographic features impart security and add an element of exclusivity.
AThe broad range of caps adds a final special touch to the tube design. And there are individually designed closures, such as flip-top or twist-off caps, intelligent one-hand closures and elegant and functional dispenser systems, to top all of this in the true sense of the word.