Celebrating innovation and collaboration in tubes

Daphne Allen in Tubes on March 07, 2017

With its annual Tube of the Year program, The Tube Council celebrates what it calls the “best and most innovative” tubes in the Personal Care, Oral Care, Pharmaceutical, Industrial, and Household and Food markets as well as for achievements in sustainability and components and processes. The program is open to council members, which include companies manufacturing tubes in North America as well as many partners supplying components or services to the industry.

“The Tube Council competition gives suppliers the opportunity to display its most creative products in a friendly way to their competitors, the industry and to consumers highlighting some of the best tube products introduced over that past year,” states Michael Hoard, President of the Tube Council. “It is great to see all companies working together towards a common goal, challenging each other on innovation and sustainability and helping consumer goods brands achieve their goals with innovative tube packaging.”

The winner of the Ted Klein Tube of the Year, for instance, embodies such innovation and collaboration: Estée Lauder Clinique Pep Start Eye Cream by Albèa Americas (shown above).

Albéa worked closely with the Clinique team and Lombardi Design & Manufacturing to create a bright orange tube package that would meet consumer needs and provide brand recognition, explains Doug Jackson, Albéa.

Bright color was important to this brand, Jackson says. “Clinique really wanted to be different with this product—it is bright orange which is not one of Clinique’s usual colors,” he says. The 7/8-in. plastic tube is silk-screened with white graphics.

Another eye-catching feature of the tube is its custom-shaped integral dispensing applicator. Made of polyester, this ball-shaped applicator is designed to provide a cooling sensation during eye cream application.

“There were some technical challenges in making sure the tube and applicator had the right fit and function,” says Jackson, “but they were overcome through collaboration among the three companies.” “The applicator design needed to achieve the right force for the ball to slide open for dispensing. It couldn’t be free-floating, yet it couldn’t be too hard for the consumer to use,” he says. “Whenever there are moving parts, you have to have the ideal fit to achieve the desired function. Plus, a custom tube head design [was used] to achieve a “non-removable,” airtight seal with the applicator base. All topped with a high clarity, heavy wall cap to showcase the ball applicator.”

Jackson says that while not standard, a lot of functional applicators are being designed for use on tubes today. To implement them successfully, “you have to consider the overall design of the tube and how it will be held and maneuvered by users.”

The Estée Lauder Clinique Pep Start Eye Cream was also recognized in the New Jersey Packaging Executives Club (NJPEC) awards. 


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