Corné van Baal, owner of Appkuns, and Willemsen came up with the idea after realising one piece injection moulded tubes are already known in the market however, the disadvantages of the existing techniques mean they are produced at low speed and restricted by licences.
Injection moulding, filling and sealing
“Just as normal extrusion tubes, they still need to be assembled from various parts,” said van Baal.
“The 1-2Tube is made from one piece. The only steps needed to complete production are injection moulding, filling and sealing and with IML (In Mould Labelling), labels can be added to the tubes in the injection moulding process.”
The innovation was presented to the public last month, via Dutch packing magazine VerpakkingsManagement and is not yet in the production stages.
Van Baal said advantages of the product include higher efficiency, fewer processing steps, more freedom in the design shape, 40% less weight and the 1-2Tube can be produced on every standard injection moulding machine.
“It takes five to six steps to manufacture an ‘extrusion tube’ and injection-mould the tube including the hinged closure in one step and with one injection moulding tool,” he added.
“On the filling line, the tube will be filled from the top, the hinged lid closed and sealed with ultra-sonic equipment.”
According to Rinze, the wall thickness of the tube can be thinner when injection moulding and the tube closure uses far less material as it is not screwed or snapped onto the tube, but sealed.
Up to 40% lighter
“The benefit of this is the tube itself has no narrow neck for the thread or snap beads, which use extra material on standard extrusion tubes. These are the factors that allow the 1-2Tube to be up to 40% lighter,” he said.
The duo have now developed four shape designs for the 1-2Tube; Basic, Eco, Elegant and Special.
“First, we have created the straight-up Basic,” said Rinze.
“This design is impossible to make with normal extrusion tubes, because after filling, these tubes have to be squeezed together at the bottom to seal and this process always makes this end of the tube wider than the closure end.
“Second, we have created the Eco variant. This design has an extra flat closure resulting in a 40% saving on material.
“Third, we have created the Elegant tube. This design uses the full freedom of expression that can be exploited by the 1-2Tube’s innovative manufacturing technique. A tapered shape, angled and asymmetrical. Almost anything is possible.
“Finally, we have created Special. Using injection moulding techniques, various different materials can be combined. For example, the closure can be injection moulded with PP and the tube part can be moulded with a soft flexible plastic, plus in two different colours. Injection moulding has many creative options.”