In-Mold Labeling for Tubes

Two companies unite to introduce injection-molded tubes with in-mold-labeling.

Cosmetic packaging provider Topline Products is working with tube manufacturer Viva Healthcare to market injection-molded polypropylene (PP) tubes with in-mold labeling (IML). The technology, created by Viva Healthcare, offers both aesthetic and environmentally friendly features. “We are now ready for mass production of this tube,” reports Charles Chang, president of Topline Products.

Explains Damien Dossin, vice president of sales at Topline: “This offers a unique, eco-friendly, and highly efficient way to manufacture tubes. It was pursued for the lower carbon footprint, recycling code 5, and amazing decoration options.”

Thanks to special machinery now being installed at Viva’s plants in China and Canada, the company can decorate and mold PP tubes during a single process, eliminating the need for post-mold printing or labeling. By mid 2012, Viva Healthcare plans to be equipped with 17 machines that can produce up to 30.6 million tubes per month.

“We have invested heavily in the development of automation of this IML system and are now ready to run production with superior quality [to] conventional tubes,” says Alfred Choi, general manager of Viva Healthcare.

The IML process embeds photographic quality artwork into the wall of the tube, extending decoration even into the crimp area.

The in-mold label becomes part of the wall of the tube, providing structural integrity, reports Viva. The label becomes durable and resistant to fading or scuffing.

“The gravure-printed labels can be combined with an EVOH [ethylene vinyl alcohol] or aluminum foil barrier to offer great shelf impact and excellent product protection properties, all at a very competitive cost,” explains Chang.

Details Dossin: “Once produced, the label is completely integrated into the tube sleeve as a part of the tube manufacturing process. If standard labels were to be used, they would have to be applied post production as an additional process, unnecessarily adding to the cost of production.”

Topline Products debuted the tubes at HBA in June.

Published in Tube News, September 2011

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