Global packaging designer and manufacturer Graham Packaging is to release its Flexa Tube onto the worldwide market starting this summer, following a successful introduction in Latin America. The new form of packaging consists of a blow-moulded stand-up plastic tube with a flexible, re-sealable pop-up dome.
'Conventional stand-up tubes need a large and costly cap as a base to stand on,' said Graham packaging in a statement. 'The patent-pending Graham Flexa Tube is a one-piece construction with no welds. Simply press the flexible dome. The dome inverts and tucks inside, so the tube can stand on end. Squeeze the tube and the dome pops back out.'
Available in three diameters - 40, 50, and 58 millimeters - the Flexa Tube is described as simple, sturdy, easier to manufacture than conventional tubes, and low-cost. In addition the tube can be made with a variety of resins, and filled and sealed on conventional tube equipment.
The tube is also being offered with standard screw-on dispensing caps and can be sealed to form a hook or an eyelet so it can hang on a display rack. The company adds that no box is necessary, either for display or for protection and decoration options are said to include pressure-sensitive labeling, dry offset printing, and heat transfer graphics.
A joint technical and design team working in both the United States and Argentina developed the Flexa Tube. The initial version, made with low-density polyethylene, was introduced in Latin America last year by Unilever, as a container for Sedal hair-care products.
Geoffrey R. Lu, vice president of business development said consumers perceive the container as user-friendly, and the press-down, squeeze-to-pop-up action of the flexible dome gives it an interactive quality, which consumers find fun to play with.
"We think this has exciting potential as an innovative packaging alternative for a wide variety of products. Most things that can be put into a bottle can also be put into a tube, and this holds the possibility of a new paradigm in the global marketplace," added Lu.
In addition to shampoo and lubricants, Lu said possible product applications include creams, lotions, toothpaste, dishwashing liquids, household and chemical products, dressings, sauces, condiments, and even spreadable foods like peanut butter.
Graham Packaging Company, based in York, Pennsylvania, USA, is a designer, manufacturer and seller of customised blow-moulded plastic containers for the branded food and beverage, household and personal care, and automotive lubricants markets. The company has 55 plants throughout North America, Europe, and Latin America. It produced more than nine billion units and had total worldwide net sales of $906.7 million in 2002.