Aluminium tube production: why choose specialists

In recent years, the Aluminium tube has been making a comeback in the world of packaging due to its peculiarities that make it a sustainable and effective choice in many respects. Aluminium is an excellent choice in the production of collapsible tubes because of its lightness and ability to form an effective barrier against external agents, such as air and light, and because it allows direct dispensing of the product, without having to insert elements inside that could be a vehicle for bacteria to enter (as happens with spatulas and hand fingers in the case of cream jars). Let’s find out how the Aluminium tube is produced and why it is essential to rely on a trusted specialist partner.  

The production of Aluminium tubes is a complex process that requires precision and technical expertise, especially when these tubes are intended for use in sectors with high quality standards and stringent regulations such as pharmaceuticals. To choose the right Agency, it is necessary to understand the Aluminium tube production process more closely. 

Aluminium tube production: the industrial process

The production of Aluminium tubes for the pharmaceutical sector is a process that requires not only high quality equipment but also an in-depth knowledge of the requirements of the sector, which is why it is essential to rely on specialized companies.

The production of an Aluminium tube starts with a tablet the size of a large coin. But how does the transformation into a tube take place? Being a rather complex process, the various stages in the production of an Aluminium tube are explained in a simple way: 

  • Aluminium extrusion: the process begins with a pre-treatment of the Aluminium tablets called ‘tumbling’, a lubrication that prepares them for the subsequent processing steps. It then goes to the press for the actual extrusion phase, where the tube acquires its characteristic shape from a simple Aluminium tablet or washer (whole or perforated, depending on whether a blind or open bore tube is desired). The tablet is received by the die, a carbide alloy element that has the shape of the final tube.
  • Cutting the tube: The tube then passes to the lathe, where it is finished, cut out and polished, and is then dimensionally defined.
  • Tube annealing: During extrusion, Aluminium loses its malleability characteristics; Aluminium’s softness and malleability must therefore be restored by annealing in an industrial oven at temperatures of up to 420C;
  • Internal coating: the inside of the tube is coated with an epoxy phenolic resin, which is polymerized to form a thin protective film.
  • On-line quality control: an initial quality control phase checks the perfect integrity and adherence of the inner coating to the tube, as well as its thickness.
  • Lithography: the tube is enameled and passed through the kiln again to fix the enamel on the metal surface; it is then passed on to the next stage of offset printing; at the end of printing, another pass through the kiln for the drying stage that fixes the colors and the print to the enamel. A new quality check verifies the fidelity of the result to the original artwork.
  • Closure: in the final part of the production process, the nozzle (as in the case of the ophthalmic nozzle) and the closure capsule are applied to the tip of the tube; 
  • Mastication: a band of soft material (mastic) is applied, which has sealing properties; it will be useful for the next stage, i.e. the mechanical closure of the ‘tail’, which is carried out in the client company’s factories.
  • Boxing: the tubes are then automatically boxed. At the end of the process, we move on to end-of-line quality control, which carries out 100% visual checks on each box. All checks are carried out by highly specialized staff and are based on the hard requirements of the pharmaceutical world. 

Each step must be carried out ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the finished product. The entire production process is supervised by our Quality System, which also carries out subsequent checks at the end of production.

Aluminium: the ideal packaging material

Aluminium is light, flexible, fully recyclable and offers an excellent barrier against light, oxygen, moisture and external contaminants. It will not break if dropped, resists shocks and protects its contents during transport. These properties make it ideal for protecting the quality and integrity of products.

Aluminum is infinitely recyclable without losing its qualities. This allows companies to reduce their carbon footprint (ensuring compliance with new European targets) and responds to the growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging.

The characteristics of aluminum make it an absolute protection against light, air, and moisture, essential for preserving the efficacy of drugs and cosmetic products.

Its ability to create an impenetrable barrier against bacteria and contaminating agents makes aluminum a safe choice for products that require high safety standards.

Moreover, thanks to its versatility, it can be easily shaped into various forms and sizes, perfectly adapting to the specific needs of different products.

The flexibility and handling of the deformable aluminum tube allow for precise control over the dispensed amount, a critical feature in the application of medicinal creams and ointments.

The importance of a specialized (and trusted) partner

Behind an Aluminium tube is a complex production process that requires high specialization, appropriate machinery and continuous monitoring of operations so that the final product can guarantee compliance with the highest quality standards. This is only possible if their production has followed strict standards and control procedures that only companies specialized in pharmaceutical packaging can guarantee. Furthermore, in the pharmaceutical sector, packaging materials must meet specific regulatory requirements to ensure patient safety. With a long history in pharmaceutical packaging, Tubettificio Perfektüp has the experience and resources to ensure the compliance of its products with both European regulations and those of non-EU countries, including the United States. 

We are constantly investing in advanced technology and research to improve our production processes and to offer our clients innovative packaging solutions that can increasingly improve the storage, distribution and use of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. 

Relying on Tubettificio Perfektüp means being able to count on efficiency and more than 90 years’ experience in pharmaceutical packaging: being part of a large group allows us to guarantee production continuity even on high volumes. 

Contact us to find out more: we will be happy to listen to your plans and send you a sample of tubes.

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