Polish packaging producer 3 Druk Group has created a new cosmetic tube brand called Qtube, utilising flexo printing as part of a technology solution called QFlex.

This is a combination of flexo printing with a flexible extruded PE tube, which can be fully or partially metallised and covered with glossy or matte QProtect antibacterial varnish. Qtube produces tubes in 35, 40 and 50mm diameters, all of which can include an EVOH barrier as a protective and containment layer against oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and helium.

The flexo printing aspect of the operation is based on a Mark Andy Evolution Series E5 press, with 11 printing stations and cold stamping capability.

‘We produce perfectly printed, fully extruded elastic cosmetic tubes that enhance and differentiate a branded product on a shop shelf,’ said Dariusz Kosinski, managing director of Qtubes. ‘An important difference in our activities is that the tubes are covered by QProtect – a patented anti-bacteria layer. This layer has biocidal properties and is an integral part of a varnish layer.’

‘QFlex technology reduces production costs because we can use substrates six times thinner than standard, which minimises waste and opens new opportunities for our customers.’

The Qtubes products also have an environmental story to tell, in addition to the reduced waste referenced above, with the tubes being recyclable according to EU regulations, and manufactured from 83% PCR/PIR (Post Consumer Recycling/Post Industrial Recycling) materials. Solar energy is harvested for electricity used in production, while heat pumps and a recuperation system for heat recovery keep the factory warm with heat generated in the production process.   

‘Innovative print techniques, implemented in our presses, fit globally innovative technologies and projects, and Qtubes is the perfect example here,’ commented Mark Andy’s European sales manager, Lukasz Chrislinski.