By Olivia Cahoon
Part 1 of 2
A variety of products are manufactured with direct to object digital printers such as cylindrical items, plastic bottles, and tubes. This technology allows manufacturers to take advantage of their products’ marketing space while supporting mass customization and eliminating lengthy setup times.
Established in 1967, LAGEENTUBES offers tailor-made, cutting-edge packaging tube solutions for diverse customers in over 30 countries across the globe. With 50 years of experience and innovative thinking, the packaging manufacturer designs, develops, produces, and supplies smart, collapsible plastic and aluminum packaging tubes.
Each tube is carefully designed to cater to customers’ specific requirements in the cosmetic, personal care, hair care, oral care, pharmaceutical, and food sectors. The manufacturer uses the most technologically advanced production and printing methods on mono-, two-, and multi-layer plastic tubes as well as aluminum tubes.
“We offer nearly endless decoration possibilities, achieving the highest standards of quality and excellence,” says David Deluya, managing director, LAGEENTUBES.
The company started its business by servicing the Israeli market from a 21,528 square foot manufacturing site. It now operates with 200 employees in a 172,222 square foot facility in Israel with an additional 32,292 square foot production site in Bulgaria. LAGEENTUBES’ market extends to Western and Eastern Europe, South Africa, Southeast Asia, U.K., and U.S.
LAGEENTUBES produces plastic and aluminum tubes as well as closures. Its range of highly decorated polyethylene (PE)-based plastic tubes are the preferred container for cosmetic, hair care, personal care, and semi-pharmaceutical products. Thanks to its physical memory, the PE tubes retain their original shape after each squeeze and maintain a fresh, high-end look.
Aluminum tubes are often used in pharmaceutical, hair color, home, and industrial products that frequently contain strong chemicals, which often require aluminum casings. LAGEENTUBES’ aluminum tubes are produced through an impact extrusion process, which includes the application of internal and external lacquers, decorations, and capping.
The packaging manufacturer also offers a range of in-house, self-made caps and dispensing options. Caps are available in different shapes and can be custom colored for each customer. Its cap selection includes automatic cappers—either screw or push—for various tube types.
LAGEENTUBES’ packaging success is a result of developed expertise in prepress, printing, and decoration processes like dry offset, silk screen, flexography, and hot stamping. Recently, the company invested in Velox’s direct to shape (DTS) digital printing technology, which enables direct printing on plastic tubes and caps with increased flexibility. It purchased the Velox Ltd. IDS 250 in May 2018.
The Velox IDS 250 is a mass production DTS digital decorator for the rigid packaging industry. It operates at full production line speeds of up to 250 containers per minute at high quality, including 15 simultaneous colors and embellishments, photorealistic images, tactile embossing, and tube-to-cap printing.
According to Deluya, digital technology enables unlimited design freedom, operational agility, and an ongoing brand optimization that helps LAGEENTUBES generate a competitive advantage for its customers. “The decoration possibilities are endless and include on-cap printing, seamless 360 degree decoration without a gap or overlap, sharp text, ultra-realistic images, and unlimited shades, gradients, and half tones, in addition to unlimited customization and personalization.”
In terms of operational agility, digital printing offers the manufacturer shorter lead times, immediate proofing, and no replacement cost. “An on-going brand optimization is achieved thanks to the ability to easily do A/B testing, limited editions, personalization, and segmentation,” adds Deluya.
LAGEENTUBES deploys the Velox IDS 250 when customers require a high level of agility or when the artwork includes features such as seamless design, multiple colors, smooth gradients, or realistic images. It’s also used for artwork designs that incorporate the cap—creating a unique look for customer products. It can decorate any of the company’s plastic tube materials such as mono-, dual-, or multi-layers and is also used on sugarcane or crystal clear tubes.
With the Velox IDS 250, LAGEENTUBES experiences zero setup time, lower waste percentages, shorter prepress preparation time, and a stable production process for new and repeat orders.
Despite successes, it has experienced several operational challenges in internal processes, logistics, and full technology implementation. “As for the market place, the challenge is to generate demand by allowing the market to embrace the benefits of the new digital technology,” explains Deluya.
High-Volume Portrait Tubes
AHAVA—a leading brand of mineral Dead Sea products—is a LAGEENTUBES client and partner of 30 years. For its 30th anniversary, the brand decided to celebrate with a product portfolio unlike any of its current collections. Six different tube designs feature high-quality portrait images, continuous decoration, and solid vivid colors—a departure from the brand’s basic background, logo, and text.
The anniversary campaign concept embodied female empowerment depicted in paintings by six local and international painters. Each image reflects how women are perceived in the painter’s eye.
AHAVA selected LAGEENTUBES to produce the campaign after reviewing the Velox IDS 250. “As soon as we saw LAGEENTUBES’ new DTS digital decoration capabilities, it was clear that we had to partner with them for our strategic 30th anniversary campaign,” says Ifat Yoffe, CMO, AHAVA. “That first demonstration sparked new ideas for us around using color; and then, the amazing quality of the pre-production samples gave us the confidence to be pioneers in using this new digital technology. The design of this series is completely unique and we are very excited to be able to celebrate our anniversary in such a colorful way.”
With the Velox IDS 250, LAGEENTUBES printed high volumes of the six designs—using extruded PE tubes with screw on caps—in two weeks. Each design featured high-resolution images with more than 20 shades, continuous 360 degree printing, unlimited colors, and glossy finishing.
Velox’s DTS technology was the ideal solution to produce unlimited colors and multiple designs with nearly zero setup time between artwork changes. “Thanks to the digital technology in our production, we offered the perfect match for this vision and supported them throughout the process up to full accomplishment,” offers Deluya.
Using the Velox IDS 250, LAGEENTUBES eliminates setup time, lowers waste, and expands packaging design options. “We tested a few options and found that Velox’s industrial digital technology is the most advanced, reliable, and innovative compared to other available digital technologies in the world,” comments Deluya.
The packaging manufacturer continues to use Velox DTS digital decoration technology to satisfy clients like AHAVA and deliver customizable tubes in high volumes.
Part two of this series look at a beverage tumbler manufacturer that recently invested in direct to object digital printing technology.
Feb2019, Industrial Print Magazine