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Explore the development path of toothpaste tubes

toothpaste is an essential daily necessities for people. With the continuous enhancement of toothpaste functions and the increasing variety, the packaging of toothpaste has also changed greatly. In particular, hose packaging, although seemingly inconspicuous, has attracted the attention of many packaging and printing manufacturers and achieved many enterprises. Taking Shanghai toothpaste factory of Shanghai white cat Co., Ltd. as an example, this paper takes you to explore the development path of toothpaste hose. Here, I would like to thank Mr. zhengjianwei, senior engineer of Shanghai toothpaste factory, for his support

According to Mr. Zheng, the predecessor of Shanghai toothpaste factory was the China chemical industry society established in 1912, which mainly produced some daily chemical products, such as Sanxing toothpaste and Sanxing soap. After liberation, it was renamed Shanghai toothpaste factory, which specializes in the production of toothpaste. The toothpaste packaged in flexible tubes originally made of lead and tin was not packaged in aluminum tubes until the 1960s

at that time, restricted by the printing method, the toothpaste tube only used relief printing to print some words and color blocks, but failed to print images. Even if the characters are printed, the quality is not high. The large characters are printed coarsely, and the small characters cannot be printed. For example, the "Zhonghua" toothpaste and "MAXAM" toothpaste produced by Shanghai toothpaste factory only have brand names on the surface of their toothpaste tubes. The background color of "Zhonghua" toothpaste is yellow and the characters are red; The background color of "MAXAM" toothpaste is white and the words are red. Due to the limitation of technical level, aluminum tube has become the only choice of toothpaste tube

composite hose initially appeared

aluminum tube dominated the world for a long time. About the early 1980s, the technology of producing toothpaste tubes with aluminum-plastic composite hose materials appeared in the foreign market. As the eldest brother of the domestic toothpaste industry, Shanghai toothpaste factory first saw this opportunity and began to study composite soft tube pipelines. However, in the mid-1980s, it found that composite hose pipe making equipment could not be deployed in China. In this regard, Mr. Zheng summed up two reasons

(1) shortage of raw materials

composite sheet is a blank in the Chinese market, and the shortage of raw materials leads to the failure of the pipe production line

(2) backward technology

at that time, China emphasized self-reliance, so Shanghai toothpaste factory did not go abroad, and there was a feeling of making cars behind closed doors, resulting in the backward technical level of composite hose pipe making and printing, which stranded the composite hose production line

composite hose reappearance

by the late 1980s, the national reform and opening-up policy was fully implemented, and the domestic toothpaste output had reached nearly 1billion tubes, which not only met the demand of the domestic market, but also partially exported. During this period, the development of functional toothpastes also accelerated. Under the situation that people attach equal importance to tooth cleaning and the prevention and treatment of dental diseases, various medicinal toothpastes came into being. At that time, there were about 300million tubes of medicated toothpaste, accounting for 30% of the total output, and it became the development trend of toothpaste in the future

the emergence of medicated toothpaste immediately exposed the disadvantages of aluminum tubes. Because some components contained in the medicinal toothpaste will react with the aluminum tube, there will be quality problems such as spots in the medicinal toothpaste packaged in the aluminum tube

in order to vigorously develop medicated toothpastes, the above problems must be solved. Therefore, Shanghai toothpaste factory sprayed a thin layer of special substances like plastic on the inner wall of the aluminum tube, separating the toothpaste from the aluminum layer. However, the uniformity of spraying is not easy to solve, and there is no good solution in the world. Therefore, although the use of spraying technology reduces the above quality failures, it does not fundamentally solve the problem

in the early 1990s, the time was ripe to adopt composite hoses, so Shanghai toothpaste factory chose composite hoses as the packaging of toothpaste, and introduced composite hose tube making equipment from Aisa company in Switzerland, becoming the first person to eat crabs in China. According to Mr. Zheng, the choice of Shanghai toothpaste factory was not groundless, mainly based on the following three considerations

(1) in the late 1980s, Taiwan Sanying company has established a composite sheet production plant in the mainland, which has a certain scale, filling the gap of domestic composite sheets. Although the quality of composite sheet was not very good at that time, it could already meet certain needs. In addition, some manufacturers in the mainland have begun to produce composite sheets. The previous problem of shortage of composite sheets was solved

(2) due to the introduction of relatively advanced foreign equipment and the composite sheet of Sanying company, the previous technical problems have also been solved

(3) the composite sheet can be printed by intaglio printing, and the printing quality has been greatly improved. Not only the printing color of large characters is relatively thick, and the smoothness is very high, but also fine words (product description) can be printed

when the problems of raw materials, pipe making technology and printing technology are solved, the high cost has become a major factor restricting the development of composite hoses. At that time, the composite sheet needed at least 25 yuan per square meter, and one square meter could make the latter with higher precision than the former. 60 toothpaste tubes and almost 0.4 yuan per toothpaste tube led to an increase in the overall cost of toothpaste. The domestic market could not accept this price, and new dow did not need to bear the high R & D expenditure. Therefore, toothpaste packaged in composite hose is mainly exported. For example, the export volume of "MAXAM" toothpaste packaged with composite hose accounts for 3% - 4% of the total sales volume of "MAXAM" toothpaste in China. This situation continued until 1993. During this period, although the price of composite sheets decreased, it was still more expensive compared with aluminum tubes

composite hoses attacked on a large scale

at the end of 1993, with the total thickness of composite sheets and the thickness of aluminum foil continuously decreasing, aluminum plastic composite soft 5. Automotive interior materials testing machine remarks: the sheet price of tubes has been greatly reduced; The composite sheet has been printed by flexographic printing, and the printing quality has been further improved, which is an important factor affecting the performance, accuracy and service life of the tensile testing machine; More and more domestic manufacturers supply composite hose sheets; The international multinational companies Colgate and Unilever are preparing to adopt composite hoses, which has a great impact on the toothpaste industry across the country. Against this background, Shanghai toothpaste factory took the opportunity to launch brands such as "spearmint", "white jade" and "acid proof" and began to enter the composite hose Market on a large scale. Other toothpaste manufacturers in China also began to adopt composite hose packaging. The market share of composite tube toothpaste has been increasing, reaching 60% - 70%, and aluminum tube toothpaste is no longer valued by people

future development of toothpaste tubes

when talking about the future development trend of toothpaste tubes, Mr. Zheng talked about his views. He believes that toothpaste tubes will develop in the following two directions

(1) thin aluminum plastic composite hose. That is, the total thickness of the composite sheet is reduced to 200 μ m. The thickness of aluminum foil layer is reduced to 10 μ m. Even thinner

(2) all plastic composite hose. The use of EVOH material makes it possible for all plastic composite hoses, but the barrier property has a lot to do with the thickness of EVOH material, so it can not be mass produced now. But it is still the main development trend in the future

Shanghai toothpaste factory will continue to explore its own path of toothpaste hose. We sincerely hope that they will always be at the forefront of the toothpaste industry in China

reprinted from: Printing Technology

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