I never gave much thought to tubes of toothpaste and how they are made until I came into contact with tube filling machines. These machines turned out to be quite interesting. Like machines that fill bottles, cans, and capsules the container for the product arrives partially assembled. In this case we are talking about the tubes themselves. They arrive preformed with the caps mounted and snapped on or threaded in place depending on what type cap it is. The logo or brand name of the product along with the ingredients panel is also pre-printed on tube. The tubes are also round or cylindrical in shape. The big difference is that the bottoms are all open.
The empty tubes are loaded into a magazine and the machine is started. A pick off arm withdraws a tube from the magazine and places it into a horizontal tube chain vertically with the tube bottom facing up. The chain is indexed to the filling station where a piston filler pushes the thick paste into the tube. Then it goes on to an orienting station to makes sure the logo is facing the right way. Then it gets moved to the sealing station wherein the bottom gets flattened and sealed after that they are ejected into a collection hopper or on real big machines they are laid down one buy one into the product pockets of an automatic cartoner machine which will automatically package the tube into a carton. Like the Bartelt Horizontal Intermittent Motion pouching machines I described earlier in the pouching machine section. These machines are also driven by a single main shaft with a series of cams and eccentrics to achieve horizontal intermittent motion. These machines can also go very simple to sophisticated multiprocessor computer controlled models. I have worked ion them all.