How can I avoid sink
holes in my lip balm tubes? What do I do if I have them and it
is too late to pour more on top?
Number one, slowly fill the holes,
systematically running down the row, then to the next and so on.
Pouring too fast will cause air pockets. The material is hot,
hot balm is expanded so naturally it is going to shrink when it
cools. Pouring slowly along the row allows a little cooling to
When you get done with the last row go back
again, row by row and overfill the tubes. Always overfill;
remember you can just scrape off the excess and use it again.
If for some reason you have a hole or two that
sink holes, take a hair blow drier or a heat gun and just wave
over the hole until it melts and levels out. Just don't melt the
plastic, keep the heat gun moving.
I am finding that
more than a few lip balms out of each batch I pour don't wind
down again once you have wound them up the first time. It seems
quite random but say i do a batch of 50 lip balms, 10-15 won't
wind back down and the others will. Sometimes it’s more than 50%
of the batch.
I have been putting the trays in the fridge to cool down.
We have never heard of putting trays in a
fridge. We do have customers that have a large number of our
trays, using a chiller line. This is basically a conveyor belt
with a cold tunnel. However this only is maybe, 30 seconds.
Enough to cool the perimeter of the tub and top.
As to temp or humidity, we have hundreds of
customers all over the world and have not heard of anyone
talking about this affecting pours. The range of formulae and
products they put in the containers is astounding.
I suggest stopping the use of the cold time and
see what happens.
It actually sounds to me that they are stripping
out the plug. You see… all tubes have threads, or protrusions on
the shaft that not only guide the elevator part of the tube up
and down but also bind the plug by creating a nut/bolt like
effect. This pulls the plug up or down as the elevator goes up
or down. The plug can’t go down if the threads are stripped.
Same as trying to tighten a stripped bolt. It just spins.
Something either in the formula is either
binding too well to the tube or the cold doing something, but
what that would be, I have no clue.
Call your container manufacturer. Their engineers may be able to
help you. I would think there would be someone out there that
has had the same issue.
End result… It was the cold time in the fridge.
Can you make smaller
Yes, but it would be a waste of material and
time. We hope that you will grow....you hope that you will grow,
so why waste your money and time on just getting by for now.
Look ahead to the future, count on it and you will find yourself
there in, no time. We do provide for smaller pours with our tray
divider, actually allowing for three different pours in one
Why do you mill your
trays instead of injection molding them?
We have heard lots of
complaints about injection molded trays. Matter-of-fact, we sell
lots of trays to unhappy customers, because of this. Tubes
falling out, dribbles down the side of the tubes and having to
clean the tubes off after a pour.
There are a number of things
that can go wrong with the injection process, the plastic
formula maybe off, injection temperature can be wrong, the
injection mold itself is old or maybe not made properly in the
For something that needs to be "Precise, Every
Time" milling is the only answer.
Yes, it may take more time and yes a little more material is
cut out from the holes but in the long run it can save you money
and hours of frustration. We also put a wide rim all the way
around the tray, not only for pouring but to keep everything
perfectly flat and accurate.
They will never wear out and will
stay flat and accurate.
I am interested in
your ½ ounce Lip Balm Trays to pour Lotion Bars. Can you tell me
how long it might take a typical person to load the tray with
tubes? I'm assuming that filling the tubes with product would go
very quickly once the tray was prepared. Also, would a reducer
be needed to slow the flow from the valve? Thank you.
Providing you have the tubes ready in a box and
everything set up in easy reach; you should be able to place
about, 25 to 35 tubes per minute. Larger tubes will be closer to
the lower end.
A reducer valve will help as well as having a surface that
you can easily slide the tray around as you are filling. A
plastic, Formica or stainless steel surface is good.
We use a lot of color
in the lip balms. How do we clean the trays?
HDPE plastic will take any cleaner.
Oxy Clean, 409, Citrus Cleaners, Simple Green, even Lacquer
Thinner. Just don't use anything abrasive as it will mare the
surface and making cleaning much more difficult later.
Hi, we have been
trying out the smaller versions of your trays and we find the
surface can look rather grainy due to the scraping of the excess
lip balm from the top of the tray. Then, when you pull out the
lip balm tube there is residue on the edges. When you wipe it
off you have wipe marks on the top of the balm, versus the
smooth surface with doing the single pour.
With more practice does this problem resolve itself? What advice
can you give us before I jump in and buy the really large trays
We don't make a smaller version lip balm tray.
We make 225 and 450 tube trays. If you are talking about those
hobbyist trays that are $14.95, that is someone else entirely.
The process of making our trays is totally different than the
process of making those small trays. Please see our Q&A section
on Lip Balms for an explanation.
How do you smooth the
surface of the lip balm if this is desired?
You can use a heat gun, hair dryer or, some of
the our larger manufactures use heat lamps or heat tunnels with
Most people use a heat gun. It is fast and
efficient. We also supply you with a stainless steel knife that
leaves a pretty clean surface to begin with.
Do you have
experience with the automated filling systems for lip balms,
like your bottle fillers?
Any bottle filler, single shot or hand held,
multiple shot filler is slow compared to the trays. Until you
get into a full-line conveyor/packaging/filler system, upwards
of $100,000, you are better off with flood trays.
We have customers with more than 50 of our
double trays. They must find this method pretty efficient.
I have several of the
small lip balm filling trays (Plastic Tom) which only hold 50
tubes. I don't like having to trim the lip balm after removing
the tubes from the trays. When the filled lip balm is removed
from your trays, is the lip balm flush with the tube rim or does
it need to be trimmed?
I noticed that a heat gun was used in your video to smooth the
lip balm tube tops. When I've used a heat gun on my small
filling trays, it's noticeably warped the plastic. Will a heat
gun eventually warp your trays too, or is the plastic durable
enough to withstand the heat?
There is no trimming needed. Our Lip Balm Trays
are machined to a lip tolerance of, 0.005” (0.012mm) and
generally average, 0.005” to 0.015” (0.012-0.038mm) but due to
the variance in the plastic and in temperature, during the time
of machining. We require an allowance of 0.020” (0.03mm) which
is the thickness of 5 pieces of copy paper from top of tray to
the lip of the tube.
The little lip balm trays you have are injection
molded. Tight tolerances cannot be held using this type of
method. This is due to the fact that the plastic formula maybe
off, the injection temperature can be wrong, the injection mold
itself is old or maybe not made properly in the first place.
Our trays are milled from an extruded sheet of
HDPE Plastic. All four sides are measured with calipers, before
milling the holes, to help insure that our specified tolerances
are met from one side of the tray to the other. This process
allows each and every hole to be precise every time.
The HDPE Plastic that we use is very durable.
Lip Balm Trays as well as most of our Soap Molds are made from
this material. It withstands the repeated heat up and cool down
of the soap making process as well as repeated use of a heat gun
without warping, unlike injection molded trays.
Use of this website
signifies your agreement to the
* All specials are for a limited time only. Offers cannot be
combined with any other discount, offer, promotion or special
incentive program and are not valid on: (a) prior purchases, (b)
prior quotes or offers. Void where prohibited. Please
visit the links above for more information including latest pricing,
availability, and restrictions on each offer. Prices are in U.S. dollars (USD)
$30 minimum purchase (excluding shipping and tax) . All prices and product
availability subject to change without notice. Unless noted, prices
do not include shipping and applicable sales taxes.
Please call or e-mail us with any questions or to place an order.