With more than 8,500 visits logged at Cannex & Fillex, representing in excess of 4,100 metal packaging professionals, the four-day event held in Guangzhou was the largest canmaking technology show for the metal packaging industry ever held in Asia.
Editor of The Canmaker magazine Mónica Higuera encompassed the spirit of the convention in a welcome address in Mandarin and English with one of the sayings of Chinese philosopher Confucius: “Is it not a happiness and delight to have friends come from afar ? ”
The systems produced by Jiangyin Ruixing Science and Technology, and already supplied to 45 customers, mostly in China and one in Europe, are claimed to offer a number of benefits over conventional lacquer and decorating processes.
Pre-printing on polyester film is said to provide enhanced graphics, faster delivery and cost reductions. Features offered that are already being exploited in the aerosol and fancy can markets are holographic effects, mirror finishes and higher-resolution images.
The deal was signed between Zhang Guo Xing, chief executive of Ruixing, Jorson’s Jiawen Chen and Scott Westphal, president of Can Components Corp, who will be marketing the systems in the Americas.
“We have developed a proprietary eight-colour rotogravure printing press reproducing photographs and art illustrations at an impressive 175 dots per inch to supply the highest quality laminated film rolls,” said Zhang, who is selling the systems throughout China.
“Our base white has superior brightness and opacity to traditional printing. We also offer a large selection of holograms for overprinting to provide marketers with shelf-popping radiance.
“Ruixing offers several film compositions for designated industry segments. A new interior film for spectrum food protection is now available.”
Jorson provides distribution and technical support for the export of Ruixing’s systems. Company founder Chen Jiawen said: “Co-extruded films can be applied ‘dry’, that is with no adhesive required. The line has patented direct induction heating that ensures a thorough bond of the film to the base metal.
“Patented margin removal of the film for welded side seam bodies is a significant deciding feature for purchasers.
“We have two system options with outputs of 45 m/min (147 fpm) and 80 m/min (262 fpm). It is important to remember; with dual side seam simultaneous lamination, these speeds should be doubled for a comparable comparison, when applying a printed film, triple or greater.”
Scott Westphal told The Canmaker: “These partners are dedicated and creative organisations. I am pleased CCC has been selected to convey this technology to our industry. It provides a significant opportunity for the metal can to recapture market share from undesirable alternative packaging.
“The prime opportunity is for ‘mirror-finish’ (7-A) films of silvers and golds, which requires a system adhesion option. This will garner the premium spirits, tobacco and cosmetic packaging segments.
“The operator’s manual for this line is shorter than my cell phone’s. Installation and training are rapid and seamless.
“Jorson and Ruixing have installed capacity. We provide test samples for industry protocol shelf pack testing, market introduction and sustained supply. This enables customers to ramp-up production to ensure full utilisation upon purchase – or ‘drive it before you buy it’. If line purchase is not opportunistic, we will supply laminated coils or sheets on a continuous basis.
“The installed line investment and film cost are an opportunity to garner new market share and improve margins,” said Westphal.
D&I bodymaker launch for SLAC
Claiming a significant share of the end line market in China, SLAC Precision used Cannex as the launch pad for the first machines in its line of canmaking machines.
Suzhou-based SLAC has been developing a D&I bodymaker for more than three years, and the BM610 shown is said to embody a number of the best features found on its competitors’ machines.
SLAC’s Graham Price said the BM610 has capability to run at up to 400 cans per minute. “It has a simple frame with no joints,” he said. “The secondary bulkhead has been removed, and there is no mechanical drive for the infeed and outfeed which uses servo drives, making it easier for the operators.”
With the bulkhead removed, the ram guidance can be longer and the overall design is cleaner. The machine retains a conventional crankshaft drive and lever mechanism, but Price says there is no need to change the 24-inch stroke for shorter cans, which require just spacers inside the toolpack.
Also launched at Cannex was the SLAC TR403 can trimmer which again is said to feature a simplified design that enables easier size changes. “We don’t use cartridges for the three cutting units which rotate with the can,” said Price.
This version of the Uniseal produces 127mm-diameter easy-open membrane ends using coated tinplate rings and 90-micron aluminium foil. Output of the two-lane machine is 200 ends per minute when D-ring tabs are applied or 320 ends per minute with flat tabs.
“The machine was on its way from Switzerland to be installed in Harbin. We re-routed the machine for the exhibition,” said Soudronic’s Markus Karpf.
The deal was signed by Xu Yitao, manager of Soudronic China based in Guangzhou, and Duoduo’s sales manager Xiao Jiang Feng.
Shuangcheng Duoduo runs a modern canmaking operation featuring two Fuji P452 decorating lines with CTP pre-press feeding printed sheet blanks to Soudronic welders in addition to the aluminium foil end-making systems for the production of infant milk formula cans and food cans.
Its customers include Nestlé, Guangming, Wonder Sun, Happy-Prince and Flying Crane.
Use of 200 ends on slim cans rises
Next development for the CDL beverage end design, which is one of the most widely used on drinks cans worldwide, is the adoption of a 200 diameter on a 211 can, said Dave Bolek on the Container Development Limited booth.
While the idea has been pioneered in Malaysia, it has yet to be adopted elsewhere as drinks firms look for cost saving through the use of smaller lids.
But, as Bolek says, CDL is seeing increased use of its 200 lid on 202 and 204 slim and sleek cans with commercial use in the Middle East and Australia, and adoption last year in Asia and the US. “So we see the 200/211 coming down the line,” he says.
Bolek says that this year installed capacity for the production of CDL ends will reach 140 billion, which is almost 40 percent of the total installed capacity of 380 billion for global beverage end manufacturing.
Its popularity is largely because the lightweight end offers higher buckle pressures than designs such as the workhorse of the business, the B64 design, without the need for fillers to switch their seamer tooling from conventional designs.
Typically, the 202 CDL profile used on the majority of 211 cans uses a thinner 0.0084-inch gauge and a smaller 2.736-inch cut edge than the B64 and while this may be close to designs such as the LOF (Lid of the Future) and SuperEnd, the balance of metal saving and adaptability works in its favour.
While Container Development Limited licences the technology for the production of CDL ends, a separate company, Container Manufacturing Ltd provides the equipment and tooling support to customers, many of which are able to retool well-established single-action Formatec and double-action Redicon presses to produce CDL.
The design originated in 1997 when brewer Anheuser-Busch and Coca-Cola called for the development of a lower-cost 202 end. Until then in the US, 204 (for beer) and 206 (for soft drinks) ends had been used with the B64 design.
Crown was first to the market with its lightweight 202 SuperEnd in 2001, followed by the CDL, which was jointly developed by Container Development Limited and Ball for launch in 2004.