Summit meeting leads to lighter drinks cans Herbal tea is the key to drinks can growth in China Two-piece steel aerosol line starts up in US, but where? Digital printing revealed by Stolle Remote decorator ink control system from Japan Aerosol canmaking equipment for Algeria
Film lamination techniques could make a bigger impact in the metal decorating market in Europe with a sales and marketing agreement between Germany-based Hebenstreit Metal Decorating, Ruixing Technology and Jorson Trading in China.
Hebenstreit’s sales chief Herwig Lutz said at Cannex in China that he sees a future in which a combination of offset decoration and film lamination will provide new opportunities for special effects.
Ruixing Technology has already installed 45 lines for film printing and lamination on tinplate in China and through its marketing partner Jorson is planning to export its technology world wide. A deal for selling into North America was signed with Scott Wetsphal’s Can Components Corporation at Cannex.
Other developments at Hebenstreit, which is now working with German press manufacturer Manroland to offer metal decorating lines, includes the sale of a conventional coater and oven to US-based bottle top manufacturer Emmeti at its new plant in Turin, and a Top Coater to the Huber canmaking plant at Liverpool which was formerly owned by Crown.
A meeting at The Canmaker Summit in 2011 between David Lieb of D&I tooling specialist Sandvik Hyperion and aluminium canstock manufacturer Constellium led to the start of a development programme that has resulted in the latest lightweight beverage cans being produced in Europe.
While Sandvik Hyperion’s headquarters is near Barcelona, Lieb works out of Colorado as a field application engineer in tooling and has long experience in the US industry, originally with Alcoa and later with his own company Lieb Precision.
Last year the results of the collaboration with Constellium’s R&D centre at Grenoble in France were presented at Metpack and showed how minute surface finish effects on punches can influence downgauging programmes.
“The US was driving downgauging originally,” said Lieb, “but now Constellium is able to offer body stock at 0.245mm or 0.00965 inches for 33cl or 50cl cans in Europe.” This is the lowest known to The Canmaker.
More to the point Lieb’s expertise enables lower gauges to be reliably translated into cans, by providing manufacturing tooling designs that include “all the necessary parameters for efficient running”.
Most notable recent success was for the sleek can design produced for Glenn Yee’s Pacific Can in China, says Lieb, who was at Cannex with Barcelona-based Lluís Miñarro, Sandvik’s segment manager for can tooling.
Massive though the growth of canned herbal teas might have been in China, there’s still plenty of potential for more, says Jackson Cheng, a member of The Canmaker magazine’s editorial board and an agent for a number of companies supplying products to canmakers through Zhuhai Cosmos Products.
“There are several different kinds of herbal teas,” said Cheng at Cannex, “but the canners have yet to explore these variations in herbal drinks. So there are many more opportunities for growth.
“It just needs someone to experiment with the processing techniques needed for canning them.”
Cheng believes that herbal tea and beer consumption growth in China will require many more canmaking lines with a doubling of capacity from the current 60 lines with potential output of 40 billion to 120 lines with 80bn in 2025.
A D&I steel aerosol canmaking line has been “certified and qualified” in the US by a customer of Mall+Herlan, the Switzerland-based equipment manufacturer. But the question is: who is the canmaker that has ordered this technology?
In February Ball Corporation’s chief executive John Hayes revealed in a conference call that a new technology for the production of steel aerosol cans enabling metal savings to be made would start later this year.
The tinplate aerosol can technology would be started up during the second quarter, said Hayes. It was speculated that this could be achieved using D&I technology. But the location of the plant has not been revealed.
At Cannex, Mall+Herlan’s commercial manager Ezio Foresti was unable to say who the customer was, but that commercial production of 243mm high by 66mm diameter containers would start soon. Could it be the same project? He wouldn’t say.
A process for making D&I aerosol cans from steel coil has been under development at M+H for about five years using an adapted two-out cupping press that feeds a single OKL D&I bodymaker, with the shaping of the bodies being carried out on M+H’s high-speed rotary necker. Internal spray coating and decorating processes use M+H’s well proven equipment.
Since the acquisition by Sweden-based Xano Industri AB earlier this year of Canline, the Dutch-based conveying system and automation specialist, and NPB, the end handling system manufacturer, a number of new possibilities have been presenting themselves, Canline’s director Karel Broerse said at Cannex.
With Canline’s business doubling each year for a number of years, coping with the growth was a challenge, he added.
The combined skills of Canline – which for example contributed to Ardagh’s new food can plants in the US and a state-of-the-art palletising system using multi-axis robots for Ardagh in New Zealand (now part of Jamestrong) – and NPB, whose latest success has been an end handling project for a canmaker in Brazil, offer much wider scope, said Broerse.
“Although Canline and NPB operate as separate companies we have common objectives,” he said. “The idea is to become a turnkey project manager in the two-piece and three-piece metal packaging industry.”
Like film lamination processes, one of the hot topics at Cannex was digital decorating with INX International demonstrating a pilot system on its booth.
Stolle Machinery, the leading canmaking equipment firm based in Colorado and owned by Japan’s Toyo Seikan, is working on a more elaborate production prototype that uses INX International print technology with a resolution of 720 to 1,000dpi.
Pictured on a wall display, the machine has 16-mandrels for handling the cans, each of which incorporates up to eight digital print stations enabling an output of 60 cans per minute. “We started it up a week before the show,” said Stolle’s Len Verhoven.
“With an integrated base coater, overvarnish and LED-lamp curing, the cans are fully cured at the discharge.”
Applications could include cans for aerosols and craft beers, said Verhoven.
Quicker label changes in beverage canmaking plants are said to be possible using a remote ink density control system that was demonstrated at Cannex.
Japanese print roller manufacturer Techno Roll and its agent for the Chinese market, Seiou Shouji, showcased the Quick Response Ductor (QRD) system which consists of the individually divided roller, an image scanner and an operation board. Around 70 systems have been sold in Japan.
“When adjusting the ink flow in a standard system, the clearance between the ink fountain key and the fountain roller is done by hand, one screw at a time,” explained Yoshio Fujikawa, division manager of the overseas sales department, “but Techno Roll’s QRD system is automatically adjusted and can be controlled remotely. Density control is also automatically adjusted, and the ink density is stable even when the printing speed changes.”
The ink ductor roller is operated by air cylinder, and the contact time with the ductor roller is controlled by computer. Each divided roller moves to the fountain roller independently to supply the suitable amount of ink. If no ink is needed to be supplied partially, the roller which corresponds to such area remains static.
An additional benefit is that data can be stored for repeat orders. Techno Roll estimates that around 800 cans are wasted while adjusting the ink density, but with a QRD system spoilage is reduced to about ten cans.
The QRD is also said to enable faster changeovers. Techno Roll says that with a standard system it takes two operators 15 minutes to change the plate, plus another 15 minutes for adjusting the ink density, but with a QRD system it takes one operator 15 minutes to adjust the plate and no adjusting of ink density is needed, resulting in a total reduction of 45 man-minutes.
One of Algeria’s leading manufacturers in the perfumery, cosmetics and household products sector, Bazicos Algérie was at Cannex looking for equipment to start making its own tinplate and aluminium aerosol cans at Alger.
Currently sourcing cans from Italy and Turkey, Bazicos plans to install a three-piece aerosol canmaking line by the end of 2015, and an impact-extrusion line two years later, said Salim Drioueche, general manager of Hong Kong-based trading and consultancy firm Express Impex Limited, who was visiting Cannex with Bazico’s general manager Mohamed Baziz.
Bazico was established in 1982 and its slogan is ‘a breath of well-being’.
Summit meeting leads to lighter drinks cans
Herbal tea is the key to drinks can growth in China
Two-piece steel aerosol line starts up in US, but where?
Digital printing revealed by Stolle
Remote decorator ink control system from Japan
Aerosol canmaking equipment for Algeria