monicacommentA wider choice of suppliers is bound to be good news for manufacturers of beverage cans.

At this month’s Metpack, equipment suppliers are showcasing how they are responding to market needs and growth. They will include some newcomers in particular segments, like flat sheet print specialist KBA-MetalPrint which, as we revealed last month, is for the first time offering an integrated decoration and curing system for two-piece beverage cans.

In this issue KBA-MetalPrint tells us how the printing process had been identified as the bottleneck in integrated line production, and how with its new CS MetalCan decorator it is now possible to streamline important process steps thanks to specially developed modules for automatic plate and blanket changing.

Automating label changes on decorators to speed up the process are key in order to respond to the growing demand for promotions, and lower volume orders like those from craft brewers, which result in frequent label changes at canmaking plants.

An alternative option for the front end of a two-piece beverage canmaking line is now also possible following a deal between trimming and necking specialist Belvac Production Machinery and press manufacturer Schuler.

The partnership means that Belvac will now be also offering cupping presses and bodymakers supplied by Schuler, which is also venturing into aluminium bottle making systems with the launch of a necker developed in collaboration with Japan’s TMC.

In this issue we also bring you the news that patents on a heat-processing system designed to improve the flavour of shelf stable foods and reduce sterilising times have expired and with it any royalties and licensing fees, meaning that the Shaka agitation process could be made more widely available to brand owners.

A retort process that significantly reduces sterilisation time and improves the taste and quality of canned food is also bound to be good news for manufacturers of food cans.

Mónica Higuera