Ferrum expands short-run seaming range for growing craft brewers

Ferrum has unveiled an updated version of its small-scale seaming machine, the latest bid by the maker of mass-production canning equipment to tap into the growing craft-beer and short-runs market.

The ferruCompact FC08 is an eight-seamer addition to a range launched late last year with three- and six-head machines. The latest version increases capacity to 1,000 cans per minute from 750 per minute on the six-seamer edition.

Like its predecessors, the new equipment is able to handle cans with diameters from 53-73mm and heights of 88-250mm and features quick changeover tools and quick-set seaming cams. According to Ferrum, the range can also be adapted for food canners.

The Swiss equipment specialist revealed the new machinery at Brau Beviale in Nuremberg, where a tie-up in the US with German rival KHS was also announced. 

Until recently craft brewers had relied on makers of smaller, mobile canning machines to meet production needs. Small-scale specialists such as Cask Canning of Canada and Wild Goose of the US have prospered selling equipment that can fill up to around 3,000 cans per hour. 

But as the popularity and sales of artisanal beer have soared, brewers have looked to larger machinery producers to help them scale up production. Yorkshire, UK-based Magic Rock, for instance, bought a compact line from KHS that can fill as many as 40,000 cans per hour.