Showcasing equipment in Germany

Equipment and service suppliers to the canmaking industry will be exhibiting their latest developments at Metpack in May. Peter Morales-Brown highlights some in this first preview

Metpack, the international metal packaging show held every three years, returns to  Essen in Germany, from 5-9 May. It overlaps with the Interpack packaging show in nearby Dusseldorf which runs from 7-13 May. Both shows will provide an opportunity to see the latest canmaking technology from around the world.  A shuttle bus between the show venues on the overlap days of 7-9 May will enable visitors to see the best of both.

Some of the Metpack exhibitors have already shared what they will be showing with The Canmaker, so here is a selection. More developments that exhibitors will be displaying at the show will be highlighted in next month’s issue.

Vision inspection
Inspection systems specialist Ibea will be launching an all-in-one camera vision system for cans, ends and closures. It comes with plug and play automatic setup, integrated scalable illumination and a compact design so it can be installed on any canmaking line.

The system is said to feature “crystal clear” images in both colour and monochrome, stable image processing and low power consumption for around-the-clock production.

Closed-loop colour control
Germany’s decoration system manufacturer Koenig & Bauer MetalPrint will unveil a new in-line colour control system for its sheet printing lines. MetalControl can reduce colour setup times to a minimum and guarantees colour stability during production by inspecting every sheet.

MetalControl automates the process of colour stability and comprises a camera system inside the MetalStar 3 printing press which scans every sheet and measures the ink density. These results are transferred to the control panel, where a computer evaluates the data and corrects the ink keys automatically.

The intelligent colour controller responds to colour changes and is able to maintain the standard set for each colour. For example, certain ink mixes have slower reaction to change and MetalControl will automatically compensate for this.

The benefit is a closed-loop colour control within the press, guaranteeing high colour stability.

Efficient bodymaker
A D&I bodymaker that offers twice the productivity of conventional machines in less than twice the floor space is being launched by canmaking equipment manufacturer Suzhou SLAC.

Already operating at a canmaking plant, the Boxer bodymaker (pictured above) uses two opposed toolpacks driven from a central crankshaft so that with each stroke two cans are produced, at either end. Because the rams operate in opposite directions, horizontal vibration is counteracted, providing almost perfect dynamic balance.

Also on show will be the latest six-out Hexad end conversion press and SLAC’s mini-line concept, built round a digital printer, for beverage cans and monobloc aluminium aerosol cans.

Three-piece aerosols 
Germany’s Lanico Maschinenbau will be showing a machine that enables three-piece tinplate aerosol cans to be made with metal savings of 30 per cent.

The Can Former CF589-pro (pictured below) is capable of necking and flanging bodies with gauges down to 0.13mm at speeds of up to 500 per minute.

To increase productivity, height adjustments during diameter changes are possible in 20 seconds without the need for additional tools. A complete diameter change is possible with modular tools in only two hours.

Interactive experience
An interactive experience is promised by US-based sensor specialist Prime Controls on its booth, which will be displaying the SD230 Trisense, a three-in-one system for high-speed end conversion presses, the MD30 TestAlert to upgrade three-piece Borden can leak testers and a new light-based leak detection technology for cans and ends.

The ultra-sensitive light-based leak detection system, called Eclipse, is said to be eight-times more sensitive than infrared and traditional light detection methods. The new technology is able to penetrate smaller cracks more efficiently, improving the detection of defects in ends at up to 1,000 per minute, and cans at 3,600 per minute.

Infeed control
Being launched at the show by US-based ASC Machine Tools is the latest ASC Material Control Stand for the front end of D&I beverage can lines, feeding sheet from the uncoiler to the cupping press.

Durable side-stripe repair
Already offering a wide range of equipment for making three-piece cans, Can Man from Switzerland will be promoting its PowerCURE 2 system for weld repair. The system includes improved features such as more durable timing belts and drive motors with integrated frequency inverters.

Twist-off cap manufacturing
New systems for manufacturing twist-off caps will be shown by Meltog Cepeda. The T400 is a 63-tonne draw-redraw and trim press capable of producing up to 400 caps per minute including precurling and curling. The Anglo-Spanish firm will also be showing its LD105 sealant lining machine which is suitable for a variety of round ends, aerosol cones and domes, as well as twist-off caps.

Lightweight bodymaker punches
Latest development from Wallram, which offers cupper, bodymaker and necker tooling made from sintered metal carbides, ceramic and tool steels, is a lightweight carbide tool with specific gravity of ten.

Lowering chemical oxygen demand
Water management technology is the speciality of Italian company Compagnia Italiana Ecologia (CIE), which will showcase its PUR-ALL process that uses sulphate and fluoride precipitation in the form of insoluble complex oxides. The technology is claimed to ensure selective abatement of oils and surfactants bringing the chemical oxygen demand down to a value that cannot be reached with traditional systems.

Sheet printing with LED-UV curing
The latest sheet decorating machine on show from Fuji Kikai Kogyo Co is the Primex-P1200S which includes LED-UV curing in up to four colours. Also being highlighted will be the Japanese firm’s automatic registration match and colour control.

Slitting lines with auto tool handling
Turnkey slitting lines for processing tinplate and aluminium coil into sheet have been produced by Italy’s Faspar since 1966. On show will be an automatic handling system for cutters and spacers (pictured above).

Tungsten carbide tooling
Longer life with higher wear resistance for the punches used in D&I bodymakers is claimed by Spain-based Hyperion Materials & Technologies for its DZ18 tooling, a patented lightweight tungsten carbide grade. Hyperion runs a global research and development centre near Barcelona, enabling short delivery times for punches, rings and necking tools.

Control to aerospace standards
Quality control systems designed on aerospace principles are the speciality of Germany’s Allvig, and in particular systems preventing pseudo-rejection on lines making easy-open ends and twist-off closures and cans.

Fast-change coating wheels
Fast changing of the application wheels on coating machines for D&I beverage cans is the speciality of Belgium’s Hannecard with its HandyBase and HandySleeve systems. The HandySleeve is coated with Hannecard’s specifically formulated soft polyurethane, which combines high coating quality with low mechanical wear (pictured below).

Print cylinders with register control
Precision printing plate cylinder assemblies and related accessories for two-piece can decorators are offered by US-based T D Wright. Its branded ENOC assembly comprises a tapered bore cylinder mated to a tapered shaft/sleeve assembly with built-in print register controls, saving weight and aiding repeatability.

Machine vision ensures quick set up
A specialist in industrial image processing and 3D machine vision, ISRA Vision AG is showing its CoatSTAR system that ensures short set-up times and increases production efficiency in pre-press coating control. Its DecoSTAR ensures 100 per cent print inspection for metal decoration.

Lighter-weight aerosol cans
The development of systems for manufacturing lighter three-piece tinplate aerosol cans has been the focus for Germany’s Maiko, which has been working with steelmaker Rasselstein on its Solidflex material to produce tooling that guarantees wrinkle-free seams.

Laminated easy-open ends
Dedicated to the production and development of polyester-laminated easy-open ends for food cans since 2013, China’s Xiangda Enterprise says its products save material costs and energy in manufacture.

New line for 1-litre rectangular cans
Production lines for the manufacture of 1- to 5-litre, and 18-litre square cans, along with 18- to 25-litre pails are the focus of China’s Shinyi Can-Making Machinery Industry. Being launched is a canmaking line for rectangular sizes of less than 1-litre operating at up to 80 cans a minute.

Durable palletising and packing
A robotic palletiser, depalletiser, cartoner, strapper and wrapper will be shown by China’s Qingdao Zonida Shematec Engineering & Equipment Co. It is said to offer a long working life at a competitive price.

Polyester-laminated steels on show
Last year Chinese packaging steel maker Zhongshan Zhongyue Tinplate Industrial started up its first polyester-laminated steel line with capacity for 50,000 tonnes a year, the products of which will be on show. The mill has total capacity for 490,000 tonnes of tinplate and tin-free steel.