A rotary die necker for two-piece beverage cans was launched at the Cannex show in Guangzhou in China by Stolle Machinery, complementing the comprehensive range of process equipment offered by the US-based machinery manufacturer.
The horizontal-axis machine, which uses a number of necking modules according to the requirements of the customer, follows conventional practice and therefore can be installed in current production lines, as well as new projects.
The die necker is the final item of process equipment that completes US-based Stolle’s line up of machines for two-piece D&I lines, which also comprises cupping systems, bodymakers, coolant filtration system, washer, dryer, basecoater, decorator, pin oven, inside spray machines, internal bake oven and embosser or profiler. The curing and internal bake oven systems were first announced earlier this year.
A modular design is used for the necker, enabling it to be set up with the number of necking units required to meet a customer’s production needs. In addition to performing a set number of necking steps to achieve the required end diameter, the machine can be equipped with modules to perform other finishing operations such as flanging, bottom reforming and light testing. It can also be equipped with vision inspection cameras to carry out interior and exterior inspection of every can, if desired.
Cans enter the machine through a starwheel input module that has an integral waxer, and it can also be equipped with a camera to inspect the cans before necking. Each necking process module includes a 20-pocket wheel that transfers the cans into each 12-pocket process turret. Cam-driven pushers move the cans into the tooling to form each step of the necking process. This process is repeated in each additional module in steps that achieve the required neck profile and diameter.
Quick-change can height and diameter features are incorporated into the machine, which is a benefit for canmaking plants that offer a range of different can sizes.
Furthermore, the process modules are equipped with specially-designed quick-change tooling that reduces downtime for routine maintenance. The machine also features mechanical and process monitoring sensors for integration into a plant-wide control and reporting system.
Stolle’s technology chief Ian Scholey said: “We are excited to introduce a necker to round-out our equipment offerings for two-piece beverage canmakers. Our new die necker design has some distinct advantages over existing machines in terms of flexibility and can size changeover ability. Also, canmakers will benefit from being able to obtain all their major machines from the same supplier with single-source responsibility for spare parts and field service.”
More information from: Stolle Machinery Company, 6949 S Potomac Street, Centennial, Colorado 80112-4036, USA. Tel: 1 303-708-9044. Website: www.stollemachinery.com