Enhancing the consumer experience – Asia CanTech day two highlights

The first day of Asia CanTech saw the tabletop session full of can makers and suppliers conducting business, and a successful first networking dinner.

With a record number of suppliers exhibiting, the 2018 edition of Asia CanTech started with a
real flourish.

Day two began in spectacular fashion, with Daniel Abramowicz, chief technology officer at Crown Holdings, presenting on how packaging design enhances the consumer experience. Abramowicz’ presentation provided an overview on how metal packaging resonates with consumers in the following areas:

  • Design that delights – Abramowicz citing the launch of the bottle can design in metal packaging.
  • Sensory stimulation – Metal packaging has the advantage here due to metal having its smooth feel, debossing technologies, appearance and decorative finish possibilities. Abramowicz noted Crown’s InnoValve Can for La Colombe Draft Latte. Here nitrous oxide creates frothy coffee and that sensory experience.
  • Ease of use – Ball’s Magic Straw as an example of innovation in this field.
  • Ease of openability – Crown Orbit Closure is an example here of how openability has evolved and given metal packaging an advantage.
  • Consumer-valued features – This includes the XO resealable end and Ardagh’s RinGo of 20 per cent less metal.
  • Smart packaging – An example used here was Crown’s Connect technology for increased traceability and consumer monitoring.

Matt Mangan from Applied Vision presented on the use of colour. He provided an update on the company’s Orion G6, which is able to measure 10 different colours simultaneously. This is said to improve performance, inspect for more sensitivity to colour, which in turn helps to keep customer brands intact.

One of the other highlights on day two was SLAC’s Richard Moore presentation. His offering was two fold, highlighting potential challenges with metal packaging and opportunities as a result of the negative perception to do with plastic packaging. So called ‘sin taxes’ are negatively impacting on the metal packaging industry. Sugary beverages now join alcohol and cigarettes as a highly taxed item. For instance, in Saudi Arabia and the UAE there is now a 50 per cent tax on all soft drinks, regardless of sugar content. This means drinks companies have rushed to release a number of alternatives.

With the increasing negativity surrounding plastic, there is a huge opportunity said Moore. However, he still stated that PET bottles are outpacing cans by twice the level. This means the opportunity should be for no sugar and low sugar alternatives. It should be more realistic to target new markets for new flavours and new brands. Much like the craft beer market, the opportunity for new craft drinks at a small batch level, would appeal and suit the environmentally conscious consumer who would love for their drinks to be packaged in cans.

Moore ended with SLAC’s move towards lower cost access to high volume equipment, which allows for a lowering of the DWI fresh-hold. This potentially opens up the market for craft beers, new age soft drinks, mineral waters, plus printed food cans. These have the potential to feed off the conventional beverage line, with a mini line.

David Williamson of Xiamen Baofeng gave an impressive company overview of the end producer’s ambitions of producing 18 billion ends, up from the 16 billion ends produced in 2017. Williamson predicted that from 2025, no can ends will be produced without a QR code. QR codes bring with it opportunities for marketing campaigns for drinks suppliers, and increased flexibility in being able to see when consumers purchase drinks.

The presentation ended with Williamson announcing Baofeng’s new investment with one new shell press, three more conversion presses, as the company moves into new lightweight ends in Q1 2019.

Sun Chemical’s Shaun Thompson introduced the company’s ‘My Colour Cloud’ by Sun Chemical. This new feature is a bespoke cloud system, which allows the uploading of non-Pantone colours to Pantone libraries. This includes Coca-Cola red for instance, meaning increased colour accuracy.

CarnaudMetalbox’s Marc Hoche updated the industry on its Reformat Decorator principles. The machine is eight-colour, 2,000 can per minute, with ability to provide flexibility, quick change, energy efficiency and ease of use. Production testing will begin in Q1 of 2019, with commercial availability in Q3 2019.

Carolyn Crouch from Stolle Machinery explained the benefits of Stolle’s new Die Necker.
Each module of the Stolle Necker includes a 20-pocket transfer wheel that moves the cans into a 12-pocket process turret wheel. Every process turret has cam-driven pushers that move the cans into the tooling. Modules with necking tools also have rear pushers to move tools into the cans for the neck forming process.

The Stolle Necker is equipped with quick change height and diameter features so the machine can be easily and quickly modified to run different can sizes, and all process modules feature
quick change tooling. The Die Necker is said to complete the portfolio for Stolle in terms of equipment machinery.

Day two’s conference schedule concluded with the Candid Forum roundtable discussion with INX’s Sarah Jack, Crown’s Dan Abramowicz and Roeslein’s JC Harrison. There will a comprehensive review of the discussion in CanTech’s December/January issue.

Tuesday concluded with the Asia CanTech Awards. Crown Holdings received the Supreme Cup award, after the judges felt its Interchangeable Super End, for beverage end technology, was a worthy winner. You can read the summary of the Awards here.

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