The Holy Grail of the resealable can
Simon Jennings, director at Nomis Consultancy Limited, reports on the journey to find the ‘Holy Grail’ of the resealable beverage can
The beverage can, as we all know, is the best single serve pack available. It has recently been seeing significant growth across North America and Europe as well as continued progress in emerging economies. This development has been driven by the very strong sustainability and economic credentials of beverage cans.
Canmakers have been searching for the ‘Holy Grail’ of an all aluminium resealable can at a competitive cost for many years. This would enable cans to directly challenge PET and glass bottles for the multi-usage drinking occasion, where the consumer uses a container over a period of time to sip from or to use, store and use again. This market segment accounts for a much larger share of throat than that for single serve drinking occasions served by beverage cans, offering a further huge growth opportunity.
Over the past two decades, many innovative resealable solutions have been developed. A few of these are in the market today, but none have really managed to achieve their expected potential. Each have their strengths and weaknesses in terms of manufacturability, cost, multi-material content, recyclability, pressure and leak resistance, tetherability and user functionality, but none has been a real winner.
A Dutch Inventor, Jeroen Van Goolen, holder of multiple patents who has developed numerous new products in multiple sectors, backed by a group of investors developed the Sav-Ty™ Resealable End System. This end is based around a suite of patents, based on a novel venting thread and tab opening. Working closely with prominent patent firms, Sav-Ty has protected its intellectual property around the world on multiple levels.
Sav-Ty is ergonomically designed and easy to use for the consumer. Just flip up its tab, twist a quarter turn to open, drink from the can or pour, and simply reseal. It is pressure resistant and leakproof, meeting international beverage industry standards and demands for all types of drinks.It can be fitted to any of the current beverage can end shells or any can size. The Sav-Ty end can be seamed onto standard beverage cans using existing filling equipment without the need to adjust the filling line.
The current Sav-Ty prototype (pictured above), with its two-part injection-moulded plastic design can be clip–assembled or moulded into any beverage can end shell, in which an offset cut-out has been punched. The screw cap is moulded from standard polypropylene and includes a lift-up tab with visible tamper-evident markers. The anti-rotating support and thread are formed in a two-K mould with an integrated soft seal system. The plastic parts are simpler to produce and, at three grams, are much lighter than those used in resealable can ends currently on the market.
The cost estimate for a beverage can with the Sav-Ty Resealable End System is around 10 cents, making it more competitive with other resealable packages, such as PET and glass containers.
Sav-Ty prototypes have been extensively tested to meet international beverage industry standards for carbonated and non-carbonated drinks, beers and water. They are also suitable for hot-filled, nitrogen dosed and pasteurised drinks.
The concept is extremely versatile. It can be tethered to its anti-rotating support. Its integrated soft seal system can also accommodate a wide range of dispensing fitments, such as sports caps, pumps, spouts. These can be reused to reduce the need for single-use plastic.
The system can be used on end shells for two-piece cans but also three-piece steel and aluminium cans. This opens up a realm of possibilities for brand-owners to develop their own sustainable products with an adaptor which could allow easy refilling of cans with carbonated or still drinks in a home or retail environment.
Sav-Ty concept development continues to evolve. Following discussions across industry, ongoing progress is being made on a new design (pictured below) with up to 60 per cent less plastic than the current prototype. This brings the market closer to the ‘Holy Grail’ of a fully functioning easy-to-use all-aluminium resealable beverage can that the industry has been searching for.
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