Sustaining local demand

After Eviosys’s announcement of further investment in its Concarneau site in Brittany, France, CanTech International caught up with the company to discuss the developments in further detail

 

Eviosys Concarneau has been prominent in the Brittany industrial landscape since 1924. The company, which employs nearly 200 people, manufactures round and rectangular metal cans, and easy-open ends which are varnished and printed locally.

The convenience and sustainability of canned food products is increasingly popular with consumers. Latest figures showed a growth of 3.7 per cent in volume and 4.8 per cent in value between 2019 and 2021 (Source: Kantar).

To support this growth, Eviosys Concarneau has made a number of major industrial investments over the past two years. This includes a new printing line, new easy-open ends manufacturing lines, automation, automatic camera control and modernisation of workspaces for employees.

Francois Querrioux, chief operating officer, commented: “Whilst Eviosys is a global player, we are also at the heart of local ecosystems. From Concarneau, Eviosys supplies the main agri-food companies and canneries in the Grand Ouest, and this pride in our local footprint is reflected at our sites around the world. Eviosys is strongly committed to preserving and advancing our environmental credentials and we continuously invest in our plants and ecoinnovation, working towards our goal to be the first choice in innovative and sustainable packaging.”

Maël Chevalier, plant manager at Concarneau, spoke to CanTech International in more detail about Eviosys’ investments.

Could you tell us more about the new equipment at the Concarneau site?

“We have made a number of improvements, one of which is the new printing line. This will allow us to support the increasing local demand for sustainable packaging as consumers continue to gravitate towards metal cans to preserve food longer without the need for refrigeration.

“The new printing line features a colour control technology, allowing the plant to reduce spoilage and rectify colour diversions with greater efficiency. This feature, combined with the ability to print seven colours in only one pass, means we can meet higher customer demand in a more reactive, agile way, whilst ensuring efficiency and sustainability.

“The printing process, which doesn’t alter the 100 per cent recyclability of our products, is an essential element of our metal packaging. High speed, high-quality printing allows us to support our customers’ supply chain as well as helping their brand stand out on the shelves.”

Which manufacturers are you working with?

“We are working with several European suppliers, supporting local economies, and promoting European expertise, highlighting the quality of engineering and the need to remain local to limit our customers’ and our own carbon footprint wherever possible.

“This new line is no exception, being made by the German manufacturer KBA, with outstanding efficiency and quality.”

The site manufactures round and rectangular cans – what food products are these for?

“Concarneau supplies local food producers and fishing companies with round and rectangular cans.

“Typically, these products are used to store and preserve vegetables, fish, ready meals and meat – as opposed to beverages. With 44 plants across EMEA, we are strategically located to serve local markets, all with a variety of consumer preferences. We answer local demand and specificities with the expertise and local knowledge that each site has developed over years of experience.

“We are seeing huge growth areas in the food packaging sector with a renewed positive consumer view of tinned products and a rise in premium tinned goods. The packaging industry is growing rapidly, with brands seeking out packaging that offers uncompromising quality, circularity, as well as design that shines the spotlight on them.”

Image: Eviosys

Are these cans steel or aluminium, or both?

“Our Concarneau production site manufactures both steel and aluminium packaging. The 100 per cent recyclable metal in our packaging will be a vital part of our continued commitment to sustainability, driving the sustainable revolution in the packaging industry.

“In 2022 and beyond we will continuously invest in and expand our steel and aluminium packaging product range including but not limited to, fish or vegetables cans, round and irregular shapes, single serve formats, PeelSeam and print technologies.”

Are the cans two-piece or three-piece?

“We produce both two-piece and three-piece food cans at Concarneau, manufacturing rectangular steel and aluminium easy open ends, two-piece steel and aluminium cans in round and rectangular shapes to accommodate local market requirements.

“At Eviosys we strongly believe that two-piece and three-piece cans will maintain their position as a competitive packaging solution, as they are economically efficient across the supply chain, as well as extremely recyclable and widely recycled.”

Will the type of cans Eviosys manufactures change once the investment is made? Are you seeing demand for a particular type of food packaging?

“Certainly across EMEA rectangular formats have become noticeably very popular for the vegetable market, as well as fish.

“Equally, along with the two-piece can, we’ve seen single portion cans dramatically rise in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic, and this has continued in 2022.

“Ultimately, we are also constantly trying to find new innovative ways of making our products more sustainable, without compromising on quality. Innovations such as Orbit, PeelSeam and EasyLift make our products both more accessible and appealing to customers and consumers and we are also making the packaging lighter weight and better for the environment.”

Could you discuss the automatic camera control?

“Our automatic camera control efficiently ensures the highest standards of quality control, which drives a very strong customer satisfaction rate across our plants.

“Fundamentally, utilising new technology and innovations and automating processes such as quality control allows us to be more efficient and ultimately produce a better quality of product for our customers.”

Francois Querrioux mentioned investing in ‘eco-innovation’. Could you elaborate on what this means for Eviosys?

“At Eviosys our overall mission is to produce smart, sustainable packaging. What this means is that at the start of our development process we operate by our eco-conception principles to minimise the carbon footprint of our products.

“Sustainability has always been a firm priority for the company, and we remain committed to helping customers meet their sustainability goals whilst protecting the planet, people, and communities.

“We are creating packaging that is as light as possible without compromising on quality. For instance, our Peelfit can (direct sealing an aluminium foil onto a welded can body) saves 15 per cent material. We are doing all we can to reduce our carbon footprint, including producing locally, globally, and constantly investing in R&D and innovative solutions to make our products more sustainable than ever.

“We are accelerating the process and development of lightweight product lines in partnership with our customers and suppliers to preserve as much raw material as possible and limit the impact on customer processes and distribution.

“We are investing in new technologies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions drastically by 2027. The Concarneau printing line is a good example of this, with a smaller number of passes to finalise the product decoration and the colour control technology preventing any colour diversions, lowering the scrap rate, energy consumption and keeping overall VOC emissions to a minimum.

“At Eviosys, sustainable packaging also means inclusive packaging. We ensure all our products are accessible to all, designing new products and innovative solutions to put an end to discriminatory packaging. For example, our revolutionary closure Orbit features an outer ring putting an end to hard to open jars, even for people who may suffer from mobility issues.”

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