Challenging the three-piece standard

Germany-based Klinghammer Group emphasises the importance of brands switching from plastic to tinplate and producing unique designs through three-piece can production

All images courtesy of Klinghammer

When looking at today’s media output, it is clear our world is challenged by several crises. One of these is the ecological impact of our modern lifestyle. Some of the key problems are limited resources, pollution of the environment and vast amounts of waste. Shocking reports on micro plastics and plastic waste accumulating in the sea, as well as polluted beaches, are frequently published in the media.

According to Germany-based Klinghammer Group, manufacturer of machines for three-piece can production, these issues seem to be part of the reason for the increasing demand to replace plastic packaging with tinplate packaging.

A variety of shaped round and non-round cans

“Our customers are can makers all over the world,” says Hans-Henning Kösel, sales manager of the Klinghammer Group, “and an increasing number of our customers run projects to develop cans to replace existing plastic packaging. Ideally, this new packaging does not include any plastics at all. However, sometimes special types of plastic caps are still needed for functional packaging.”

The Klinghammer Group was founded two years ago and unites three well-known traditional brands for three-piece can making machinery: Klinghammer, Bertil Ohlsson and Larsen. These former independent companies are now combined into one single company, and the machines are sold under the new brand name Klinghammer Bertil Ohlsson Larsen.

The group produces machines for the mechanical expansion of welded cylindrical bodies into shaped bodies. It offers a broad variety of can shapes, starting with conventional canisters, via variants that maintain standard round tops and bottoms but show a shaped middle, up to fully asymmetrical shapes.

Some of these are already known to the market, especially cans for syrup; vegetable oil; instant or ground coffee; soups and stews; beer and milk powder. Nestlé, Heineken, Livio, Heinz and Teisseire are some of the most well-known brands here.

Klinghammer Group places high importance on brand owners and can makers exploring the possibilities of unique shapes in combination with high quality printing, knowing that this could really set them apart, as well as protecting their brands against counterfeits. “There is definitely room for more unique shapes in the market,” says Kösel.

The group offers fully automatic stretch forming machines to expand welded cylinders into shaped bodies, for diameters from 52mm up to 350mm and heights from 50mm to 500mm. The related toolings are developed in close cooperation with customers, often starting from customers’ first rough design ideas, which are then checked and adapted to the needs of actual producibility. The company aims to achieve a combination of eye-catching design and a high level of reliability during the production process.

Klinghammer Group also offers machines needed for further processing of expanded bodies. Examples include automatic flangers using the squeeze flanging principle to prepare, in particular, non-round bodies for the following seaming process. These squeeze flangers are available in different sizes for shapes within a footprint of less than 45 x 45mm up to 300 x 300mm.

In terms of seaming, the Klinghammer Group offers several types of seamers for non-round cans, most of them offering the advantage of using up to four different seaming roll profiles for a complete seaming operation.

“We hope that the trend towards tinplate packaging continues,” says Gregor Zmuda-Trzebiatowski, general manager of Klinghammer Group. “We are prepared to assist our customers to develop new shapes, which hopefully become iconic in upcoming years.”

This feature article is restricted to logged-in paid subscribers.

Login or subscribe now to view this exclusive content.

Related content

Leave a reply

CanTech International