Can handle it
Roberto T Alves, mechatronics engineer at CTA Engenharia, discusses the beverage can industry in Brazil and the company’s handling solutions for the production chain
Amid the threat of global recession, Brazil’s aluminium beverage can industry is booming. The latest figures confirm a breakneck growth. In the fifth consecutive year of highs, the sector has reached R$ 18.3 billion (US$ 3.85 billion) in sales, with 33.4 billion cans delivered to customers in 2021. The country ranks third in the world market for cans.
According to the Brazilian Association of Aluminum Can Manufacturers (Abralatas), in the last three years, five factories in the segment have been built. For this year and 2023, four new plants are expected, as well as expansions in almost half of the existing units with new production lines. In addition to high demand for the product, another explanation for the success of the segment is the creativity present in all stages of production combined with innovation, with new technologies that allow not only optimise production, but also ensure the standard of excellence in quality of the final product, regardless of the model.”
The evolution in the sector has been so advanced that today it is possible to change the path that the can travels and produce different models without interrupting or impairing production. Thus, with the conversion of the line, it is possible to meet regional and specific demands and consolidate better results with the same equipment installed. This success is possible because companies such as CTA Engenharia are connected to this market and provide efficient and adaptive solutions at all stages of production.
Equipment and structure
Equipment such as conveyors, Air table, Bi-Di, Tunel track, Twisters, and vacuum lift, which transport the can within the production process, are examples that contribute directly to the aluminium can factory sector and enable the fast-paced growth already recognised in Latin America.
Recycling and sustainability
CTA Engenharia is also prepared and has the structure to contemplate the demands arising from another positive indicator of the aluminium can industry in Brazil – the recycling rate that has already reached the 98.7 per cent mark.
Today, Brazil is at the top of the world ranking of aluminium can recycling, following global sustainability trends and making the product even more attractive.
In the Scrap System process, it is possible to separate this aluminium from recycling in the AirScreen where, after this step, the material will be pressed and sent to the plant in block form.
Manufacture and recovery of cans
The manufacturing process of the can has required constant movement since the arrival of the aluminium coil inside the factory. The forklift moves the coil inside the factory and positions it on the coil tilter, which takes it to the transporter car and then to the uncoiler. With the help of the technicians of the can press, the aluminium plate is introduced into the cup press, the first cutting machine of the process.
Following this, the can is stretched, where it is elongated, thinned and receives the shape for its base. This procedure is done by means of pressure of the can press, where there is a folded gutter that leads to the guide train with multiform adjustment, through which it is possible to produce the can in several models, not just in the conventional. After all the steps, the can then proceeds to the washer. This is where CTA Engenharia offers a system that ensures the recovery of the cans that come loose at the entrance and exit of the washer; the system collects and returns these cans in the correct position.
All these investments are in line with the optimistic projections of the sector and the ability to expand its potential, already consolidated in Latin America, to other parts of the world, addressing the needs of the global market and its peculiarities by regions or continents and trends.
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