Every three years Messe Essen with METPACK becomes the most important global meeting place for the international metal packaging industry. Numerous global players present sustainable and cost-efficient solutions for the production, refinement, painting and recycling of metal packaging at the world’s leading trade fair. Metpack is the nucleus for innovation and a communication platform at the same time. The METPACK Innovation Award is also presented at every trade fair. Most recently, it went to the manufacturer of a high-performance UV LED system for curing printing inks, lacquers and adhesives on metal packaging. The absence of mercury means that there is no ozone and no undesirable radiation. As the undisputed No. 1 in the industry, METPACK impressively demonstrates the level of innovation and knowledge of today and tomorrow.
Behind modern packaging, there is no end of research and highly specialized technology: This year, more than 300 exhibitors will show that and much more at METPACK which will take place at Messe Essen for the tenth time already from May 5 to 9, 2020. At the world’s leading fair, companies will present sustainable and cost-efficient solutions for the manufacture, refinement, lacquering and recycling of metal packaging. At the METPACK Conference on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, experts will discuss findings from the economic and scientific spheres. What will it look like, the future of metal packaging? Eight speakers will give insights into their working fields and provide information about topical subjects.
In his opening speech, Dr. Daniel Abramowicz, CTO of the US Canmaker Crown Holdings, will look at the growth drivers of the beverage can market and analyze the product performance on the basis of aspects such as sustainability and innovation character. Abramowicz will deal, in particular, with the progress due to optimized material utilization. Modern technology ensures that cans leave the production lines in diverse shapes and sizes nowadays. Abramowicz knows the figures and will put them into context: Appealing special sizes in combination with new printing installations which are taking over the appealing designing of the can – that raises the turnover. Moreover, the expert will deal with the image gain of the material due to recycling and will connect this with the image loss of the packaging competitor plastic.
In his lecture, Pascal Amelot, Commercial Director Packaging of ArcelorMittal Europe, will report on potentials for the further optimization of steel packaging. Today, cans are considerably lighter and thus more sustainable than just a few decades ago. Due to an increase in the hardness, packaging steel with a tensile strength of 700 MPa can be made available in the meantime. The industrial introduction of this modern material component requires quite a bit of retrofitting. What step follows next? Amelot will describe not only the challenge but also the chances behind steel as a packaging material.
The company of Ralf Gumbel, CEO of Koenig & Bauer Metal Print, can look back on more than one hundred years of experience in sheet metal printing. Gumbel will give an insight behind the scenes: He will explain the functioning methods of complete decorating systems for both the two-piece and three-piece can markets. For example, Gumbel will introduce the CS MetalCan printing machine which is an answer to the market requirements for frequent decoration changes and more product diversity. Equipped with ten lacquering units and a large number of special modules such as plate changers and automatic rubber blanket changing systems, the machine is setting new standards in beverage can printing.
Neil Finley, Head of Global Food Safety, Product Safety & Regulatory Affairs of Henkel UK Operations, is also registered as a speaker at the METPACK Conference. Lacquer and raw material manufacturers are currently working on alternative coatings without BPA as the starting substance (BPA-non-intent (BPA‑NI) coatings). The lecture will focus on the risk assessment of BPA‑NI coatings for metal packaging with food contact. By following internationally recognized principles and guidelines, it is possible to prove the safety of NIASs (non-intentionally added substances) in new coating technologies. The application of a strict risk assessment approach creates trust in the safety and sustainability of new coating technologies. Finley will discuss the challenges during the risk assessment, new approaches to proving the safety and improved communication.
Francesco Amati is the General Manager of the global player ASA headquartered in San Marino. He will describe the progress of the sector: from the newest development in offset printing right up to digital technologies. What is the best printing procedure? Amati is assuming that there are several answers to this in complex market situations with booming technologies. Thus, the expert will scrutinize whether it would be possible to combine the conventional technologies with the emerging ones. His lecture will address the integration of various procedures cin order to extend the product portfolio.
Seaming is a joining technology for the assembly of sheet metal parts without an externally visible joint. In his lecture, Dipl.‑Ing. Thomas Lieber, a researcher at the German Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (IWU), will provide information about the application of this procedure in can production. During the manufacture of food cans, particularly the closing technology for the can body and lid constitutes a challenge since the material is exposed to higher stresses at these points. In his lecture, Lieber will show very practical examples. These will include an FE simulation of seaming processes for wrinkle analysis. Moreover, Lieber will explain new findings for the measurement of the profile geometries of seaming tools.
Dr. Dimitrios Tsimpoukis, Managing Director of Chrotex from Greece, has made the costs of lacquering his subject and will deliberate on how these can be optimized. Against this background, he will introduce different concepts and their applications. What role does the quality of the can play? What properties does a good coating need? In order to calculate the costs, the specialist will take account of totally different items such as material or energy and correlate them. Tsimpoukis will consider the manufacturing operation in a holistic way: He will highlight the interplay between the lacquer properties which are required for high-quality can manufacture, modify them and explain the consequences which might result from certain compromises. In his lecture, Tsimpoukis will deal especially with the opacity of white lacquers. Moreover, the expert will analyze lacquer films in interplay with the mechanical properties of polymers according to the Kubelka-Munk theory which describes the light absorption and scattering properties of pigmented systems.
With regard to manufacture, Marcel Schoumacker, Director of Sales Europe, Middle East and Africa, will introduce a new achievement made by his company, the SLAC Group from China. Metal cans, particularly beverage cans, are usually manufactured from two parts using one procedure in which the base and wall of the can are formed from a single blank of a starting material. Such a procedure is known as drawing wall-ironing (DWI) procedure. The bodymaker forms the heart of the DWI technology.
With the “Boxer”, Schoumacker will now introduce a refinement of the machine which promises a higher efficiency. The Boxer produces two cans in a single stroke and has twice the capacity of conventional bodymakers. The company will exhibit the innovation at METPACK.
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