Lighter and more stable metal packaging
Göppingen, January 28, 2014 –The topic of lightweight products is not only of growing interest to car manufacturers, but also to the packaging and consumer goods industries: for example, the less an aluminum aerosol can weighs, the lower the material and transportation costs will be. The aerosol can produced by Schuler’s ICON V-Drive vertical drawing and ironing press – winner of the “Can of the Year Award” in silver in the Prototype category – already weighs around 20 percent less than
conventional containers. Following a proof-of-concept project recently completed, the prototype is now undergoing in-depth tests by a wellknown manufacturer in the consumer goods industry.
“We have proven that the new technology works and offers considerable advantages over conventional processes,” states Markus Röver of Schuler’s Highspeed Technology division. He believes that the process developed by Schuler will have a major impact on the manufacturing of
aerosol cans: “It would radically change the current production process.”
Aerosol cans are mainly produced on impact extrusion presses which only process pure aluminum. By contrast, the ICON V-Drive enables the use of up to 100 percent recycled aluminum – automatically fed into the press in the form of disc blanks – the production of which releases much less carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. The award-winning aerosol
can, which Schuler produced in collaboration with Tubex, is made from
80 percent recycled aluminum.
One positive side effect is that the cans have thinner walls than aluminum aerosol cans produced by the impact extrusion process, as the alloy elements give the aluminum greater stability. “As a result, our customers can even achieve material savings of up to 40 percent,” says the Head of
Packaging with reference to the machine’s tremendous potential. It also opens up completely new possibilities with regard to design – such as reflective surfaces.
Compact dimensions, high productivity
Thanks to its compact dimensions, the machine can be installed in plantswith limited space: as it combines the functions of both a cupping and ironing press, its footprint is considerably smaller. This also makes it easier to integrate into existing production environments. Furthermore, the vertical drawing and ironing process of the ICON V-Drive – in contrast to machines with horizontal operation – prevents the negative influence of gravity on the slide movement. “This allows us to
reach high production speeds of up to 250 cans per minute in the future,” adds Markus Röver. “The precise set-up and consistent alignment of cradle, tooling and domer ensure a stable production process.” This cuts maintenance needs, increases die service lives and reduces downtime.
Further line for commercial mass manufacturing
“The prototype of the ICON V-Drive will remain at our Göppingen facility for test and demonstration purposes, but will also be used for production there,” explains Röver. “The aluminum cans will then be transported to our project partner Tubex in Rangendingen for finishing.” This includes giving the cans their final shape and decoration. “At the same time, we are already working hard on the next generation of machines with which we aim to make the next step in the industrialization of the process,” announces Markus Röver. “All the experience and findings we are now gathering from the production of cans will go into its development.”
The ICON V-Drive enables the use of up to 100 percent recycled
aluminum – automatically fed into the press in the form of disc blanks.
Schuler’s vertical drawing and ironing press can achieve material
savings of up to 40 percent.
About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com
As the technological and global market leader in metal and plastic forming
equipment, Schuler offers cutting edge presses, automation, dies, process
know-how and services for the entire metal forming industry and
lightweight vehicle construction. Its clients include car manufacturers and
their suppliers, as well as companies in the forging, household equipment,
packaging, energy and electrical industries. Schuler is the market leader in
coin minting technology and supplies systems solutions for the aerospace,
railway and large pipes industries. In fiscal year 2012/13 (ending Sep. 30),
Schuler posted sales of € 1,185.9 million. With 5,600 employees, Schuler is
represented in 40 nations around the world. The Austrian ANDRITZ Group
holds a majority share in Schuler.
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