Plastic caps resolve aluminum-can hygiene concerns

When 41 European school children became ill after consuming soft drinks two years ago, it touched off a 2.5 million bottle recall by Coca-Cola Enterprises Belgium. It also put the outside of beverage packaging under the harsh glare of public scrutiny. One industry response is hygienic caps for aluminum cans.

Consumer activists are pressuring the Italian government for a ban on pop-top aluminum cans, according to Giancamillo Spelta, marketing coordinator for Imola, Italy-based SACMI Group. An incident in which insecticide was splashed over pallets of aluminum cans added momentum to their crusade and prompted some firms to implement capping systems.

The solution selected by Pepsi Cola Italy is SACMI's Healthy Cap machine, which is positioned between the seaming device outlet and the heat-shrinking machine infeed. Two Pepsi plants serving the Italian market have been outfitted with the HCP 036 and HCP 048 systems.

The larger unit caps 48 cans at a time in a thermoforming blanking mold, handling 1,000 units a minute. That machine was undergoing testing in October, according to Pepsi plant manager Antonio Zanetti, adding, "We rate (the first machine) to be a reliable system. From the analysis done, the Healthy Cap guarantees the protection requested."

After pneumatically actuated grippers load cans into one of six baskets' 48 cavities, a horizontal-axis wheel rotates the load to the thermoforming zone. Plastic film heated to 130-220 C degrees is formed over the top and cut. The cap's snug fit maintains the cans' easy stacking advantage, and the machine's unloading zone can separate cans into singles or six-packs and other configurations.

Multi colors and promotional messages are being incorporated into the caps, Spelta says, and the cap safeguards against leakers and corrosion. But the greatest benefit is the protection the removable lid provides against any outside contamination being ingested by consumers. "The impact on customers' perceptions has been positive," Zanetti says.

For a plant outputting 250 million cans a year, Spelta estimates material, capital, electric, manpower and other capping costs at two-tenths of a cent per unit.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

IPPE 2015

The 2015 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) was held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center, Jan. 27-29. More than 30,000 poultry, meat and feed industry representatives attended the event to interact with the 1,288 exhibitors on the show floor that covered more than 490,000 net square feet. At the show exhibitors demonstrated innovations in equipment, supplies and services utilized by firm in the production and processing of meat, poultry, eggs and feed products.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering February 2015 Cover

2015 February

In this February 2015 issue of Food Engineering, we explore how energy waste caused by leaks in compressed air, steam and water or faulty building insulation/seals can be reduced with the right equipment and knowledge.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.