Valuable knowledge for the global metal packaging industry

Twelve speakers provide information on new technologies at the METPACK Conference

METPACK is more than just a trade show: It is one of the world's leading platforms for the exchange of knowledge on the manufacture, coating, printing and recycling of metal packaging. This is particularly evident at the METPACK Conference on the second day of the fair, May 3, in the Congress Center West at Messe Essen. There, twelve representatives of leading companies will provide information on new technologies for saving energy and costs and improving occupational safety and food safety. The industry is also focusing on data-driven production and intelligent technologies.

The conference opens with a keynote address by Dr. Daniel Abramowicz, CTO at can maker Crown Holdings, highlighting the technical innovations in metal packaging over the past quarter century. In addition to a number of incremental improvements, such as reducing scrap in manufacturing and reducing the weight of cans, the industry has also seen a number of breakthrough innovations that have led to leaps and bounds in can performance and economics. Abramowicz's presentation will highlight some of these more radical historical innovations and also look at future developments.

The next generation of coating systems

In his presentation, Damian Pollok from Koenig & Bauer MetalPrint will talk about the challenges involved in developing the next generation of coating systems. Inline measurement technology has now advanced to the point where feedback of data can lead to an automatic, closed-loop controlled process in the coating of sheet metal. Next, Neil Finley, Head of Global Food Safety at Henkel (UK) and Chairman of the CEPE Can Sector Group, will address the important and ever-expanding area of migration and regulation. This will include the risk assessment of BPA-NI coatings for metal packaging in contact with food.

Ian Scholey, CTO of Stolle Machinery from the USA, shares his thoughts and experiences on the topic of "More Good Cans". He explains how algorithms and data analysis have a positive impact on efficiency in production, keeping the can in a competitive position. Tim Clarke's presentation is also about new technologies. The CEO of Enpack Europe talks about a smart factory for easy-open ends and demands: "We must adapt our business and manufacturing processes to align with digital natives, the younger generation. And we must use these new skills to help us succeed in an increasingly competitive world."

Less energy and costs, more efficiency

Dr. Demetrios Tsimpoukis, Managing Director of Chrotex in Greece, sheds light on cost optimization in the coating process and takes a holistic look at the factors underlying the quality of coating operations in the production of metal cans and closures. Shintaro Yamanaka of Nippon Steel Corporation gets into the value chain earlier, presenting a new process for passivating tinplate surfaces without hexavalent chromium at the METPACK Conference. His presentation will include key technical information on the process, product and food safety of the newly developed EZP™ tinplate.

Representative of the cross-border knowledge transfer at the METPACK Conference is the joint presentation by Rainer Berkefeld (SLAC, China) and Jeff Harper (OKL Engineering, USA), who will present a new bodymaker design. The bodymaker is at the heart of today's leading DWI technology, which is fundamental to can manufacturing and was developed in the USA in the 1960s. The new boxer developed by SLAC has twice the output of conventional bodymakers, using significantly less energy per can produced.

German-Brazilian partnership for the optimization of metal surfaces

German technology leader Plasmatreat has developed a process for optimizing metal surfaces such as tinplate that dramatically increases wettability, enabling the direct application of UV materials. In a trio at the METPACK Conference, Plasmatreat CEO Christian Buske and his project partners Antonio Galhardo (Actega Brasil, Brazil) and Augusto Franca (Brasilata Labs, Brazil) explain how inline plasma treatment can significantly improve the adhesion of UV coatings.


The program at a glance:

Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 09:00 - 13:00, Congress Center West, Saal Berlin

Conference language: English

08:30 Welcome coffee and registration of delegates, networking.

09:00   Keynote: Key innovations in metal packaging over the last quarter century       Dr. Daniel Abramowicz, Executive Vice President, Technology and Regulatory Affairs, Crown Holdings (USA)

09:20 Modern canmaking technologies (part 1)

1.     Closed loop coating thickness regulation in metal sheet coating
Damian Pollok, Team leader product management, Koenig & Bauer MetalPrint (D)

2.     Food contact risk assessment of BPA-NI coatings for metal packaging – demonstrating the safety of NIAS                                 
Neil Finley, Head of Global Food Safety, Henkel (UK)

3.     More Good Cans                                                          
Ian Scholey, CTO, Stolle Machinery Company (USA)

10:30 Break

11:00 Modern canmaking technologies (part 2)

4.     Intelligent factory for EOE
Tim Clarke, CEO Europe, Enpack (CN)

5.     Towards the cost optimization of lacquering – concepts and applicability Dr. Demetrios Tsimpoukis, Managing Director, Chrotex (GR)

6.     Chromate-free tinplate (EZP™)   
Shintaro Yamanaka, Senior manager, High-performance Steel Sheet Research Department, Kyushu R & D laboratory, Nippon Steel Corporation (JP)

7.     The Boxer: a new development in DWI technology       
Rainer Berkefeld, Sales and Business Development Director for EMEA Suzhou SLAC Precision Equipment (CN)      
Jeff Harper, Sales Manager, OKL Engineering (USA)

8.     Openair® plasma surface treatment of metal sheets       
Christian Buske, Managing Director, Plasmatreat (D)         
Antonio Galhardo, Coatings Director, Actega Brasil (BR)   
Augusto Franca, Director, Brasilata Labs (BR)

13:00  End