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“The lighter beverage end used by Ball in North America is now being

launched to customers worldwide.”

       The CDL+ end was designed six years ago at Container Development Ltd in response to the container market demands for a reduction in the consumption of aluminum without sacrificing strength and double seam performance.

       In 2005, Ball Corporation took up the CDL+ design and subsequently converted most of its North American end-making capacity to its production.

       Now it has transferred that expertise to Europe and from September 2008 has been in production at Ball Packaging Europe’s plant at Deeside in the UK.  Coca Cola Europe has approved and is now utilizing the CDL end.  The widespread rollout of CDL ends in Europe will occur beginning mid-2010.

       In parallel with Ball Packaging Europe’s adoption of the end design, Container Development Ltd . is licensing can makers elsewhere in Europe, the Middle East and Asia to use the technology.

       “Most beverage ends are derived from Alcoa's B64 design that evolved during the 1990s into the familiar stay-on-tab end used today in many markets.  Past light-weighting was achieved by diameter reductions from 206 through 204 to the 202 size that is almost universal for soft drinks, apart from the Asia and Pacific Rim markets where the 206 is still popular.”

       “The 202 design is effectively the current standard, but further cost reductions are only possible through light-weighting.  For the CDL+ end a lighter aluminum gauge and clever use of the tooling enable a smaller cut edge diameter in the shell press.  In effect, the CDL+ end’s production is achieved with a thinner coil used more efficiently.”

       Critical to the design is a revised forming process and shell profile that enables a gauge reduction from 0.0085 (0.216mm) to 0.0082 inches (0.208mm) while maintaining the ability to meet the internal pressure requirements of the leading soft drinks customers.

       “The intention was also to design an end in which the changes were invisible to the consumer.”

       “The geometry is the deciding factor in the design.  This gives a happy medium in the end performance with good buckle strength and the 100psi pressure performance.”

       “Because the end’s profile is slightly different from the current designs, its use will require some tooling changes at the filler but, no more than is necessary for maintenance changes.”

       “Ball Packaging Europe’s first CDL+ production line at Deeside comprises a single shell press and a conversion line with a capacity of 750 million ends a year, and the conversion of the tooling on the plant’s second line during the second quarter of 2010 will quadruple that capacity.”

       “While the CDL+ end enables BPE to make cost savings, it is promoting the design as a means of reinforcing its sustainability stratagey.  ‘Beverage cans already have excellent environmental attributes – with the CDL+ can end we can save even more resources, said Gerrit Heske, President of Ball Packaging Europe.  ‘The material reduction in no way prejudices the attributes of the end.’  In Europe, the CDL+ end will only be produced by BPE with a bigger pour opening, a design known as the Large Opening End (LOE).”

       “The technical changes for the customer as a result of conversion to the CDL+ end are minor, says BPE’s manufacturing chief Dominique Mercier.  We will assist fillers with our expertise when they install new chucks in their systems, he said.”

       “ ‘Seamers are designed for constant tool usage, and there is no provision for a rapid change from one type of can end to another.  New chucks will have to be installed sooner or later anyway as the CDL+ end advances.  It is merely a matter of time before it replaces the previous end as the new standard.’ ”

Excerpts reprinted from The Canmaker© - January 2009 - Sayers Publishing