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Article | March 31, 2004
Shaped steel can reaps awards
A shaped steel can for a 125-mL aerosol air freshener sold by Brunel S.A. of France has won two prestigious packaging awards since it hit store shelves in France in May, 2003.
Filled by a contract packager and sold in drug stores and DIY outlets for 4.20 Euros the Ambiance d’Ailleurs can is made by USC Europe on specialized hydroforming equipment. Printing is done in five colors on an offset press.
To produce the container a standard three-piece steel can is placed in a mold into which pressurized water is injected to push the steel out to the walls of the mold. The hydroforming machine currently in use is a linear four-cavity system not capable of more than 20 cans/min. But USC Europe indicates that should the marketplace take a liking to shaped cans a higher-speed machine could be readily developed. USC Europe has been supplying shaped steel cans for just over two years.
According to Olivier Vanlerbergh marketing manager at Brunel the shaped steel can and overcap are about 20% more costly than a more conventional steel aerosol can. But he justifies the added cost by pointing out how much more eye-catching it is on store shelves. “This package has done very well for us” he adds.
Packaging competition judges have also been impressed. The can won an Oscar de l’ Emballage at last November’s Emballage show in Paris and it won the Aerosol Category in the UK’s Best in Metal Awards sponsored by the Metal Packaging Manufacturers Assn.
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