Aluminium cans are seen as a premium packaging type that many breweries and beverage manufacturers are switching over to. Quite simply they are a superior form of packaging for several reasons:
1. They are 100% impermeable to oxygen. For glass bottles the actual glass itself is impermeable but the gasket under the lid or crown seal leaks at a very slow rate meaning your product will eventually go flat and oxygen will ingress under the cap and oxidise the beverage. Aluminium cans are a completely hermetic metal on the metal seal so no oxygen at all can damage the beer and no CO2 will escape from the container. This extends shelf life and locks in freshness.
2. Aluminium cans are more environmentally friendly
3. Aluminium cans do not get damaged as easily or smash as glass
4. Aluminium cans are lighter and require less fossil fuels to transport
5. Aluminium cans block the damaging effects of light. Both UV rays and other visible light can penetrate through glass.
The beer left in the sun on a sunny day for less than 5 min will already show signs of being skunked. Bottles that sit in the ambient light of a retail store will get damaged by the lighting within a few days of sitting on the shelf. Aluminium cans on the other hand eliminate this issue.
For these reasons, many beer brewers who care about quality and longevity are switching over to cans. With this influx of breweries getting into canning we have seen many breweries either purchase our Cannular Manual Canning Machine, Cannular Semi-Auto Canning Machine or our Cannular Fully Auto Canning Machine. Generally the breweries that purchase these machines are also starting to look at branding too. The first place to start is to purchase cans from us and then label these cans with one of these Labelling Machines. Once breweries in Australia grow to a certain size they then start looking at getting can's pre labeled. KegLand does not do can printing unfortunately so this is often when customers start sourcing cans from Visy or Orora. Visy and Orora are the only two companies in Australia that supply printed aluminium cans and they have a minimum order quantity of 50k units per printed can style.
Cans consist of two different parts. The "can base" and the "lid". KegLand, Visy and Orora all use the same compatible and interchangeable can base. You can purchase lids from KegLand and use them on a Visy can base for instance. You can also purchase an Orora lid and use them on a Visy can base. With that said every time you switch to a different lid you need to use a different "chuck" as the chuck engages with the can lid. This will require some time to switch across so it's ideally not a job you want to do frequently. Every time you change the chuck you need to re-tune the X and Y gap on your rolls that seam the can lid. The main lids that are sold for standard 66mm diameter cans are:
KegLand - B64
Orora - Super Ends
Visy - CDLE
The B64 end is an older-style profile. The Super Ends and the CDLE are a more modern profile and these profiles were invented as they were able to save a very small amount of aluminium and thus reduced the production cost of the lids. With that said the CDLE and Super Ends are much harder to tune and require much tighter tolerances on the X and Y gap on your machine. If you are the type of brewery that plans to maintain equipment yourself we would not recommend CDLE and Super Ends as they are simply harder to tune and you should consider using a professional for these can profiles.
As KegLand has many customers that maintain their own machines we have chosen to use the older B64 lid as this is a more robust solution that makes it much easier for our customers to tune the X and Y gap and we feel that the very small increase in lid cost is worth paying for. It's probably worth noting that in many cases KegLand sells lids cheaper than Orora and Visy anyway as much of the cost saving in the CDLE and Super ends is simply absorbed by Visy and Orora to pay for the patents on these newer lid designs.