JAPAN /THAILAND – Major canmaker Toyo Seikan Kaisha developed a container using can-making techniques that both significantly reduce environmental impact and resource use.
The Birdy ready-to-drink coffee brand was launched in the growing Thai drinks market using Toyo Seikan’s 20cl sTULC can, a development of the TULC cans that have been used in the Japanese beer and beverage market for almost 20 years.
It is made from polyester-laminated steel with a ‘dry-DWI’ system that requires less lubricant, less washer chemicals, no extra internal coatings and no waste process water, compared with conventional drawn-and-wall-iron canmaking processes.
Compared with the canned coffees sold in huge volumes on the Japanese market, the Birdy can for Ajinomoto (Thailand) Ltd is also 30% lighter and its steel substrate enables the use of ‘tapping’ quality control systems.
The sTULC cans for Birdy coffee are made at the Next Can Innovation factory in Thailand, a joint venture between Swan Industries and Toyo Seikan.
Toyo Seikan, which in addition to conventional drawn and wall-ironed two-piece cans produces seven billion TULC cans a year in their various forms in the Asian markets on 23 production lines, plans to further expand TULC’s use in its mission to promote the environmentally friendly message.
“We think that dry-DWI should ideally replace conventional DWI,” said Ludovic Touitou, spokesman for Toyo Seikan. “We can say that this technology represents a great environmental improvement on conventional DWI cans.
“Also, compared with the original TULC system, it opened the perspective for even further lightweighting, and it is possible that this technology might become the replacement generation.”
Toyo Seikan’s innovation was recently recognized during a gala dinner at The Canmaker Summit held on 29 September at Istanbul, Turkey, where the Japanese company was presented with the Can of the Year Award for 2011.