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Bowtie Budweiser can technology revealed

As appeared in The Canmaker, May 2013

Canmaking professionals attending the Cannex trade show in Atlanta this week are discovering how the new ‘Bowtie’ Budweiser cans due to be launched across the US on 6 May are being manufactured.

The aluminium Budweiser cans, described by brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev as the ‘world’s most unique’ and ‘like nothing seen before’ use a distinctive wasted shape reflecting the ‘bowtie’ long used for Budweiser over years.

A-B InBev said in a recent release that its engineers had to solve a number of technical challenges from when the project was started in 2010 to enable its canmaking factory at Newburgh, in New York state, to make the cans at high speed.

At Cannex, Belvac Production Machinery, based in Lynchburgh, Virginia, revealed how its new Vertical Shaper’ launched two years ago at a trade show in Germany, is used to create the novel style of the cans.

The machine uses 16 vertically-orientated turrets with tooling to modify the printed preforms before they are necked, also on a Belvac system. The cans, with a final volume of 11.3 ounces rather than the usual 12 ounces, are slightly heavier than normal to overcome the loads in the forming system.

Belvac’s recently appointed VP of branded package solutions Ricardo Ruiz de Gopegui showed examples of the cans on the company’s booth, along with videos of the machine. “Belvac had been getting a lot of inquiries from brand owners about new designs,” he said, “which is why Belvac is working on helping them. This is the first example of what is possible. It could be a game changer.”