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The Can Making Process

A can is made up of two parts (the body and the end/tab), which are made using two different processes.

Body Making Process

There are 7 stages in the can’s body making process:

Stage 1 – Lubrication - A thin film of lubricant is applied to the aluminium as it is uncoiled. This lubricant helps the metal pass through the can making process.

Stage 2 – Cupper - A circular piece of aluminium is cut out and passed into the cupper machine where it is pressed into a cup.

Stage 3 – Bodymaker - The cup is moved into the bodymaking machine where the cup is pulled out (or ironed out) to produce a can. It looks like a cup with a dome bottom.

Stage 4 - Trimmer and washer - The top of the can is trimmed off to an even height and the can is then washed.

Stage 5 – Decoration - Decorative ink is applied to the outside of the can. A spray is added to the inside of the can. It passes through an oven where the inks and spray are dried (or “cured”).

Stage 6 - Necker and flanger - The can passes through a machine that “necks in” the can opening, making the can end smaller. The flanger creates a lip on the top of the can so that the top of the can can be attached after it has been filled.

Stage 7 - Quality test and packing The can passes through a light test, which checks the can for any holes or physical damage. The cans are then placed on pallets and transported to the filler.

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