To help customers cope with the rising cost of tinplate, Chinese equipment manufacturer Golden Wing Machinery has retooled its DRD canmaking lines to handle thinner sheets.

Golden Wing’s lines have been capable of processing DR8 steel sheets down to 0.17mm, but new orders the new tooling will be able to handle gauges of 0.15-0.16mm, says export manager Rosemary Ke. “If customers use tinplate with higher ductility, we can try to further downgauge to 0.14-0.15mm,” she adds. 

While some European-made equipment has been capable of processing lighter gauges, the thinnest in China has been 0.17mm, says Ke. This is due to the manufacturers’ tooling and the quality of tinplate used by domestic canmakers.

The latest DRD line for non-round two-piece cans runs at up to 320 cans per minute using a four-lane system, which is double the output of Golden Wing’s previous lines. To achieve the increased capacity, improvements were made in the speed and precision of the feeding system and in the nominal force and precision of the press, Ke explains.

Golden Wing has also included a compound lining function to its non-round end making lines, which now reach 500 ends per minute using a two-lane system. The six-times increase in capacity was possible following changes to the cam profile which enables the application gun to operate at 300rpm.