China's Can Industry Overview

The demand for cans has been increasing year by year, and the materials for cans are also constantly being reformed. Traditional aluminum cans will still dominate the market, and the paper cans that emerged in previous years have also triggered a material revolution, and the advantages of steel cans will gradually become more prominent.

The canning industry in China began in the 1980s, when only 2.4 billion were produced annually. In recent years, the can manufacturing industry in China has developed rapidly, and the demand for cans has also increased year by year. At present, the annual consumption of domestic cans is about 8 billion cans.

Aluminum cans still dominate the market
Aluminum cans first appeared in the late 1950s, the development speed is very fast, and it occupies a considerable proportion in beverage packaging containers. With the improvement of the overall level of the beer and beverage manufacturing industry, the amount of aluminum cans in the world is increasing year by year. By the end of this century, the global consumption of aluminum cans has reached 180 billion, and the current annual demand is about 210 billion, accounting for more than half of the global metal container production.

Globally, the global aluminum can market is mainly distributed in developed countries and regions. The global aluminum cans consumption ratio is approximately 53% in North America, 19% in Europe (including Australia, New Zealand), 14% in South America, and 14% in Asia. Since the mid-1980s, the European aluminum can market has been showing a steady growth trend, with an annual growth rate of 5%. In North America, the United States is the most important place of production and consumption of aluminum cans. The production of aluminum strips for aluminum cans and cans is relatively mature, and it continues to grow steadily. In recent years, the consumption of aluminum cans in Central and South America is also relatively large, nearly 20 billion per year; and in Asia (excluding Japan), the annual consumption of aluminum cans is no less than 20 billion.

Compared with developed countries, China's per capita aluminum cans consumption is still very low, with an annual average of only 80 cans/person, while the United States has exceeded 400 cans/person. Therefore, China's aluminum can market has great potential for development.

Due to the complex process of aluminum cans and the demand for raw materials, three-quarters of China's aluminum cans rely on imports, and the raw materials used in domestic cans are all dependent on imports. Each year, a total of US$1 billion is required to consume, which becomes the successor to imported cars, color TVs, and refrigerators. The fourth largest consumer of foreign exchange.

With the continuous rise of international aluminum prices, aluminum can manufacturers have become increasingly difficult to survive. Three of China's 25 aluminum can-making companies have closed down. In addition, experiments have shown that during the processing of the cans, once the protective coating is peeled off, it will cause contact between the aluminum alloy on the inner wall of the can and the beverage, and the aluminum will gradually dissolve, especially when the can is filled with acidic or alkaline beverages. maximum. Coupled with aluminum cans polluting the environment, the country has introduced a corresponding policy, clearly stated that it will no longer approve the new aluminum can production line. In this context, steel cans and paper cans emerged as alternatives to aluminum cans.

Steel cans have obvious advantages
Steel cans are emerging domestic can production methods. Compared with the traditional three-piece cans, the advantage of the "steel two-piece can" is obvious: "Two-piece" manufacturing technology is more advanced, the production speed is faster, the output is higher and the cost is lower; The price of the steel plate is lower; the steel two-piece can body has no weld seam and is a whole, not afraid of leakage, which is beneficial to the shelf life of beverages.

Shanghai Baosteel Industry Development Co., Ltd. is the only company in China that currently owns the manufacturing technology of “steel two-piece cans”. Shanghai Baosteel has established a production line in Shanghai and Hebei. In March 2006, Shanghai Baosteel invested RMB 300 million in Chengdu Xindu District to build a “steel two-piece can” production line with an annual capacity of 500 million cans. It was put into production in June 2007. The project fills the gap in the production of cans in western China and will play an active role in promoting the food and beverage industry in Chengdu, Sichuan, and Southwest China. By 2010, Baosteel's steel can production capacity will increase to 2-3 billion per year.

Steel cans are environmentally friendly, high-tech packaging materials. The products can completely replace imported aluminum cans, and the production costs are relatively low, and in line with the country's industrial policy, is an alternative to aluminum cans, the market prospect is broad.

Paper cans lead material revolution
Relative to aluminium cans, the space savings for steel cans are not large. The advantages of paper cans instead of aluminum cans are very obvious. Paper cans cost only about 20% of aluminum cans, can be produced in small batches, and also suitable for small and medium enterprises.

In 2002, the engineering and technical personnel of the Beijing Institute of Advanced Technologies developed a successful China's first paper can production line equipment. The paper can production line is the product of straw pulp die casting technology. It uses cheap grass pulp as the main raw material, uses the similar alloy principle, and is made of appropriate auxiliary materials to make slurry. After selecting different dies, it is formed on the die casting line after die casting. , Drying and setting, then finishing, coating, ready to be easily degradable paper cans. Its strength, hardness, toughness are very good, superior performance. This technology has been granted a number of national patents and has been strictly examined by the national technical supervision and inspection department, which is considered a revolution in the fields of environmental protection and materials.

The birth of paper cans overcomes various drawbacks of aluminum cans, and the material utilization rate of paper cans is up to 100%, and can be used repeatedly. It is an environmentally friendly innovative packaging product that meets the requirements of modern society to protect the environment and conserve resources.

In recent years, Wuhan has also developed a new type of cans, which are made of recyclable cardboard. The price is about 0.25 yuan each, which is only a quarter of aluminum cans; The waste straw resources have developed paper cans made from straw pulp. They have passed the test of China's packaging product quality supervision and inspection center in terms of pressure resistance, leakage, fall, seal, and aluminum cap separation force. Has successfully passed the beer filling test, the project can produce 720 million cans of paper cans.

Paper cans are not very different from aluminum cans in terms of appearance and use, but their excellent properties have injected new vitality into the market of limited-open cans. Experts expect that the annual demand for Chinese paper cans will gradually reach 15 billion, and the development prospects are broad.

Lightweight trend of cans
At present, China has become the largest packaging power in the world after the United States and Japan. According to statistics, last year China's metal packaging consumed 2.1 million tons of raw materials. With the continuous rise of international non-ferrous metal prices and the intensified competition in the beverage packaging market in recent years, the pressure on can-making enterprises has increased. In order to increase material utilization and reduce production costs, can-making enterprises have to minimize the production of cans. Sheet thickness reduces single tank weight. Technological transformation and technological innovation characterized by light weight are quietly emerging.

The lightweighting of cans involves many key technologies, of which the can forming process and mold technology are very important aspects. Some domestic manufacturers have started technical research in this area. For example, Jiangsu Tongxuantang Biological Engineering Co., Ltd. began experimenting with cold rolled tinplate and twice cold rolled tinplate since last year. After technical improvements, the thickness of the can of iron can be reduced by 0.01mm, and the weight is lighter by 5g. . In this way, 1 ton of tinplate was increased from 31,500 cans to 33,250 now. Although the cans are thinner than before, they can still guarantee the quality of the products and will not cause any safety problems.

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