'Double-wall' unit for transport in Europe done? The guide smiles - he's obviously heard the question before. "The flyovers and conveyor belts are magnetized," he explains. After the white coat is applied the cans move into an oven for curing at about 180 deg. C, then re-emerge for printing in up to four colours. Each colour is of course applied separately. For Heineken cans this means three stages, to receive in turn the characteristic green, the black logotype, and the red star and legends of historic awards. Throughout the process the cans retain the same position and the machinery is keyed to register the successive colours with unerring accuracy. Pressure-tested A further period of curing follows, after which the cans are crimped at the top. Also a flange is formed at the top of the can to make it ready for the final fitting of lids at Heineken's own plant. They are then pressure-tested for leaks - a few faul ty cans being abruptly tossed into metal baskets on the shop floor - and sprayed in side with a solvent-based coating. This ap plication has a dual purpose - to insulate the product form the can surface and vice versa. The coat is in turn oven-cured and the cans are taken on the overhead con veyors to the palletizing department. There they are moved onto pallets - 10 layers of Heineken cans per pallet - clad in cardboard and strapped in position by steel bands. Each pallet carries about 3400 cans bound first for Heineken breweries and then for export. Packing methods are not standards but vary to suit the needs of customers. It is possible for example to accommodate up to 19 layers on one pallet (not for 2-piece cans). Direct feed development? Future developments at Oss include the possible introduction of a direct-feed method by which coils of tin plate will come straight to the plant from the mills and will be fed directly into the drawing presses, thus eliminating the intermediate stage in which the metal goes first to other plants for cutting into sheets. There is also considerable activity in the area of re-cycling scrap. Skeleton sheets left after stamping out are already being returned, plus trimmings, to a de-tinning factory for treatment before return to the mills. Another aspect of scrap salvage in experimental development is the design and operation of separation equipment for sorting cans and metal objects from house hold garbage and preparing them for the de-tinner. This is regarded as commerci ally viable provided the rubbish tips are reasonably near the de-tinner plants and also that the rubbish will yield a sufficient ly high percentage of metal. A new type of crate for transport of Heine ken export beer in returnable bottles - the Heineken Europa, incorporating several advantages over other types in use - is now in full production at the rate of 6,500 a week. Made in a thermoplastic material, polypropylene, it is already used on a large scale for Heineken exports to Belgium and is being introduced in France. It is also to be adopted for exports to other European countries. The Europa is designed specifically for serveral types of 25 cl returnable export bottles. Its most important feature is its exceptional strength, which permits stacking of four crate-loaded pallets pla ced on top of each other. This durability results mainly from the "double-wall" structure - a form of construction which achieves the degree of robustness deman ded while using less material than that re quired by most other crates. The smoothness of the Europa's outer sur face makes it easy to wash and its con struction in polypropylene - it is one of the first Heineken crates to be made in this material - permits it to be cleaned with chemical agents. Injection moulding In the course of design, the crate produc tion planning team discussed the Heine ken specification with the producer, a Dutch company skilled in the injection moulding techniques by which modem packaging materials can be shaped to any requirement. After a few design changes, including adjustment of the fitting blocks or rims on the bottom of the crate, the final drawings were approved and the Europa went into production in July last year. Three shifts are engaged on manufacture of the crate, which comes from the pro duction line finished in Heineken yellow and with the Heineken bar embossed and screened on all four sides. New Heineken export crate

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Heineken Contact | 1980 | | pagina 9