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Asia CanTech comes up Trumps

Monday saw the beginning of the conference schedule at Asia CanTech 2016, which is currently taking place in the Malaysia capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The session began with star attraction Robert Bourque, president of Crown Asia Pacific, presenting on how Crown is helping brands to engage with consumers in the region. Bourque was keen to stress that Asia is a growing market with a growing middle class and this is increasing the demand for metal packaging. The fact that “metal packaging is infinitely recyclable”, according to Bourque, means that the metal packaging market has a story to tell that needs to be utilised.

The Crown Asia Pacific president also focused on how Crown is working on speciality can sizes with younger consumers, as the sleek style has been well received by health conscious consumers. There is also a premium look for speciality, he said and cited Crown’s work with Guinness to celebrate its 50th anniversary in Singapore as an example. There was also an interesting snippet of information, where Bourque quoted from The Nelson Report survey, which showed overwhelmingly that people are prepared to spend more for a product if it has a positive impact on the environment.

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The other presentations featured a range of speakers offering their expertise with the likes of CMB’s Andrew Truelove on its new Reformat machinery, which endeavours to reflect the needs of modern day can making.  Mark Mohn from Prime Controls presented an entertaining view of the Internet of Things. He also explained how the Asia market is now 50 per cent of the Internet uses globally, and so the importance for usability within the industry looks more important than ever.

Sensory Analytics were able to showcase to the audience how the company is the exclusive measurement tool for Monster energy drink’s technical centre and Mall and Herlan presented on bottle cans and referenced their monobloc steel can, which was a world first.

The afternoon concluded with the Candid Forum question and answer session with Tony Foo Mun Choong, deputy general manager for Kian Joo’s three-piece can division; Crown’s Kumar Bhosale, regional technical manager of its Asia Pacific division and Tata Steel’s technical director, Simone Vooijs. A number of topics were discussed including innovation, supply chain management and non-BPA coatings. It proved to be an engaging hour and you will be able to see the highlights on our website in the next few days.

The highlight of Asia CanTech was once again the Asia CanTech Awards and Gala Dinner which took place on day two of the event. Key industry figures from the Asian metal packaging market came together to celebrate success within the can making industry. There was a three course meal and traditional Malaysian dancing, which was included as entertainment.

Here are the award winners at a glance:

Aerosol award: Ball Aerocan India’s Engage deodorant can

Decorative: Crown’s Monster Energy Hangzhou sleek can 355ml

Beverage two-piece: Crown’s Pepsi Bevcan Nong Khae Thailand sleek 375ml

Food three-piece: Sinar Djaja can ‘La Bold’

General line: Tinpak Green Tea Gun Powder

Innovation: STI Can ‘Mojito’

Two-piece food: Swan-Salam

Supreme Award: Crown’s Monster Energy

Crown managed to scoop three awards with particular reference to its Monster Energy sleek can. The judges agreed that the can was put forward due to its tactile use of inks and varnish, which gives it that wet look effect, along with the use of the filled in tab technology on the end and the Monster Claw logo for solid product identity.

On day three, the conference schedule began with Simon Vooijs, technical director at Tata Steel. She outlined how laminated steel is the future for the can making industry. She introduced Tata Steel’s Protact coating and the benefits to the can making industry including efficiency, cost and sustainability due to the shortened can line that Protact promotes.

The conference was full of activity as the news filtered through that Donald Trump was announced as the new president elect of the US. Many of the can making industry chatted animatedly as to the implications of this surprising news. The show concluded with the other keynote – Kian Joo’s Ooi Teik Huat, Kian Joo’s group chief financial officer. He explained how Malaysia is a progressive Muslim country and the world’s 19th largest economy.

There will be a comprehensive review of the show in the December/January issue of CanTech International.

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