Asia CanTech 2016 – Kuala Lumpur
Asia CanTech – a review
Recently, the metal packaging industry converged on the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur for Asia Can Tech. Alex Fordham reports.
After a busy day preparing for the show, some of the CanTech team were able to sample the local tourist hotspots on Sunday, including the very impressive and imposing Petronas Towers.
After registration opened on Monday, the afternoon began with the first tabletop session which allowed our suppliers to conduct some decent business. The day concluded with the first networking dinner of the week, which was very well attended.
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 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.
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 was able to showcase to the audience how the company is the exclusive measurement tool for Monster energy drink, and Mall and Herlan presented on bottle cans and referenced its monobloc steel Cjln, which was a world first.
The afternoon continued with the Candid Fonun question and answer session with Tony Foo Mun Choong, deputy general manager or 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 starting on page 33.
The tabletop exhibitions followed, with the room bustling with business being conducted. That evening the gala dinner took place and included the Asia CanTech Awards ceremony (see page 31).
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 its 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. During this time, Jack Knight offered an irreverent look at the three-piece can market in Asia. He said that due to the growing middle class in the region, there is an increasing demand for three-piece cans. Knight divulged to the audience that tl1ere are currently 1,500 can plants and 5,000 presses globally.
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.
The organisers would like to thank our speakers, organisers and delegates for making the show an enjoyable experience, and hopefully productive for you. We look forward to seeing Robert Bourque, Crown Asia you next year.
The dates for Asia CanTech 2017 have been announced. Please make a note in your diary that next year’s event will be taking place on 30 October – 1 November 2017, Bangkok, Thailand. Due to Metpack next year, we will return with Euro CanTech in 2018 in Milan, Italy.
As usual, you can receive more information from our events manager, Megan Freeman, via email at [email protected]