Spain is set to be the first European country to start producing Crown Cork & Seal's SuperEnd end for beverage cans, following its successful launch in a number of other world markets.
The company said that following recent successful market tests on over 1 million samples shipped from the company's US operation, the new lightweight 202 diameter end is on schedule to be supplied to customers from last month.
In anticipation of this rollout, a major soft drinks company has already begun to convert several of its Spanish filling lines to accommodate the new end. The company claims that the end offers consumers greater seam integrity and strength, easier openability through improved finger access as well as better pourability and drinkability.
In addition to consumer benefits, the 202 end is also said to bring about significant cost reductions for fillers because it uses 10 per cent less aluminium.
John Clinton, vice president Sales & Marketing, Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East said: "The roll-out of the end has been successful both in the USA & South Africa. In excess of 10 billion SuperEnd ends have already been produced to date in the USA, while South Africa is about to reach 5 billion. Following this success, the European introduction is the result of over five years of activity designed to ensure a near seamless roll-out of the new end."
Crucially, the company says that implementation of the new technology requires no changes to existing filler equipment and only minor changes to seaming rolls and chucks.
Clinton added: "Over the coming years we will continue to aggressively pursue the roll-out of the SuperEnd end across Europe and such are the benefits to both fillers and consumers, we are convinced that it will become the European and indeed, Global standard for beverage can ends for many years to come."
The European patent of the end was recently upheld by the European Patents Office following an opposition claim lodged by a competitor. The company has said that this decision protects this proprietary technology for Crown and its licensees. Additional protections through improvements to the base SuperEnd end technology are pending in Europe and globally.