Page 12 - Packaging News Magazine Nov-Dec 2018
P. 12

November-December 2018
LEFT: NCI shareholder and chair, Frauke Tyrell (facing camera) talks to Qi Luan, project engineer, at the official plant opening in August.
BELOW: Indexing of cans prior to entry into the Wilco leak tester.
BOTTOM: Automated control unit for line settings.
if I have some different material prop- erties I can get the same strength. So it’s more about how the can is formed. The line incorporates special technol- ogy to enable it to handle those differ- ent strength and thickness plates.”
While the recent investment in its aerosol capabilities is significant, NCI is by no means content to stop there. “One of the key messages is that we’re on the move, we’re investing,” says Hengel. “We’re looking to grow and re- ally invest with customers, so that’s at the heart of what we’re trying to do.”
And ultimately, Hengel and his team will be on the move with NCI’s customers, working in lock-step to help solve their problems and meet their needs.
“In the packaging space, if you think of it as a commodity, you’re in trouble,” he advises. “We’ve got to look at how we can add value. We’ve got to look at the fact that the packaging we produce is our customer’s key communication tool. Moreover, we look at how we can help our customer be successful, whether it’s even just something as simple as helping them get their artwork right, or whether it’s subtleties in choosing colours that are the most effective, right through to redesigning packs or coming up with new technologies. We’ve certainly seen ourselves as playing a win-win game. How do we help our customers win, while we win as well?”
And this is the question NCI is an- swering by investing in innovation. It’s a winning formula. ■
it’s really about the speed and quali- ty. There’s a real step up in the way those things work and work togeth- er,” he says. “Where typically they might fight each other when the fast- er you go, the more risk you intro- duce. I think where the technology has gone is giving us the ability to do both, and also do a whole range of things on one line where we can change over more time-effectively.”
One of the most significant advance- ments in NCI’s new aerosol line – and its subsequent ability to boost output while maintaining quality – is its detection systems.
“If there’s an imperfection in the product or process we have multiple layers of detection, from force moni- toring on the can body formation, through to energy monitoring on the welding, side stripe quality detection or the highest end leak detection ca- pability – it is detected as it’s pro- duced and rejected straight away,” says Hengel. “It’s just really coming back to the risk and challenge of aero- sol packaging to give the customer that absolute confidence. So that’s one of the fundamental things that we’ve tried to do. How do we both get
We’ve got to look at how we can add value. We’ve got to look at the fact that the packaging we produce is our customer’s key communication tool.”
the maximum output and cost effi- ciency without compromising the quality? We’ve achieved that through detection systems and camera in- spection systems and leak detection systems, and then making sure that we’ve got the top-end capability so that we can do it all.”
NCI’s also been working with an Australian company to develop cam- era detection capabilities that simply aren’t available off the shelf. This unique R&D project supports not only NCI’s ability to deliver for its customers but backs innovative local research, too.
“We didn’t feel that we could just buy exactly what we wanted,” says Hengel. “So we’re doing a bit of exper- imenting. Camera technology is changing so rapidly, and the process- ing speed of inspection systems is changing as well. So the ability to vi- sually inspect at speed and process it in enough time to the standard you want is some of the technology we’re developing. I think it will be a little bit unique and really just adds that extra layer of surety and confidence for the customer.”
The new line also has the latest line control and monitoring systems to enable a broad range of analytics and performance evaluation to be conducted line-side or remotely.
The integrated line embodies signifi- cant steps to reduce raw materials used in manufacture, passing on both economic and ecological bene- fits to NCI’s customers.
“We see that there’s probably 20 per cent more material that can come out of our aerosol cans,” says Hengel. “It’s not just about saying take 20 per cent out of the weight, but it’s about saying

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