By Les Watkins
Current annual production of about 300 million aluminium beverage cans is expected to be doubled with Amcor Australia investing a further $40 million in its South Auckland plant.
The new production line was officially launched last month, offering beverage makers innovative technology, including an eight-colour print process, never before available in New Zealand.
“The new plant will also provide greater production volumes and speeds, enabling cans to be produced and delivered to businesses faster than ever before,” says Amcor Australasia managing director Michael Garrard.
“With enhanced printing capabilities and high-quality graphics, products will offer originality and product break-through for our New Zealand customers.”
The principal supplier of electrical components in the new plant was Rockwell Automation – including the Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix programmable automation controller which has already proved its value for Amcor at its Revesby plant in Australia (see opposite page).
“In a high-speed, multi-stage manufacturing process, automatic line control is critical for efficient operation,” says site manager Nabil Askari.
“In Amcor’s case, where several can sizes are produced on each line, automation provides better visibility and control at various process parameters leading to consistent and efficient operation.”
Mr Garrard stresses that investment in innovation is essential for the manufacturing sector.
“It is critical to achieving the productivity improvements that our sector needs,” he says.
“Delivering world-competitive capabilities more efficiently to our New Zealand beverage customers will help them continue to drive innovation and stay ahead of their local and global competitors.