Polish packaging manufacturer Can-Pack operates an aluminium can production facility at Aurangabad, in the state of Maharashtra, India. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Maharashtra in January 2008 for the project.
It is the first plant in India to be engaged in the manufacture of aluminium cans. Can-Pack India, a subsidiary of Can-Pack, is operating the manufacturing site.
Can-Pack has invested an estimated $100m in the plant. This is the largest Polish investment made in India in recent years. The company plans to make further investment of around $85m, depending on market trends.
The Aurangabad facility is being developed in phases. In its first phase, the plant began commercial production from two lines with a capacity of around 950 million cans a year. The first line has an installed capacity of 650 million annually and is suitable for future expansion.
The aluminium plant manufactures two-piece 33cl and 50cl cans along with Fit cans. Even though India is the main market, the cans produced at the Aurangabad facility are also exported to the Middle East (Dubai market) and Central Asia.
Global beverage companies including Coca Cola, Pepsi, Heineken, Carlsberg, SAB-Miller and InBev have signed up with Can-Pack for its produced items.
In the first phase, the plant employed 170 highly skilled workers. It employed 300 people in the second phase. It will also generate indirect employment in areas such as can recycling.
The facility includes a laboratory with an advanced SPC system supplied by TRAC and latest auto enamel rating equipment.
The quality assurance system at the plant is supported with fully automated quality control equipment, to reduce human risk in the process.
The plant has a 5MW substation, a 100t mounded LPG storage system and a one million litre water tank.
The two-piece aluminium beverage cans are produced using a drawing and ironing (D&I) process.
The process involves drawing and ironing of a sheet or blank of a material, untinned low-carbon cold-rolled steel, to develop a tabular piece. The tabular piece acts as the can body. The sheet is roughened to maintain uniform density with minute depressions.
Oil or other lubricants are used in the process for reducing the mechanical and frictional forces on the blank and on the D&I dies. The lubricants used are applied on the roughened surface during the D&I operation to eliminate galling of the dies and minimise fracture of the metal.
Novelis, a subsidiary of India’s Hindalco Industries, is the supplier of aluminium to the plant. Hindalco acquired Novelis for $5.95bn in February 2007.
The equipment at the plant has been supplied by Stolle USA, CMB UK, ITS Germany, Belvac USA and Atlas Copco. The machines and other line elements are managed with Allen Bradley controllers linked into a common network.
Aurangabad contributes 30% of the total beer produced in the country and also has seven beer manufacturing facilities, including UB, SABMiller and Carlsberg, in the region.
The demand for cans by the three beverage companies, along with aerated drink makers Coca-Cola and Pepsi, has increased the beverage market in India by 20%.
Being located at Waluj is an advantage as there is also a Hindalco aluminium manufacturing facility in the vicinity. The region also has many major breweries.
The establishment of the plant in India reduces the customs duty and other local duties. Can-Pak saves $8 on the manufacture of every 1,000 cans.
The first phase production capacity of the factory could be increased up to two billion cans a year in the future, based on market conditions and additional investments. The infrastructure in the first line is sufficient to expand its production capacity to one billion cans. Can-Pack also possesses the land required for the facility expansion.