How Cans Are Made

The beverage can is a highly engineered product that has been optimized for speed of manufacture as well as performance throughout the supply chain.
Man in safety vest in plant where aluminum cans are on conveyor belt

Here is an inside look at how this modern marvel is made:

  • Cup Blanking and Drawing - Press punches out hundreds of cups per minute from huge coils of aluminum or steel
  • Ironing and Doming - Cup is forced through a series of rings to iron out cans to full length and form bottom dome.
  • Trimming - Cans are spun as cutting tool trims to length.
  • Cleaning - Washer cycles hundreds of cans per minute through multiple cleaning stations.
  • Printing and Varnishing - At printing station, cans are rolled against cylinder to print up to four colors simultaneously.
  • Bottom Varnishing - Cans are conveyed past applicator that varnishes bottom.
  • Baking - Cans wind through conveying system in oven to dry and set lithography.
  • Inside Spraying - A protective specially compounded coating is applied to inside of cans.
  • Baking - Trip through funnel oven bakes and cures inside coating.
  • Necking In - Can necks are reduced at top to fit the designated end size.
  • Flanging and Testing - Can rims are flanged for future double seaming of ends. Then, each can is mechanically tested for leakage. Finally, cans are automatically stacked in cartons or on pallets for shipment.


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