How Cans Are Made

Making a Two-Piece Can

How many pieces are used to make a can? How involved is the process? Get an inside look at how the food and beverage cans we use every day are manufactured.

Making A Two-Piece Can
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 hundred 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.


Making a Three-Piece Can


Making A Three-Piece Can:
Shearing The large coil of metal is cut into sheets at the rate of 160 sheets per minute on the shear pressImageShearing The large coil of metal is cut into pre-scolled sheets at the rate of 150 sheets per minute. The irregular ends of the sheets are designed for the maximum number of ends per sheet.

Coating An inside protective coating is placed on the sheets and cured.ImageCoating An inside protective coating is placed on the pre-scroll sheet and cured.

Printing The sheets are decorated with whatever printing the customer desires and then an over coat of varnish is placed on the decorated sheet and cured.

The body sheets are now stacked on pallets for shipment to a fabricating plant.
ImagePrinting The sheets are decorated with whatever printing the customer desires and then an over coat of varnish is placed on the decorated sheet.

Coating A second inside protective coating is placed on the sheets and cured.

Slitting Body sheets containing up to 35 body blanks per sheet are slit into individual body blanks which will be formed into cans.ImageScroll Shearing The pre-scrolled sheets are now cut into small scroll sheets which will be fed into the end making press.

End Forming Ends are stamped out of the scroll sheets at the rate of 650 ends per minute. Finished ends are packed into tubes for delivery to fabricating plants and customers.

Body Forming Body blanks are fed into a bodymaker where they are formed into cylinders and joined at their side seams by cement or weld.

Flanging The formed cylinder comes from the bodymaker to the flanger. Here the metal on both ends is rolled to form a flange on each end of the can. This flange will at a later time accept double seaming.ImageDouble Seaming One end, top or bottom, depending on customer specifications, is double seamed on the can.

Spray Coating A final coating is placed on the interior surface of the can. This is a specially compounded protective coating.

Baking here the final interior coating is baked and cured through a funnel type oven where the time-temperature cycle must be controlled carefully.
ImageTesting A 100 per cent quality control inspection for any micro leak is given to every can.

Packing Cans are packed into cartons or placed on pallets for delivery to customers.


More links about how Beverage Cans are made:

How It's Made - Aluminum Cans | Discovery Channel

The Ingenious Design of the Aluminum Beverage Can |

The Making of a Beer Can - Hops on Pointe | Visy Packaging

The Life Cycle of the Aluminum Can | Rexam


More links about how Food Cans are made:

The Journey of the Can | Canstruction

The Canning Process | Canned Food Alliance

What It Says on the Tin: A Brief History of Canned Food | History Channel

Miracle of the Can | The American Can Company