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top honours for packaging innovation
The lightweight, sustainable Coil-to-Can®, or “C2C”, aluminium bottle made from Alcoa’s bottlestock sheet and Exal’s C2C manufacturing technology won the top honour at the 22nd annual DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.

The DuPont Awards are the packaging industry’s longest running, independently judged competition, honouring packaging materials, technology and service innovations.

Diamond Award winners are those determined by the judges to demonstrate excellence in innovation, sustainability and cost/waste reduction. The judging panel is comprised of global packaging executives, industry experts and consultants, and industrial designers.

Some 160 entries from around the world competed, and the Alcoa-Exal team was one of only two Diamond-level winners.

“This year we focused the DuPont Awards program on the essential elements needed to drive breakthroughs in packaging. Innovative new developments, along with cost/waste reduction and improved sustainability, are what packaged goods companies and retailers are seeking to respond to consumer needs,” said Carolann Haznedar, global business and market director, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers.

“These winners demonstrate the kind of collaborative innovation that is needed to solve such multi-dimensional problems.”

Exal Corporation’s C2C technology combines the manufacturing speed and lightweight of standard drawn and ironed aluminium beverage can technology with dynamic shaping technology that at one time was only available with heavier walled extruded aluminium containers. In the past, all aluminium bottles for the North American market had been made using impact extrusion-based technology.

C2C aluminium bottles made from bottlestock sheet weigh about 40% less than impact extruded aluminium bottles, and while the wall thickness of the C2C container is thinner than the wall of the impact extruded bottle, the C2C bottle is stronger in the areas of container deformation and burst strength.

In addition, the benefit of less metal and a higher run speed offers a competitive price when compared to an impact extruded aluminium beverage bottle. Most importantly, the C2C aluminium bottle is 100% recyclable and is “close looped,” meaning, like the aluminium beverage can, it can be remade into a new C2C aluminium bottle again and again.

Exal commercialized its Coil-to-Can® technology in 2008 with the production of aluminium bottles made from Alcoa bottlestock sheet for ESKA Still and Sparkling Water of Canada. This launch was followed by Coca-Cola using the inventive C2C aluminium bottle for several of its Coke soft drink brands.

“Alcoa is extremely proud and thankful for this highly regarded recognition as a DuPont Diamond Award winner. The C2C aluminium bottle offers breakthroughs in cost, innovation, sustainability and speed of manufacturing. The package is lighter, stronger and less expensive. It also compares favorably in weight, strength and cost to glass and PET bottles. There is now a low cost, re-sealable, recyclable, visually attractive aluminium package option for beverage marketers,” said Curtis Hughes, Alcoa Commercial Vice President Rigid Packaging.

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Alcoa and Exal Corporation won a prestigious Diamond Award in the 22nd annual DuPont Award for Packaging Innovation for the new aluminum bottle made from Alcoa’s bottlestock sheet and Exal’s Coil-to-Can® manufacturing process. Beverage marketers can now consider aluminum bottles for large scale applications for the first time.