Presenter: Hiroaki Tamura, Asahi Breweries, Ltd., Ibaraki, Japan. Coauthor(s): Kimiaki Yamashita, Asahi Breweries, Ltd., Ibaraki, Japan; Kouhei Yuge and Takashi Kitazumi, Seikei University, Tokyo, Japan.
Can containers account for the largest percentage of beer beverages according to container type in the Japanese market. The ability to manufacture can products in an efficient and stable manner is one of the most important challenges for breweries. At the same time, in recent years there has been a sharp push to reduce the volume of can containers and make them lighter, so there is a very strong demand to achieve stable handling of these containers, which are physically weak. In order to address these issues, Asahi Breweries conducted detailed analysis of the behavior of can products in actual manufacturing situations and developed a three-dimensional (3D) simulation model in order to achieve stable handling of cans. The model was developed by precisely entering data that was considered to be effective, ranging from equipment dimensions and detailed properties of materials to the frictional resistance of lubricants, in addition to manufacturing conditions. Through repeated trial and error, we developed an effective model that very closely matched the movement of actual cans. Using the simulation model, the actual process can be improved, and the optimum manufacturing conditions can be determined, even if different comparison equipment is used. Our vision of the future is to widely and effectively utilize the simulation model, such as for deploying new materials, starting up new canning lines, and optimizing existing canning lines.
Hiroaki Tamura received a M.S. degree in biosciences from the University of Tsukuba in 2006 and began working for Asahi Breweries, Ltd. From 2006 to 2009, he worked in the packaging section. He is currently an industrial engineer at the Production Technology Center.