Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) and Exal Corporation announced today that the lightweight, sustainable Coil-to-Can®, or “C2C”, aluminum bottle made from Alcoa’s bottlestock sheet and Exal’s C2C manufacturing technology won the top honor, a prestigious Diamond Award, in the 22nd annual DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation. The DuPont Awards are the packaging industry’s longest running, independently judged competition, honoring packaging materials, technology and service innovations.
Diamond Award winners are those determined to demonstrate excellence in innovation, sustainability and cost/waste reduction by the judges, comprised of global packaging executives, industry experts and consultants, and industrial designers. This year 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 in a press release announcing the award winners. “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 & ironed aluminum beverage can technology with dynamic shaping technology that at one time was only available with heavier walled extruded aluminum containers. In the past, all aluminum bottles for the North American market had been made using impact extrusion-based technology.
C2C aluminum bottles made from bottlestock sheet weigh about 40 percent less than impact extruded aluminum 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 aluminum beverage bottle. Most importantly, the C2C aluminum bottle is 100 percent recyclable and is “close looped,” meaning, like the aluminum beverage can, it can be remade into a new C2C aluminum bottle again and again.
Exal commercialized its Coil-to-Can® technology in 2008 with the production of aluminum 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 aluminum bottle for several of its Coke soft drink brands.
“We are very pleased to be recognized with the DuPont Packaging Awards’ highest honor for our commitment to innovation, sustainability and cost improvement. It is a testament to the power of the true partnership we have with Alcoa. We are particularly proud of the creative, committed, hardworking “Coil to Can” operations team at Exal that made the lightweight bottle a commercial reality,” said Edward B. Martin, Exal Business Development Director.
“Alcoa is extremely proud and thankful for this highly regarded recognition as a DuPont Diamond Award winner. The C2C aluminum 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 aluminum package option for beverage marketers,” said Curtis Hughes, Alcoa Commercial Vice President Rigid Packaging.
The C2C aluminum bottle was also recently recognized by the Institute of Packaging Professionals with a 2009/2010 Ameristar Award, 2009 International Can of Year Award sponsored by Sayers Publishing Group, and won an American Business “Stevie” 2009 Business Innovation of the Year award.