The International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers (AEROBAL) organised its competition for the world’s most innovative aluminium aerosol cans once again this year.

A panel comprising editors from specialist publications in the fields of packaging, including Packaging Europe, the aerosol industry and cosmetics selected their respective favourites in two categories: cans already on the market and prototypes. The panel of ten specialist journalists from four different continents chose the following winners of the World Aluminium Aerosol Can Award 2019.

The winner among the aluminium cans already on the market was Coombs Family Farms Maple Stream produced by Montebello Packaging of Canada. The 7 fl oz (207 ml) can has a special shoulder shape for convenient handling and was produced with a white base coating in dry offset printed graphics with gloss over varnish. It convinced the judges above all with its extraordinary print quality. One reason for this was the fact that the can manufacturer’s graphics team was involved in this new product development right from the start – from the concept phase through to the final implementation by the customer. This really paid off and was reflected more than positively in the print result.

The customer provided the graphics team with a true 4 colour process CMYK file with a lot of overprint. Selected spot colours were used to keep the overprint to a minimum and still obtain the desired printed image. The artwork was very complex, and this meant the graphics team had to interpolate the final artwork for the printed cans to achieve a match with the artwork supplied by the customer. Proprietary colour separation techniques and dry dot screening technology were used to prevent overprinting of the inks. The producer used his dot gain curves to make sure the screened area and screened images were reproduced as closely as possible to the customer’s artwork. 

US manufacturer Ball Corporation was the winner in the prototype category with its 360° technology, which enables a wide range of shapes to be created over the entire circumference of the aluminium can. The technology is not restricted to stock shapes but can also produce the proprietary shapes that the customer wants. A special graphic design, which is aligned to the respective relief area, further enhances the shape’s visual impact. It results in a can with a strong appearance when viewed from every angle and perspective. At the same time, the shape gives added grip and is thus a user-friendly ergonomic plus.

The 360° technology only comes into its own when the lithography and embossing interact perfectly with this process technology. The artwork and the relief area are then combined precisely to further emphasise the depth of the design. This can be seen very nicely in the futuristic can with its clear lines. The graphic elements match the embossing precisely. The human eye is thus seduced into perceiving the difference between the recessed areas and the rest of the can even more clearly. With their playful design and honeycomb motif, the cans demonstrate the fantastic possibilities that are now available thanks to asymmetrical embossing. It means the new 360° technology is opening up a wide spectrum of additional design possibilities for the innovative and creative design of aluminium aerosol cans.

AEROBAL’s president Leopold Werdich emphasises that the World Aluminium Aerosol Can Award inspires creativity, drives innovation and gives the industry new impetus: “Year after year, the AEROBAL competition is the benchmark for the innovative strength of the industry and a reliable indicator of new trends and ideas. This is also a reason why the competition attracts a great deal of interest and meets with a correspondingly positive response from the international packaging media. In recent years, solutions for reducing the weight of cans, breathtaking new shapes and printing techniques with photorealistic print images or fascinating tactile effects have been awarded prizes. Our competition has thus paved the way for many new ideas and improvements to make it to the markets.”

AEROBAL Secretary General Gregor Spengler is also satisfied with the results and quality of this year’s competition: “Our Aluminium Aerosol Can Award once again demonstrates our industry’s high level of performance and the creative potential of our member companies. At the same time, the competition also reflects the wealth of benefits that aluminium aerosol cans have to offer over other comparable packaging materials. Just think of their excellent hygiene standards, their first-rate product protection, their endless recyclability, their high degree of safety and their easy and consumer-friendly use.”