Carnaud Metalbox Engineering forges a new era for packaging solutions 

Based in West Yorkshire with facilities in Connecticut and Shanghai, Carnaud Metalbox Engineering (CMBE) operates a global network of can-making products and services. The company’s international offices, coupled with its wide network of distributors empower it to deliver its services and products virtually anywhere in the world. Moreover, CMBE’s global presence and multiple manufacturing facilities have vastly boosted its production flexibility and efficiency. From its headquarters in Shipley, West Yorkshire, CMBE’s design and development team tirelessly works to continually improve the company’s services and products by developing new features, enhancements, and machinery. Thanks to its team’s continued hard work, CMBE delivers products that are designed to improve can quality.

Officially founded at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the 1930s, CMBE’s historical journey is one punctuated by expansion into various geographies and markets. The company’s roots date back to 1853, when it was operating as a small manufacturing textile machinery in Windhill. It wasn’t until 77 years later, when the business was acquired by Metal Box Company, that it became known as Metal Box, CMBE’s original name. The year 1930 marked the company’s inaugural venture into building can making machinery. Within a few years of receiving its first Queen’s Award and expanding into the American market, Metal Box adopted the name CMBE in 1989 and kickstarted its progression in the can-making industry by introducing the renowned 5000 Bodymaker in 1991. The company has since continued to unveil numerous ground-breaking machines, solidifying its reputation as a leading designer, developer, and manufacturer of high-performance metal forming and finishing machinery for the production of beverage, food, and aerosol cans.

One of CMBE’s recent inventions is the reformat Decorator (Decorator), a cutting-edge invention that incorporates quick change capabilities to reduce setup time and eliminate the need for tools where possible. The Decorator offers a wide range of impressive features which boast cost-saving, efficiency-enhancing, and time-saving benefits. For instance, the machine’s direct drive servo motors reduce the cost of ownership and maintenance while its Servo Registration significantly decreases the manpower and time required to produce a can to an acceptable standard, all while enhancing registration accuracy. As a result, a single operator can register the plate cylinders directly from the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) panel instead of manually adjusting each one with the help of a colleague. But the Decorator’s key selling point lies in its incorporation of a variable speed ductor roller, enabling tool-free adjustments on the fly and quick change can carriers that facilitate swift and convenient mandrel trip for seamless changeovers. In other words, CMBE’s new and improved version of the Decorator gives the same benefits of reduced tool requirements for changeovers, sustainable and efficient operation, remote monitoring, and quick release points, but with added autonomy and time-saving features. CMBE’s game-changing machinery is testament to its commitment to innovation, whether through the creation of brand-new machines or the improvement of pre-existing models.

Unparalleled innovation and technical knowledge are indeed key contributors to CMBE’s continued success. Recognizing the importance of preserving and passing on this knowledge, CMBE is dedicated to sharing it with future generations through comprehensive training courses and apprenticeships. The company has created several channels for internally sharing the knowledge, experience, and expertise of its engineers with both its customers, the industry, and aspiring engineers. One such channel is CMBE’s Academy Online Training. Originally taught in-person, as a consequence of the pandemic, the training is now offered online. CMBE’s dedication to continue providing top class training to ambitious individuals encouraged it to adapt its training style to suit a safe, online learning environment. A significant advantage of digitizing the training is its global accessibility, as trainees only require an internet connection and a platform to access the courses. The introduction of the Academy Online Training courses is backed by CMBE’s six years of proven success within its in-house training facility, with the courses being led by experienced field engineers. These instructors are former service engineers with thorough experience and knowledge gained by years of building, installing, commissioning, and servicing CMBE’s can-making equipment across the world.

Additionally, CMBE offers apprenticeship schemes that while open to everyone, are actively marketed towards female applicants. This initiative aims to address the underrepresentation of women in the industry and promote greater diversity and inclusion. As part of its long-term vision to achieve gender parity, the company is making great strides with this latest apprenticeship campaign. The primary objective is to attract more female engineering apprentices and create a more balanced field. This commitment extends not only to engineering roles but also to more general positions, marking just the initial stages of the company’s ongoing efforts. By encouraging women to pursue technical roles that allow them to use their skillset, the company aims to leverage the strengths and capabilities of a diverse workforce, ultimately enabling CMBE to achieve the best business outcomes.

With a rich history spanning nine decades, CMBE has solidified its position as an industry leader through continuous technical innovation and expertise. As the company looks to the future, its commitment to knowledge sharing through training and dedication to diversity will play a pivotal role in maintaining its success and propelling further advancements in the field of can-making. By prioritizing these aspects, CMBE is poised to sustain its legacy of excellence and contribute to ongoing progress in the industry.