A critical part of the manufacture of 2 piece metal cans is the thermal cure of the internal lacquer coating. The lacquer, applied to the inside surface of the can, is cured by passing the cans through a low height mesh belt oven, often referred to as an Internal Bake Oven (IBO). Such coating is essential to provide a barrier between the metal of the can and the beverage, or food contained within it. Correct cure of the barrier coating is important to guarantee both long term integrity of the metal can and food safety.
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There is a requirement to ensure correct cure of the internal lacquer over the entire internal can surface at any point in the oven process. To confirm that the coating experiences the correct 'time at temperature' to cure it correctly, it is necessary to monitor product surface temperatures at different positions (can rim, wall and chime/dome), different locations in the oven, as well as across the mesh belt width.
- Ensure can quality by correct coating cure, preventing risk of food contamination and damage from packing over extended storage periods
- Prevent expensive product recall costs after filling and long term storage
- Identify process problems from temperature imbalance across mesh belt quickly and efficiently, and obtain necessary data for corrective action
- Provide fully traceable process validation reports to satisfy FDA or HACCP regulations