How aluminum cans are formed

Originally published at: How aluminum cans are formed | Boing Boing


I remember watching this once and found it fascinating.

1 Like

interesting topic, detailed but not overwhelming with jargon, great demos, likable host. what’s not to love about this?


Thankee Sir. Any post by way of Bill Hammack, or Tim Hunkin, is worthy of watch’n.


I had a high school summer job back in the 60’s operating a double die stamp press for the American Can company in Kansas City. I spent all day feeding rectangular sheets of aluminum into an cacophonous machine that punched the lid discs out, then sent them through a series of chutes propelled by air into another machine which added a grey compound around the edge, then down another chute into a feeding slot which organized the lids into tight stacks about 3 feet long, and it was also my job to slide them into a paper sleeve and stack them on pallets for transfer to the Schlitz Beer bottling facility for filling and assembly.

Occasionally, something would get misaligned and the stamping machine would start mashing and crumpling the sheets of aluminum, and shedding knife-like shards. You then had to shut down the line, clean out the machine, and start the process up again after a mechanic okayed everything. And sometimes the rolling lids would jam up in one of the chutes which were overhead and it would all back up and have to be cleared out also.

The only way you could speak to another person in that deafening factory was to put your lips right up against their ear and scream as loudly as possible. No ear protection or gloves were provided of course. It was a good lesson in the real world of work, and definitely propelled me to go to college and find another way to make a living.


“Necking sleeve”

(That’s all.)

I’ve seen this linked a couple of times before, and I’ll watch the entire video every time I get a link to it. It’s just the right mix of intriguing subject and compelling delivery to make me want to watch it again each time I see it.

1 Like

When I finished college, the economy wasn’t great, and I wanted to relocate up to PDX or SEA. I scored an interview at the Crown Cork & Seal can manufacturing plant in Walla Walla to be some kind of entry level plant manager. Drove there from NorCal with some friends the week before New Years. The landscape was bleak, snow covered, and I think the interviewers sensed that I had a hesitancy about relocating there regardless of the lie I told them. I’m so glad I didn’t get a job offer.

On the way back, I stayed with some friends in Portland for a few days before a huge storm hit the west coast. Interstate 5 was shut down in central Oregon but we had to get back, so we drove to Astoria, on the coast, and took 101 all the way back. It was almost 24 hours of driving and we were exhausted after that. What I got out of that experience was a story to tell.

1 Like

Sounds like you dodged 2 bullets…no can manufacturing plant…and no living in Walla Walla. I drove through there a couple of years ago, and it is indeed bleak terrain.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.