Tinplate cans are a popular choice for packaging due to their attractive printed surfaces and unique shapes, making them a preferred option for many businesses. Despite their small size, the production of tinplate cans involves a complex set of processes. Today, we will introduce the manufacturing process of tinplate cans.

Each can go through the steps of material preparation, printing, cutting, stamping, assembly, and packaging to completion.

1.Material Preparation

After confirming the order, the most suitable tinplate material is ordered based on the layout design, including the type and dimensions of the material. The tinplate is usually stored directly at the printing factory. To assess the quality of the tinplate, one can visually inspect for scratches, uniform texture, and rust spots. The thickness can be measured with a micrometer, and the hardness can be felt by bending the material.


Once the film and layout design are provided to the printing factory, they prepare for printing according to the layout. A sample is usually provided for color matching. During printing, it is important to ensure that the colors match the sample, the alignment is accurate, and there are no stains or scratches. Responsible printing factories typically manage these issues effectively.


After the printed tinplate is returned to the factory, it is cut according to the layout. When cutting, it is crucial to ensure that the operator cuts along the knife lines, and the lengths are uniform. The materials should be handled carefully to avoid scratches, ensuring quality control from the initial stages.


This process involves pressing the tinplate into shape using a punch press, which is the main task in can production. 

For the body of the can, the steps include cutting, pre-bending, corner cutting, forming, locking seams, body pressing, and bottom sealing. The common tinplate materials include tinplate or matte tinplate with thicknesses of 0.21mm, 0.23mm, 0.25mm, 0.28mm, and 0.30mm, with 0.23mm, 0.25mm, and 0.28mm being the most commonly used. The main difference between tinplate and matte tinplate is the texture, with tinplate having rougher stripes and matte tinplate featuring a strong metallic sand-like texture. Consequently, matte tinplate is several hundred units more expensive than regular tinplate.


A standard piece of tinplate typically measures 1100mm x 960mm. Designers layout the design according to the production lines, and once finalized, the printing is done. This is usually handled by specialized printing companies. The printing process involves four-color + special color printing and varnishing effects as per the customer's specifications. This printing process takes approximately 15 days.

The printed tinplate is then transported back to the factory for cutting. Operators cut the tinplate according to the knife lines into parts like the lid, inner lid, body, and bottom. This step requires high precision and experienced cutters.

The cut tinplate is stamped into shape using a complete set of molds. Even a simple tin can require at least fifteen stamping processes, including flanging, forming, curling, and embossing. Previously, a stamping production line required more than ten operators, but with the advent of automated production lines, now only two operators are needed per line.

6.Assembly and Packaging

The stamped lids and bodies are assembled and packaged. During this process, each can be inspected for defects, making this the final and crucial step in ensuring the quality and qualification rate of a batch of tinplate cans.

By following these detailed and precise steps, the production of tinplate cans meets the high standards required for their various applications.


Tinplate Can

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