WHO WE ARE
The CMIA is an organisation representing Australian manufacturers of steel cans, pail and drums and a range of suppliers who provide the industry with materials, components and services.
Canmaking members are:
National Can Industries
Morris McMahon & Can Company
Whilst supplier members include:
TCL Hoffmann & Co
Sherwin & Williams Industrial Coatings
The CMIA was formed in the early nineties primarily to promote the steel packaging industry throughout Australia. In the early days there were many canmakers who were located not only in the main capital cities, but also in regional areas. Through acquisitions and amalgamations, the numbers have been significantly reduced to the current six main manufacturers. The industry faced many challenges, ranging from the securing of a ready and regular supply of raw materials, the development and maintenance of quality and safety standards, product development, training of employees and environmental issues such as EPA and recycling objectives.
Initial membership was restricted to general line can and pail manufacturers and the following major suppliers were all associate members:
BHP (then known as Australian Iron & steel)
Coatings and printing ink suppliers such as Sicpa, Coates Brothers, Wattyl and
Major components suppliers including TriSure and WR Grace
Equipment suppliers - TCL Hofmann
The Institute was able to make significant contribution to the industry, which enabled all its members to grow the market and more importantly, to produce products that met the ever-increasing legal and performance criteria. The most significant of these activities was the introduction of products that met the performance demands of the Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail.
Good relationships with industry suppliers were instrumental in securing these industries long term improvements. Key objectives achieved included:
Rationalisation of tinplate specifications improved BHP & the industry tinplate supply
the above lead to containment of increasing costs
Introduction of new processes such can welding resulting in elimination of lead solder
UV printing improved the speed of litho process
Introduction of innovative plastic closures to improve pourability whilst simplifying the opening and closing of closures.
1. Australian Standards
CMIA have been active in ensuring that the various Australian Standards that apply to its range of products are effective and provide products that meet the various legislative, safety and performance criteria.
A major success was the development of products and tests to meet the Australian Code for Dangerous Goods.
This function is critical to the industry not only to ensure it meets the performance criteria, but also to provide a base for its products to meet the demands and performance for the export market - whilst offering a safeguard that imported products also meet our national standards.
The Institute actively pursued and developed an environmental program to reduce waste and provide the infrastructure for the recycling of steel products. This program was implemented through the Steel Can Recycling Council.
This was a very comprehensive program involving the industry members, local government and the end users. Recycling rates increased to over 50% and the basic raw material tinplate was produced using 25% of recycled raw material.
The program also encouraged the fillers to participate in improving steel can recycling. To this end, the Australian Paint Manufacturers developed a paint recycling program involving the collection of unused paint that was converted to fence stain. The result was successful, however financial implications prevented the continuation of this program. The paint industry now runs a Paint Back program based on the original proposal. This program has been incentivised by the application of levies.
The industry acknowledged that training of its existing and future employees was critical to ongoing success. Each member was encouraged to maximise their trainees and apprentices. Through the CMIA, an annual Apprentice of the Year award was implemented with each member candidate been provided with a trip to BHP’s Port Kembla steel works. A reciprocal offer was made available to BHP’s team.
Steel packaging was under threat from competitive materials such as plastic, glass, paper and composite products. Through the Packaging Council of Australia, the CMIA introduced the Southern Cross Award that encouraged packaging design students to use tinplate as their packaging medium. This was a great success with the Awards receiving very good participation rates. Students from most States submitted entries. The CMIA’s biggest regret was that we were unable to get a winning entry to market.
The CMIA also provides the forum for the industry to challenge any legislative decision that will materially impact its, or the product competitiveness of its customers. Example of this activity is the imposition of excessive import tariffs on raw materials or components used in the manufacturer of steel packaging.
The CMIA members' primary objective is to source materials locally, however in some instances, the import option is the best commercial option after considering costs, supply, performance and product specification.
The CMIA provides an industry for members with a voice to address industry-based issues.