Can collection

Soda Can Pop-Tab – Ernie Fraze, the inventor of the soda can pop-tab. Fraze set out to improve the beverage can in 1959, and by 1965, more 75% of American beer brewers had adopted the new and improved can. Fraze’s original design involved a “pull-top” opening that separated from the can, which eventually evolved into the push-in tabs we are familiar with today.

Beer cans assembly transport

6-pack of wine to go?
Putting Wine in a Beer Can

  • Ask – They wanted to see their wines included on a backcountry skiing trip or packed for an exploration of Mount Hood. Beer comes in cans. All of a sudden, the can seemed like a viable wine-delivery option.
  • Imagine – How can that packaging be applied to wine? What wines are suitable for putting in cans? What wines aren’t? But the company also had a difficult set of parameters to work within. Wine production is regulated, and wine can only be sold in certain size containers. At the same time, Harms felt very strongly about keeping it in a can that looked and felt like a beer can. That size, he thought, just felt so much more satisfying
  • Plan, Create – Distributing wine in cans brings the easy transportability of beer. When and where would someone want wine in a can? What regulations apply to wine distribution?
  • Improve – Depending on the results of their first products, they will likely have some ideas for improvements.

That’s engineering

  • tension – a pulling force that tends to expand or lengthen the thing upon which it is acting.
  • wall tension – LaPlace’s Law – The larger the vessel radius, the larger the wall tension required to withstand a given internal fluid pressure. Soda or beer in a can exerts pressure on the can wall. This is an important consideration in determining how thick the aluminum can needs to be.

Engineering ideas

  • distribution, regulations, container, size, pressure, wall tension, manufacturability