Get our Monthly Newsletter!

Rexam Beverage Can South America - Águas Clara

Read the press release here.

Corporate Overview

Rexam is a global consumer packaging company with a turnover of £4.9 billion in 2010. We employ some 22,000 people in more than 90 plants and offices in 20 countries around the globe. Headquartered in London, England, we are an established member of the FTSE 100, a global leader in the manufacturing of beverage cans and one of the world leaders in rigid plastic packaging. We are business partners to some of the worlds most famous and successful consumer brands such as Coca-Cola, InBev and PepsiCo, and blue chip global brand owners such as Proctor & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline.

Our vision to “be the best global consumer packaging company” is strongly supported by Rexam’s four embedded core values: Continuous Improvement, Trust, Teamwork and Recognition. We have been committed to a path of Lean Enterprise across all our operations as a way of putting our Values into practice for over ten years. This approach is an essential part of what we call the “Rexam Way”.

Continuous Improvement Process

Rexam has operated a global system of Lean Enterprise since 2004, structured around building capability in specific tool sets of Culture, VSM, 5S, TPM, SMED and Six Sigma. Progress is reviewed annually and awarded a merit of bronze, silver or gold depending on performance levels. Águas Claras Plant achieved gold level at their first assessment in 2004, and consecutively in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

In 2008, Rexam’s best plants were invited to participate in a more sophisticated assessment known as “Beyond Gold”, where the implementation of Lean systems was appraised. Again, a system of merit is used to recognise achievements starting at emerald, then sapphire, and finally diamond. Águas Claras has ranked at diamond level since the first Beyond Gold protocol assessment was made.

We have made more than 166 improvement implementations based on SMED and Kaizen methods since 2004, and our value stream maps are revised twice a year with the gap analysis resulting in a hopper list of main projects and actions linked to business goals.

We measure the effectiveness of our actions and they have increased from 73.2% in 2006 to 92% in 2010.

Our 5S Programme, introduced in 2004 involves all employees through internal audits with a robust management control system.

The commitment to continuous improvement through Lean Enterprise has led Águas Claras to be the first Rexam Can site in South America to apply for the Shingo Prize.

The Águas Claras Plant

The Plant, based in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, started operations in 2002. It is one of the 12 facilities that make up our manufacturing sector known as Beverage Can South America (BCSA).

Of the 111 people on site, 95 are involved in plant operations and management and 16 are responsible for logistics and distribution. The 167,000 sq ft facility has one aluminium can manufacturing line that is fully dedicated to customers such as Coca-Cola, Ambev, Schincariol and Femsa, with a total production of 3.6 million cans a day. The Plant operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the need for on-demand uptime drives a strong Lean culture. The Plant’s OEE performance improved from 76% in 2004 to 85% in 2010.

The Águas Claras Plant has an established decision-making culture based on Six Sigma analysis of manufacturing processes.

The Plant has been at the forefront of our Lean Enterprise success for many years now and is seen as a benchmark for other Rexam sites in South America and across the world to follow.


The site is capable of producing two sizes of beverage cans, 12oz and 16oz, for nine clients, resulting in over 101 active label options. The ability to continuously improve changeover times to meet smaller lot size requirements and make faster deliveries is at the heart of maintaining our competitive advantage.

To make a beverage can, the key process steps involve stamping and drawing aluminium discs from rolled stock to form a can shape. The cans are then washed before being labelled using in-line screen printers. This Plant was designed with a quality guarantee concept at every stage of the production process, without the need for final inspection for quality. Speed and quality are the key drivers of process performance and our QAS (Quality Assurance System), RSVIEW (Rockwell Process Monitoring) system and RSBizWare (Rockwell Database System) provide real-time production data and process monitoring capability.


Safety & Environmental


Employee Morale

Delivery Performance and Cost Reductions


Jon Alder, Director - Group Lean Enterprise   |   Phone: +44 (0)20 7227 4197   |   Email: