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Do you know where bottle caps are made?

For the last six months the TIP TOP team have been getting to know all about the production of plastic bottle caps! A cap or lid is a small practical thing which we all use, but we have probably never thought about how it is made. Our new client, Bericap, is one of the leading manufacturers of plastic bottle closures, worldwide. Caps for honey tubes and milk cartons, sparkling water or beer bottles, oil containers and lubricant canisters, even child-resistant packaging for medicines — Bericap has 22 factories in 19 countries employing 3100 people across the globe producing literally millions of caps every day!

Bericap is a German company which was founded in Budenheim in the 1920s. Originally it produed cans made of tin plate and even metal toys. However, with the plastic boom of the 1960s Bericap diversified into plastic closures which today represent 100% of its sales. It is a very innovative company constantly coming up with new ideas to stay one step ahead in an extremely competitive international market. Current developments concentrate on closure solutions with customised designs, superior tamper-evidence and anti-counterfeiting features.

Our trainers work closely with Bericap staff to improve their English communication skills in both writing and telephoning and in meetings at an international level. We also look at technical English, equipping our students with the specialised vocabulary to talk about their production processes and products, not only conveying success stories but also discussing and solving problems.

Each group gives the trainer a tour of the factory, in English, of course. In the production hall it is hot and noisy and difficult to make oneself heard. However, the students do an excellent job – guiding their visitor through the maze of pipes and machinery, talking about plastic injection moulding and closure assembly, explaining the camera systems responsible for quality control and the lasers which print logos on caps, and ending up in the packaging area where finished goods are boxed for dispatch. The trainer listens and corrects mistakes noting down new words to be discussed in the next lesson. For both sides it is an interesting, interactive and enjoyable experience.

So, next time you open a beer or flip back the hinged cap on a ketchup bottle, think about how and where it was produced. The chances are it’s a BERICAP!

 

Vocabuary:

lubricant - Schmiermittel, Schmierstoff

canister - Blechbüchse

child-resistant cap - kindergesicherte Schraubkappe

to diversify - diversifizieren

extremely competitive - extrem konkurrierend

competitive market - Wettbewerbsmarkt

tamper-evidence / tamper-evident closure - Verpackung mit Erstöffnungsgarantie

to tamper - manipulieren

anti-counterfeiting features - Fälschungsschutzmerkmale

to equip s.o with s.th - ausstatten, vorbereiten

to convey - vermitteln, übertragen

maze - Labyrinth

plastic injection moulding - Kunststoffspritzguss

closure assembly - Montage / Zusammenbau von Verschlusskappen

dispatch - Versand, Abfertigung

hinged cap - Scharnierdeckel

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Why is Easter 2016 so significant for Ireland?

The orange, white, and green colours of Ireland fly proudly from bridges, buildings and buses around the city as Dublin prepares for a very important event. At the end of March the Irish will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising (Éirí Amach na Cásca). This Rebellion was mounted in 1916 by the Irish in an attempt to end British rule and to establish an Irish Republic independent of the United Kingdom.

 

The Rising began on Easter Monday, the 24th of April, and lasted for six days. Members of the Irish Volunteers led by Tom Clarke, Seán MacDermott and Pádraig Pearse, joined by the smaller Irish Citizen Army of James Connolly, along with 200 members of The Irish Women’s Council seized key locations in Dublin. They set up their headquarters in the impressive General Post Office building on O’Connell Street and proclaimed an Irish Republic.

 

At this time Britain was heavily involved in the First World War. The Irish Volunteers, however, were supported by the Germans with 900 rifles being brought over from Hamburg for the Rebellion. Originally 20,000 guns had been on their way from Germany to Ireland but the British cracked the German’s secret radio code and intercepted the ship and its precious cargo before it reached the Irish coast.

 

As the Easter Rising got under way the city descended into chaos with many important buildings and parks being taken by the militants. However, the British army with its vastly superior numbers of men and artillery fought back hard. Bloody battles ensued in the streets, heavy guns pounded the buildings and fires raged. 250 civilians, 130 British troops and 60 rebels were killed. On Saturday the 29th of April, horrified by the civilian casualties, the Irish rebels finally surrendered

 

Afterwards thousands of participants and sympathisers were arrested and most of the leaders were shot by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin. The executions shocked the Irish public. The aftermath of the Rising, and in particular the British reaction to it, led to a growth in support for the independence movement and the executed leaders were hailed as martyrs. Five years after the Rebellion a treaty was signed leading to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, this eventually became the modern-day Republic of Ireland.

 

Vocabulary:

to mount - etw. initiieren, organisieren

to attempt - versuchen

to establish - gründen, einrichten

to seize - erobern, nehmen

to crack a code - einen Code knacken

to intercept - behindern, abfangen

precious - wertvoll

vast, vastly - gewaltig, enorm

superior numbers - Übermacht, Überzahl

battles ensue in the streets - Kämpfe erfolgten auf den Straßen

pound the building - zerstörten das Gebäude

to surrender - aufgeben, kapitulieren

casualties - Verluste

sympathizers - Sympathisanten

gaol / jail - Gefängnis

firing squad - Erschießungskommando

aftermath - Folge, Nachwirkung

to hail - zujubeln, begrüßen

martyrs - Märtyrer

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