Ball Expands Metal Beverage Packaging Pilot Manufacturing Capabilities at Colorado Innovation Center


ROOMFIELD, Colo., Oct. 8, 2009 — Ball Corporation [NYSE: BLL] recently expanded its metal beverage packaging pilot manufacturing line at the Ball Technology & Innovation Center (BTIC) in Broomfield, Colo., by adding a new palletizer, a state-of-the-art decorator and several other improvements. This multi-million dollar investment opens up numerous new opportunities for Ball’s metal beverage packaging customers.

“Ball provides metal beverage cans and bottles in many shapes and sizes with value-enhancing features, including brilliant graphics innovations that make them an exceptional brand billboard on retail shelves,” says Mike Vaughn, vice president, packaging innovation, Ball Corporation. “We continuously work to improve our packaging and its printing options, and now have even better tools to do so with our improved pilot line and new decorator.”

The latest improvements to the metal beverage pilot line enable:

• Production of between 10 and 50,000 aluminum cans or Alumi-Tek® bottles for consumer testing or small product launches

• Flexibility to produce a range of can sizes from 202 to 211 in diameter, 307 to 708 in height and 5.5-oz. to 16-oz. in volume

• Pilot production of standard cans or Alumi-Tek reclosable bottles

• Testing of graphics innovations like Eyeris® high definition printing, thermochromic ink, matte finish and more.

In addition to improving pilot production capabilities, the pilot line expansion gives Ball even more capacity for beverage can graphics proofing. Ball has been using a single Rutherford decorator to proof customer graphics on 12-oz. and 16-oz. cans at the BTIC for many years, and in the past year alone worked with customers to proof hundreds of new labels. The addition of a new, state-of-the-art  decorator doubles Ball’s capacity for graphics proofing and provides the flexibility to decorate a broader range of can sizes, from 5.5-oz. to 16-oz., as well as Alumi-Tek bottles.

Packaging customers are always looking for new ways to differentiate their products. Ball’s innovation centers – in Westminster, Colo., and Bonn, Germany – are ideally equipped to meet this customer need by sharpening the focus of innovation efforts, maximizing efficiency and accelerating the pace of package development. Ball’s BTIC was originally dedicated in 1985, remodeled in 1997 and expanded in 2004 to accommodate the company’s metal and plastic packaging research labs and offices. It offers the full strength of Ball’s innovation, engineering and research capabilities at one location.

Ball Corporation is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2008 sales of approximately $7.6 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit