The company produces beverage cans in a huge range of different sizes, shapes and diameters, and with different coloured tops and ends which can also be printed to reflect customer and product branding. The portfolio of Ball Beverage Packaging Europe also includes the modern looking Sleek cans and the elegant and practical Slim cans (both in a variety of sizes) as well as the supersize King cans with a capacity of up to 1,000 ml.
The company constantly strives to reduce the amount of metal it uses in its products, and in 2013 launched the B-Can which weighs 5% less than the standard model yet still delivers the same performance. “We want to reduce the resources used both in the cans themselves and in the manufacturing process, including energy use and water consumption,” explains Veronique Stephan, Commercial VP. “The technology is very complex. The top and end of a can is of a different thickness to the side, and we have tried to reduce the amount of metal we use. One result is the CDL end which has the same properties as the standard end in terms of filling speed and product freshness but is 10% lighter and therefore benefits the whole value chain.”
The company is constantly working on new ideas. Among its latest innovations is the Strawster, a 25 cl Slim can with an integrated straw which pops up when the can is opened – ideal for drinks on the go – and the BRE, a resealable end which was introduced three years ago.
Besides cans, Ball Beverage Packaging also produces aluminium bottles which are often, though not exclusively, used for beer and wine. “They look elegant and are very light,” points out Elisabeth Tanguy, Communications Manager. “They are designed for brands which want to create a premium feel for their products.”
The manufacturer belongs to the US-based Ball Corporation, which entered the European market 15 years ago. Numerous acquisitions followed, including the takeover of Rexam which resulted in the European headquarter being moved from Switzerland to Luton in the UK.
The company has subsidiaries across Europe with over 20 can production plants and five further sites where tops and ends are made. “We are the market leader,” notes Ms. Stephan. “We offer our customers local sales contacts and access to a team of engineers who travel to customers’ sites to ensure the filling process works smoothly. We can even offer training on seaming tools and techniques. Our centralized graphics department provides top-quality creative artwork to enhance our products. Collaboration with customers is the key to our success, together with our focus on innovation and sustainability.”
Ms Stephan predicts that the can market will grow in the coming years. “Responding to rapid market changes with greater production capacity and a broader product offering is an exciting challenge,” she says. “We also have an important role in making the case for the aluminium can as the most sustainable yet convenient form of packaging,” adds Ms. Tanguy.
In this issue: Futura Robotica S.r.l. - End-line technology at its best / Erik Thun AB - Dine at the captain’s table / Spendrups Bryggeri AB - Drinks at the heart of the occasion / Skanem AS - Smart labelling solutions
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