Innovation makes Ball the global leader in metal packaging.
From ideas to manufacturing processes to delivering a final product to consumers, innovation makes Ball the global leader in metal packaging. We work closely with our customers to understand their needs and provide solutions for their brands, helping them grow their businesses. When our customers succeed, we succeed.
Examples of Ball innovation include:
- Our Alumi-Tek™ and stylish Sleek™ recyclable beverage cans help brands deliver a new drinking experience to consumers with an easily recloseable aluminum bottle and a slimmer can that delivers desired portion size.
- Laser-Incised Tabs and SmoothPour™ can ends provide brands with new ways to reach consumers, while our eye-popping, photo-quality can graphics enable a whole new level of brand detail.
- ReAlTM – a metal technology breakthrough that enables the use of recycled aluminum in the manufacture of extruded aluminum packaging for slugs and aerosol cans.
Almost all aluminum and steel beverage and food cans use epoxy-based coatings as a barrier between the metal and the products in the can. These coatings have been used in cans for decades. Epoxy-based coatings utilize BPA in the adhesive that attaches the coating to the can.
Regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have stated that scientific evidence has consistently shown these coatings to be safe. In March 2012, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration said that there is no compelling scientific evidence to justify new restrictions on BPA. Nevertheless, public discussion continues and Ball recognizes that interest exists in non-epoxy-based coatings. Ball continues to proactively work with suppliers and customers on alternative coatings that ensure that the can remains the safest form of rigid packaging in the world. In limited cases, Ball is supplying food cans that use a non-epoxy-based coating suitable for less acidic products.
ReAlTM: A New World for Recycled Material
Because innovation is critical to growing our business and assisting our customers grow theirs, we work closely with customers and suppliers to identify and develop ideas to improve our products. We evaluate innovations through multiple lenses, including resource requirements, costs and the impact of product innovations on the recycling process. Sustainability has become increasingly important to our customers and consumers over the past decade. We believe this development favors lightweight, durable, infinitely recyclable aluminum and steel packaging.
In 2010, Ball acquired two aluminum slug manufacturing facilities in North America, becoming the world’s largest producer of aluminum slugs. These metal disks are impact extruded to produce packaging for products such as aerosol body sprays or beer. Ball also acquired a joint venture aluminum slug facility and three extruded aluminum packaging facilities in Europe in 2011.
At that time, almost all aluminum slugs in the world were produced from virgin aluminum containing no recycled material. During 2011, Ball leveraged its global metal packaging platform and extensive packaging expertise to develop a technology innovation that allows the use of recycled material in the manufacture of slugs.
The resulting new metal alloy exhibits increased strength and enables Ball to lightweight its extruded aluminum aerosol packaging by as much as 10 percent, with further lightweighting expected in the future. We are excited about ReAlTM and will bring this new solution to our customers around the world in 2012 and beyond.