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

BROOMFIELD, Colo., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 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(R)
        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(R) 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

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Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Key risks and uncertainties are summarized in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Exhibit 99.2 in our Form 10-K, which are available at our Web site and at Factors that might affect our packaging segments include fluctuation in product demand and preferences; availability and cost of raw materials; competitive packaging availability, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; crop yields; competitive activity; failure to achieve anticipated productivity improvements or production cost reductions, including our beverage can end project; mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; and changes in foreign exchange rates, tax rates and activities of foreign subsidiaries. Factors that might affect our aerospace segment include: funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts. Factors that might affect the company as a whole include those listed plus: accounting changes; changes in senior management; the current global credit squeeze and its effects on liquidity, credit risk, asset values and the economy; successful or unsuccessful acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; integration of recently acquired businesses; regulatory action or laws including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including in respect of chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; governmental investigations; technological developments and innovations; goodwill impairment; antitrust, patent and other litigation; strikes; labor cost changes; rates of return projected and earned on assets of the company's defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and changes to unaudited results due to statutory audits or other effects.

SOURCE Ball Corporation

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