Tuesday, January 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Ball Metal, 36 years of making cans in Fairfield

ball, 12/4/12

Forklifts move aluminum cans inside the Ball Corporation's manufacturing facility warehouse in Fairfield. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | December 30, 2012 |

FAIRFIELD — There’s a saying that once you know how a product is made, you probably won’t want to use it.

After seeing how the Ball Metal plant on Huntington Drive makes its aluminum cans, most observers are much more comfortable with drinking a soda or a beer.

The 169 employees at the 36-year-old facility efficiently create more than 8 million cans a day to hold beverages from Coca-Cola to Sierra Nevada beer, most of which are delivered to customers within a 500-mile radius of the plant.

Some of its longtime employees are so discerning about their creations that when they buy a can at a store, they say they check to see if it was made at their plant and give the can a critical eye if it wasn’t.

Plant Manager Dave Trujillo notes that while most metal beverage-making facilities have the same equipment, the secret of Ball Metal’s success is a combination of excellent, dedicated employees; a safe, clean workplace and keeping on the leading edge of the industry.

“I love this business. It is very dynamic,” Trujillo said of working for Ball in Fairfield.

The Fairfield facility was established in 1976, located here to serve the nearby Anheuser-Busch plant and the Coca-Cola facility in Sacramento.

“It provided most of the volume at the time,” Trujillo said of the relationship with Anheuser-Busch.

The Ball Metal plant now runs three production lines that are going 24 hours a day, making 2.7 billion cans a year with 700 different labels for 78 different customers – from Shasta sodas to Campbell’s soups. Up to 70 percent of the aluminum that the plant uses is recycled.

Massive rolls of aluminum are pressed and shaped into 12-, 8-, 7.5- and 5.5-ounce cans that are washed, cleaned, dried, necked, flanged and decorated without slowing down. The cans are also repeatedly inspected in the process by cameras and computers, with rejects sent back for recycling.

“We recapture every piece of aluminum that does not go out as a can on a pallet,” Trujillo said.

The Ball Corporation was born when brothers Edmund, Frank, George, Lucius and William Ball founded the company with a $200 loan from their Uncle George in 1880 to buy the Wooden Jacket Can Company, which made wood-jacketed tin cans for products such as paint and kerosene.

The brothers entered household legend when they began making glass home-canning jars in 1884 with the distinctive Ball logo on the glass jar and the metal lid, according to the corporation history.

Three years later, the brothers moved the company to Muncie, Ind., to take advantage of the abundant natural gas reserves that were essential to making glass.

Ball grew rapidly during the next decade and has been involved in more than 45 businesses since it was founded.

In 1956, Ball Brothers Research Corporation was formed. It is now known as Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation and produces space systems engineering products, telecommunications technology and electro-optics and cryogenics materials.

Ball entered the field of metal beverage container manufacturing when it acquired the Jeffco Manufacturing Company in Denver. That was the same year that it changed its name to Ball Corporation.

It no longer manufactures the canning jars that made it famous, which it exited in 1996, but has expanded into a worldwide metal packaging company that makes billions of recyclable metal containers from soda cans to aerosol cans and paint cans, as well as an aerospace business. As of 2009, Ball became the largest supplier of beverage cans in the world.

It’s corporate headquarters are now based in Broomfield, Colo., employing more than 14,500 employees in more than 90 locations worldwide.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Health officials report 1st Solano flu death

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

     
     
     
    American Legion Post schedules head-shaving fundraiser

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

    Rush Ranch seeks docents

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2

     
    Dramas, thrillers lead week’s box office openings

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B8

    Vacaville Toastmasters welcome guests

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

     
    Kroc Health Fair offers free screenings

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

     
    Chipotle fundraiser to benefit Armijo newspaper

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Vacaville council eyes earlier start time

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page:

     
    .

    US / World

    Facebook suffers outage affecting users worldwide

    By The Associated Press | From Page:

     
    Private wells in California farm area show high uranium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Ex-Army prosecutor found guilty of rape at court-martial

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Law enforcement wants popular police-tracking app disabled

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Cuban youth build secret computer network despite Wi-Fi ban

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Seekers of the Hollywood Sign disrupt nearby neighborhood

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    2 small planes crash-land off Hawaii; all aboard survive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Report: State worker sent alarming notes before gun arrest

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
     
    Dwindling group of survivors to mark Auschwitz 70 years on

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment | Gallery

    New Jersey’s Christie launches political action committee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    US drone strikes resume in Yemen despite turmoil

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Monster snowstorm swirls into densely populated Northeast US

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Man takes responsibility for drone over White House

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    .

    Opinion

     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Jan. 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Entertainment

    Petty earns writing credit for Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    National Cowboy Poetry Gathering begins in northeast Nevada

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Trainor and Styles write a duet about heartbreak

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Emma Watson to star in live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    SAG Awards win sends ‘Birdman’ Oscar hopes soaring

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Cumberbatch says sorry for calling black actors ‘colored’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    A murder at the edge of the world takes ‘Fortitude’ to crack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Lawyers: Melissa Rivers files lawsuit in mother Joan’s death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sundance Watch: ‘Cobain’ premieres, women talk Hollywood

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    TVGrid Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Sports

    Manfred knows he’ll get hit as commish _ his name is on ball

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    NASCAR to leave championship format unchanged in 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Kobe Bryant to have shoulder surgery, likely out for season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Tim Brown hopes 6th time is charm in Hall of Fame vote

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Raiders sign Charles Woodson for 2015 season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Rams notify St. Louis they’ll go year-to-year on dome lease

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Gamecocks still No. 1; Chattanooga joins women’s hoops poll

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Scott Dixon shines in masterful final drive in Rolex win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    LeBron, Cavs climb in standings, back in title conversation

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Capitals among East contenders; West race too tight to call

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Playoff not interested in moving semis of New Year’s Eve

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Fireworks help celebrate Venus Williams’ Australian Open run

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    US women to host New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, South Korea

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    NBA D-League All-Star events set for Feb. 15 in Brooklyn

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    AP Source: Los Angeles Kings release Mike Richards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Hope Solo could be left off US World Cup roster

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Employers: Agreement made on key issue in port labor dispute

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Lyft cars doing away with pink furry mustache

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

     
    Hard Rock (again) dips toe into Atlantic City casino market

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    US stock market finishes with small gains

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    IBM disputes report that big layoffs coming

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Union says California Kaiser nurses reach contract agreement

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Boeing, SpaceX will beat Russia on price for astronaut rides

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    CBO: Deficit to shrink to lowest level of Obama presidency

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Eurozone looks for dialogue after stunning Greece elections

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    S&P downgrades Russia credit rating to junk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Donald Wesley Johnson

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Rose is Rose Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Get Fuzzy Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Beetle Bailey Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    B.C. Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Cryptoquote Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    For Better or Worse Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Dilbert Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Bridge Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Garfield Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Crossword Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baby Blues Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Pickles Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Sally Forth Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Baldo Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Wizard of Id Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Word Sleuth Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Frank and Ernest Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Sudoku Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Blondie Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Zits Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Peanuts Jan 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4