DANVILLE — Ball Corp. announced Thursday it will cease production at the company’s Danville steel aerosol packaging manufacturing plant, 400 Eastgate Drive, during the second half of 2014.
Ball will redeploy the plant’s assets to other existing company facilities and will continue to supply the plant’s customers. In a press release, Ball Corp. says it is consolidating its North American aerosol can production and will end capacity.
The Danville plant produces three-piece welded aerosol cans and ends for household products customers.
Ball will provide the plant’s 47 employees with outplacement services, severance pay and other benefits, in accordance with company policies and the effects bargaining process. Danville employees can apply for open positions within the company.
Ball will record an after-tax charge of about 7 million for this closure, the majority of which will be recorded during the fourth quarter of 2013.
“While plant closures are never a desired event, Ball continues to drive efficiencies within its manufacturing locations and, as a result, we must diligently manage our manufacturing footprint and make adjustments based on marketplace dynamics,” according to Renee Robinson, corporate communications manager for Ball Corp., out of Broomfield, Colo., through an email.
Vermilion Advantage President and CEO Vicki Haugen said employment numbers had continued to dwindle at the plant.
“Unfortunately, companies make difficult decisions every day,” Haugen said. “We benefit from some consolidations and some we don’t.”
Haugen said Vermilion Advantage will work as needed with the local employees losing their jobs to connect them with other companies needing those industrial skills. Haugen believes about 10 salaried employees are not local residents, and that the plant had a fairly senior workforce.
As soon as information is available for site specifics, the facility also will be marketed and used in requests for proposals from industries looking at the Danville area, Haugen said.
Ball Corp. supplies packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. The corporation and its subsidiaries employ 15,000 people worldwide and reported 2012 sales of more than $8.7 billion.
Originally called U.S. Can, the plant opened in 1967. Ball Corp. acquired U.S. Can Co. in 2006. It had about 120 local employees in 2009.
The Danville plant’s annual capacity of aerosol cans had been about 300 million three-piece aerosol cans annually years ago.
Some of the plant’s customers have been ConAgra Foods (formerly of Rossville), Full-Fill Industries (Henning) and KIK Custom Products (Danville).
In 2009. a corporate relations official reported there had been a handful of layoffs in the entire company and four other plants were being closed, two that made metal beverage cans and two that made plastic bottles. Those closures were due more to market changes and Ball Corp.’s continuing effort to better match supply capabilities with demand, than it was to the economic downturn, according to the company.
The company also spent about $2 million in 2009 on equipment upgrades and other building modifications to the Danville plant.