Glass and metal packaging solutions provider Ardagh Group has entered into an agreement with ConAgra Foods to supply the majority of its US food can requirements.
The group is all set to invest over $250m in the construction of two new drawn and wall-ironed (DWI) can-making facilities as part of the agreement to convert the majority of ConAgra's shelf-sized cans.
The cans will be converted to Ardagh's flexible DWI technology from traditional three-piece can technology.
According to Ardagh, the two new facilities will also manufacture the company's newly developed pressurised thin-wall DWI food cans, which were recently launched in Europe.
Commercial supply of the new food cans is expected to begin from 1 January 2015.
Ardagh Group Metal Americas CEO James Willich said its investment in DWI will allow the food company to convert many lower-volume, speciality shelf sizes to this process.
"We are delighted that ConAgra Foods chose to partner with Ardagh to leverage its innovative metal packaging solutions," Willich said.
DWI is a similar production technique to that used in the making of beverage cans and is suited for making large volumes of cans with identical specifications.
Drawing is the process of reforming the thin sheets into a cylinder with a loose end without changing the thickness of the material, while ironing is the process of thinning the can walls by passing it through circular dies.
The containers that are manufactured through the DWI process generally have a thin upper wall and heavy lower wall sections.
Ardagh, which provides rigid packaging, metal and glass packaging solutions for food, beverage and consumer care brands, operates 100 manufacturing plants in 25 countries.
Image: Corporate headquarters of packaged foods company ConAgra Foods. Photo: Courtesy of Tyrone