Ore Inspiring

Bonnie Howard August 7, 2014


There are many styles and materials available for packaging, each of which have their own, individual value for brands and customers alike, whether it’s cost, style, availability, history, or after-life uses. Indeed, while we know that all these alternatives have their place, packaging today responds to the consumers’ demand for choice and convenience; which is why Ashfield specialises in aluminium containers – we believe that metal containers offer a hugely viable alternative to other materials. Aluminium packaging offers a high level of corrosion resistance, it provides optimal protection properties by providing an impermeable metal barrier to light, it is solid, unbreakable, non-toxic and, certainly, recyclable.

Variety is the spice of life with aluminium

Variety is the spice of life with aluminium

It is also important to keep variety in mind in order to maximise the impact our packaging has on the buyer. Our containers can achieve both the retro look, as recently taken on by TIGI for its Bed Head salon range (a product aimed at restoring the quiff!), and also achieve a modern high-tech status as Torq achieved with its energy performance drinks.

Aluminium packaging is often used to create a premium-look, setting the pack aside from other alternatives, and Ashfield manufacture using an impact process from slugs/billets as opposed to flat sheet so it can create tall containers up to 200mm tall (depending on diameter) and with a range of diameters between 15mm and 97mm. The process can give easy options on weight as the base thickness can be greater than the wall – this enables us to add features in the base such as indents, steps, and nozzles, plus features which can act as spacers or separators internally without the need for assembly at the filler.

Aluminium does not necessitate volume either (Ashfield produce quantities from 5000 pieces to 18-million). A small restaurant in Cumbria had such a demand for its Indian dishes it was encouraged to create a range of ingredients/dishes for their customers to be able to take away with them to reproduce the dish at home. Aluminium cans were the chosen pack to give the product the image that the restaurant owner wanted to create – that this product was unique and premium.

TIGI and Torq – two of  Ashfield’s aluminium aces

TIGI and Torq – two of
Ashfield’s aluminium aces

With the impact extrusion process forming from the slug, it does not preprint plate but post prints the containers after forming to overcome any issues with print-distortion on forming. Ashfield is equipped with automatic and semi-automatic print lines that work using a rotary dry offset print process which applies four spot colours in one pass. In addition it can apply internal coatings to support those products which need additional protection.

The aluminium container is very versatile and can also take a label which can be applied directly or onto a plain or textured coating to help enhance the appearance. Caps can also be embossed with a company logo or text for a one-off die coast, giving a further opportunity to promote the brand.


The benefits of aluminium cans, ranging from lightness and decoration flexibility to recycling, are becoming increasingly acknowledged and rather than be in decline the demand for aluminium packaging is on the increase for Ashfield. Which material is used is a choice based on the requirements of suggest metal can compete directly with other materials like plastic, for instance, it is not a direct comparison and this is not the goal with aluminium – it is to offer alternatives for brand-distinction in a pack which has many advantages with its premium look and practicalities on weight and recyclability. Start-up cost for new sizes are also much lower than other materials.

So, it’s your choice; you have options to chose from, and aluminium has much to offer and is well worth exploring if you have not done so already.