FORT MADISON – It’s an exciting time for Silgan Containers Corporation in Ft. Madison. The addition of a brand new quick-top lid production line is in full swing and represents an investment of over $10 million and an additional 20% more capacity to produce lids for aluminum food containers. Additional production capacity increases are being discussed for 2019 and beyond which means new jobs right now and the possibility for more in the future for Lee County and the surrounding areas.
The plant has been abuzz with activity over the last few months. Foundation work began in late June and the new line is projected to be running at full capacity before the end of the year. At the same time, six new offices are currently being added and the training room is being expanded to handle the growing employee population. “The growth we have going on right now is really exciting” said Plant HR Manager Tim Ewing. “We have hired 22 people so far this year and we’re still recruiting skilled mechanics and electricians to join our team.” Ewing said the plant is on track to hire six to eight more mechanics and four electricians over the next several months.
The Ft. Madison plant is located in the Jefferson Industrial Park south of Highway 61 on 263rd Ave. It was built and began operation as Central States Can Company in 1975 and was purchased and expanded by Armour-Dial in 1978, changing its name to Fort Madison Can Company. Silgan Containers Corporation was founded in 1987 by former Continental Can Company executives Phil Silver and Greg Horrigan with the purchase of 13 can making facilities owned by Carnation Company. The Ft. Madison plant was the first acquisition of the new Silgan venture in 1988 and since that time the company has grown into the largest manufacturer of metal food containers in North America. The plant is one of 30 manufacturing facilities in the United States, with sister plants as close as Burlington and Ft. Dodge, Iowa.
The plant produces aluminum cans and lids for the protein or canned meat market in both the human and pet food side of the container business. Operating on a continuous four crew basis, the Ft. Madison facility produces seven different sizes of cans on four lines and eight different Quick-top ends from 10 press lines and ships to over 30 customer locations both in the U.S. and abroad. The plant produces over 650 million cans per year and over 3 billion quick-top lids, with the capability of producing nearly 11 million lids every 24 hours!