21.06.2023 – Arnest.Packaging Solutions
The only producer of aluminium packaging for beverages in the Urals is celebrating its 15th anniversary. The first production batch of 70 thousand cans left the assembly line of the plant in Argayashsky district of Chelyabinsk region in May 2008. This became the official birthday of the company. In September 2022, the Russian Arnest Group bought it from the US company Ball Corporation together with its other assets in Russia and registered a new business name, Arnest Packaging Solutions. And at the end of 2022, the plant became the first in the Chelyabinsk Region to be taken over by a once foreign enterprise that joined the national project "Labour Productivity".
"The laying of the first stone took place in April 2007, and a year later the plant was put into operation. This is a record time to launch such a complex technology. As a rule, it takes at least two years to build a plant of this level from scratch. Of course, 15 years is a young age for an industrial enterprise. Nevertheless, the Argayash plant is a benchmark of labour organisation and production process in the South Urals. It provides highly skilled jobs, decent wages, comfortable schedules and social guarantees to its employees. Every year the regional budget receives more than 500 million roubles of tax deductions from the activities of this enterprise," says Pavel Ryzhy, Minister of Industry, New Technologies and Natural Resources of the Chelyabinsk Region.
In 2008, the Chelyabinsk Region was chosen for the construction of the plant due to its proximity to Urals beverage customers, as well as its convenient logistical location to developed export routes to the EAEU countries.
"From the very first days here we started to build up an efficient production system and introduce lean production tools. For several months now, the experts of the Regional Competence Centre, created on the basis of our Foundation specifically to work with the participants of the national project "Labour Productivity", have been helping to regulate these processes at the enterprise's site. As a pilot stream, we chose a section where all the most important technologies are concentrated, from putting the aluminium coil on the line to bringing pallets of finished products to the warehouse. It is not an easy task to improve processes that have already been built to an exemplary level, but the more interesting it is!" emphasises Sergey Kazakov, Director of the Chelyabinsk Region Industrial Development Fund.
The modernisation of the line was started back in 2017 by the plant's then owner, Ball Corporation. The plant in Argayash began to produce a new format of cans - 0.45 litres. This is currently the most popular size with Russian and Kazakh beverage producers. Ball continued to invest and a second line was launched in May 2021.
"As a result of modernisation and expansion between 2017 and 2021, we have been able to more than double the output of the can. Now the annual volume of aluminium packaging is more than 2 billion cans per year. The total amount of investments since the plant was established has exceeded RUB 7 billion," reports Alexander Pashkeev, the plant's director.
It is worth noting that the Arnest Packaging Solutions plant plays an important social role in the village of Ishalino, where it is directly located. Thanks to the support of the enterprise, over the past years the district House of Culture has been repaired, furniture and a car have been purchased for the Argayash district hospital, assistance has been provided in the repair and construction of sports facilities, a monument to the soldiers of the 112th Bashkir Cavalry Division, who participated in the battles of the Great Patriotic War, has been erected in Argayash. And this is by no means an exhaustive list. In total, the company allocated more than 15 million roubles to charity projects in the Chelyabinsk Region.
The national project "Labour Productivity", which is overseen by First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, was approved by the May 2018 decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin and is designed to create conditions for annual growth in labour productivity in the country. To achieve these objectives, the Russian Government has developed a set of state support measures for business, which includes financial incentives and expert assistance in optimising production processes. In the Chelyabinsk Region, the regional Ministry of Industry and the Industry Development Fund are implementing the National Project activities. At the moment 128 enterprises of the region are participants of the national project.
Arnest Group is one of the largest producers of perfumes, cosmetics and household products in aerosol packaging in Russia. The group includes local production facili-ties producing aluminium and tin packaging for perfumes and cosmetics, as well as three plants producing aluminium beverage cans and Russia's only lid plant.