The successful growth of PAC Machinery has unfolded over a number of years, and
much can be attributed to the acquisition of several key packaging industry businesses.
These separate operations are now integrated and aligned under the PAC Machinery
brand. This collection of intertwined companies and product brands include Packaging
Aids, Audion Elektro, Audion Automation, Allied Automation, Vertrod, Milwaukee Bag
International, and more!
The story begins with Audion Elektro
Audion Elektro B.V. was founded in Amsterdam following the end of World War II. The company had its start manufacturing transformers and soldering equipment. Leveraging their expertise in both electronics and thermodynamics, Audion developed a line of impulse sealers for sealing plastic bags. One of the first bag sealers took advantage of a new material (at the time) known as Teflon®. With early success, the company initiated direct export sales in Europe. Since the 1950’s, Audion has been exporting machines throughout Europe, South America, Middle East, and Africa. Before the end
of the decade, Audion found new markets in Asia and the United States.
Packaging Aids Corporation
Packaging Aids Corporation was officially established in 1963. The company served as a distributor for Audion Elektro products in the United States. Packaging Aids offered Audion’s line of impulse sealers. In the early 1970’s Packaging Aids began developing their own line of nozzle vacuum sealers. The applications for these vacuum sealers was broad, and ranged from food, to electronics, medical, and military packaging. As a result
of innovation and manufacturing expertise, Packaging Aids earned a reputation for their custom-designed packaging machinery.
Vertrod (another venerable brand now under the PAC Machinery umbrella) was founded in 1947 in Brooklyn, NY. Like Audion, it grew out of the need for sealed plastic bags. That same year, Vertrod developed the first impulse sealer designed in the U.S. and holds the first U.S. patent for these types of machines. Vertrod concentrated its efforts on heavy-duty sealers for industrial manufacturing, and focused its activities on the U.S. market, while Audion operated in other parts of the world. The principals of Vertrod and Audion agreed on a global strategy in the mid-fifties; as they tended to serve different applications and markets. Audion placed their emphasis on smaller sealers, while Vertrod focused on large, industrial-scale equipment. In addition to large-scale sealers, Vertrod is credited with developing the first drop sealer for use in semi-automatic production. In the 1990’s one of Vertrod’s shareholders branched out
and opened Technaseal – initially to serve as the marketing arm of Vertrod. Over time, all Vertrod assets were transferred to Vertrod/Technaseal giving the company full control over the manufacture and marketing of Vertrod equipment.
Allied Automation, founded in Chicago, IL in 1959, began as a distributor of Vertrod products. In 1960 Allied purchased the assets of yet another bag sealing enterprise named Electro-Seal Packaging. In the 1970’s Allied went on to acquire the assets of Vonco Products, adding a variety of L-bar sealers and shrink tunnels. In 1975 Allied moved its operations to Dallas, Texas. In 1987, a key executive exited Allied and launched Titan Packaging Machinery. Soon the company acquired the Electrosealer and Bagmaster lines of equipment. Titan Packaging later developed the Rollbag line of equipment for bag-on-a-roll systems. In 1991 Titan Packaging Machinery merged with Allied Automation.
In 2001, Vertrod/Technaseal ceased operation, and its assets were purchased by PAC Machinery Group – however, the Vertrod brand was maintained for the large heavy-duty sealer line. In 2001, the shareholders of PAC also purchased the assets of Allied Automation and from it created Audion Automation.
Closing the loop
Plastic bags are at the very center of the fast-growing flexible packaging industry, and the PAC Machinery Group appreciated the value in adding bags to their product offering. The search was on for a bag manufacturer. Milwaukee Bag and Converting was founded in 2003 by a group of investors with many years of collective experience in the bag converting business. During its first year of operation it introduced equipment to make bags-on-a-roll, wicketed bags, and explored a variety of other bag converting capabilities. In 2005 Milwaukee Bag was acquired, adding the key poly bag manufacturing expertise required for sustained growth.
DEM was created in France in the mid-seventies and became a French leader in semi-automatic and automatic shrink and sleeve wrapper systems. Its line of products includes manual, semi-automatic, and automatic L-bar sealers and tunnels and custom-designed automatic sleeve wrappers. In the summer of 2002, DEM was purchased by a group of investors, including shareholders from Audion and PAC.
In early 2008 Parma Ohio-based Clamco faced a strong headwind due to changing market pressures. Owing to a number of other challenges, the principal owner of Clamco made the company available for acquisition. The Clamco acquisition provided a number of advantages: good synergies with existing product lines, experience with shrink systems and medical device baggers, engineering expertise, and an entre to markets that Clamco served for many years. Now, with Clamco assets relocated to Berea, Ohio, the brand is the focal point for shrink packaging systems and advanced automatic baggers.