Fowler Products Company

Fowler Products manufactures high-speed capping machinery and cap sorting and feeding systems. Fowler’s quality equipment serves the beverage, food, pharmaceutical, chemical, personal care, household goods, wine and distilled spirits industries. The company works with leading brands, helping to automate the capping function. In some cases, capping speeds approach 1,000 bottles or jars per minute and, consequently, this technology is one of the most advanced and highest-quality technology available. 

Like many packaging equipment manufacturers, Fowler started as a small organization and continued to grow, building a reputation of reliable solutions. Along the way, Fowler became the United States distributor of Zalkin capping equipment. This distributorship was more than simply stocking product; it involved engineering sales for capping equipment and the requirement to design and engineer cap handling/feeding systems. Fowler was eventually acquired by Pro Mach, an integrated packaging equipment company that enabled it to access world-class back office systems and to offer joint sales with other Pro Mach brands. Fowler began honing its system integration experience with these other units and with outside companies. 

Fowler established a state-of-the-art factory acceptance testing facility in Athens, Ga., giving it the standout ability to integrate filling-capping-labeling packaging lines. Then in 2014, Pro Mach acquired Zalkin, greatly expanding Fowler’s global resources and bringing it much closer to Zalkin in sales, marketing and product development. This close working relationship, combined with Pro Mach resources, Zalkin’s global customer base and Fowler’s proven engineering, manufacturing and integration expertise, was the genesis of the new Pro Mach Bottling and Capping group formed last year. 

End-to-End Solutions

The recently completed Zipz Wine packaging line is an example of Fowler’s transition to a sales engineering, manufacturing and integration capping company. Zipz developed single-serve wine in decorative wine glasses for those who want a fine wine, but don’t want to open an entire bottle. Portable and recyclable, Zipz can go anywhere and are also sold at stadiums and large public events. 

In 2014, the Zipz concept was so new to the market and innovative that it received the highest venture capital funding of any project to be featured at that time on the TV show “Shark Tank.”

However, Zipz had a two-fold production obstacle standing in its way to full market introduction and expansion. The filling and capping system could only fill and cap about 50 Zipz glasses per minute, far fewer than the market required. Secondly, the shelf life of the fine wine was too short for retailers because air entered the Zipz glass during filling.

Fowler presented Zipz with a total end-to-end solution that would not only boost production to 200 single-serve units per minute, but also would inject nitrogen into the ZIPZ glass, removing oxygen to meet extended shelf life needs. The complete packaging line was up and running in a matter of a few weeks.

Aside from the Zipz solution, Fowler and Zalkin’s sister companies are soon introducing a special screw-on cap used for spray mist. Fowler and Zalkin also have played an instrumental part of the development of capping technology for premium aluminum bottles for Coca Cola and other major brands. 

From a small, regional packaging equipment manufacturer in the 1960s to a major market competitor today, Fowler is helping its customers improve productivity and the quality of their packaging operations. 

Fowler is currently building an outside salesforce so it will have a greater presence in the marketplace and be closer to customers throughout the country. It recently added outside salespeople in California, the Midwest and the East Coast. Now Fowler has a deeper presence in regions not previously represented. 

“I had the chance to join Fowler when it was in the middle of these exciting projects,” says Franck Vidal, vice president of marketing and sales. “It is an exhilarating time and one that is a joy to share with our customers.”

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