After being acquired by WestRock Co. this fall, SP Fiber Technologies is now part of a larger group of paper and corrugating packaging producers with vast resources that will help SP Fiber better address customer needs.

The Georgia-based company manufactures containerboard and kraft and bag paper for use by consumers and in corrugated packaging. The acquisition will help fill a niche for WestRock. 

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to supply the foodservice market with lighter-weight paper for recycled, unbleached bags,” Jim Porter, president of paper solutions at West-Rock, said in a statement about the buyout. “This modern recycled containerboard and kraft paper production provides us with the efficiencies in our mill system that will enable us to more effectively serve our customers.”

PolyFirst Packaging began in 1998 with a mission to produce the highest-quality plastic film and bags on time and at a fair price. The company has since stuck to its guns and become one of the largest producers of specialty plastic bags and plastic packaging in the country. 

PolyFirst Packaging extrudes its own plastic to better guarantee the quality of its products. Plastics extrusion is a manufacturing process in which raw plastic is melted and formed. But not all plastic bag makers extrude their own plastic. The plastic for PolyFirst Packaging’s bags is created by a blown film extrusion method. This process ensures its customers receive the best possible products. 

McDowell Label strives to be an innovator within its market, President John McDowell says. Instead of letting the economy guide its strategy, “We identify what the customers’ demands are by vetting the brand owners we’re privileged to serve,” McDowell states. 

The company employs purpose-driven strategies and dialogue to position itself in the market. “We’re like a sniper in that we create very precise targets and hit them,” he states. 

Strategically based in Plano, Texas, the corporate-headquarter epicenter of the Dallas metroplex, the company provides label-decorating and packaging products to multiple CPG markets, including premium beverages, prestige cosmetics, sports nutrition/nutraceutical, gourmet foods and petritional brands, among others. “We strive to be an innovative pioneer when it comes to new brand-packaging technologies,” McDowell says.

Kaufman Engineered Systems

Kaufman Engineered Systems was one of the first companies to distribute robotic automation equipment in the 1990s when the technology first hit the market. The pioneering company continues to build on its reputation as a technical solutions expert for industrial clients. “We are trying to build that awareness and create that stigma because we are a leader,” owner and Vice President Nick Kaufman says. 

The Waterville, Ohio-based company began in 1946 as a designer and manufacturer of heat treat furnaces and shrink ovens. The shrink wrap business evolved over time from shrinking to applying film and stretching it, which was more economical. 

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I.D. Images

Printing and distributing customers throughout the nation rely on I.D. Images to create labels for their products, and those labels say more than they appear to at first glance. The labels created by I.D. Images not only carry the information they are printed with, but they also speak to the quality and variety the company is capable of. CEO Brian Gale says the company thrives in a very competitive industry by offering its customers a wider selection of solutions and top-notch service every step of the way. 

The Ohio-based, ISO 9001:2008 registered company has been in business since 1995, when it was founded to develop packaging equipment. Gale says the company began distributing labels at around the same time, but over time the labels side of the business became so profitable that I.D. Images sold off its packaging equipment to focus on labels full-time. 

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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. 

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Fred Conway founded Discount Labels in 1965 in the basement of his home. Today, the company operates from a 200,000-square-foot facility, but its founder’s business philosophy of offering outstanding customer service, quality products and great value remains the cornerstone of Discount Labels and the reason for the relationships it has developed over the past half-century.

“The company still holds true to the founding principles, and that’s [thanks to] our people,” says Mike Gore, vice president of operations. Gore was hired by Conway in 1991 and says the founder highly valued innovation, too. “It’s very important to us to stay in front of the market,” Gore says.

Curtis Packaging

When consumers buy a product, they usually discard the box it was packaged in. But when products come in Curtis Packaging’s boxes, consumers tend to keep them due to their unique coatings. “It’s all about the tactile feel. Curtis has a myriad of coatings, including soft touch, high pile, grit, iridescence, matte/gloss and microencapsulation,” Vice President of Sales Mike Simko says.

Based in Sandy Hook, Conn., Curtis Packaging provides luxury packaging to a variety of sectors. Members of the Curtis family started the company in 1845 and ran it until 1980, when Nelson Curtis sold the firm to five of its executives.

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