Wisconsin-based Matrix Packaging Machinery (matrixpm.com) a product brand of  ProMach, is in its 30th anniversary year. Willden brothers, Marcel and Marc, along with their father, Dee, started the packaging machinery company in the family’s garage in 1988. 

“In the mid-1980s, packaging machines that formed and filled bags of coffee or frozen green beans, for example, were large, complex, expensive and difficult to operate and repair,” said Marc Willden, general manager of Matrix and a ProMach vice president. “My brother Marcel designed a line of standardized bag forming and filling machines that were more flexible, easier to operate, and cost less than the leading brands. Marcel utilized the latest off-the-shelf electronic controls and mechanical components instead of building key systems from scratch like other companies, which we believe slows innovation.”

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the company’s mastery of packaging machinery design and manufacturing matured. Matrix engineers incorporated new and more flexible computerized product weighing systems, giving companies the ability to quickly and easily weigh different mixes of product to create variations on the same machine. By simply changing a few settings, for example, a packager could switch from trail mix featuring chocolate chips, raisins, and peanuts to a mix with chocolate chips, cranberries, and cashew nuts. Matrix machines evolved, becoming modular, which enabled the company to optimize every machine for a customer’s unique environment. Some things did not change, however, including the emphasis on highly productive machines that are easy to operate and have a low cost to maintain.

In 2011, Matrix became part of ProMach, one of the world’s largest privately held integrated packaging machine companies. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, ProMach acquires innovative companies such as Matrix and helps them grow by providing financial, engineering and operational support. A little more than two years after becoming a product brand of ProMach, Matrix Packaging Machinery had the exclusive rights in the U.S. to sell and service pre-made pouch filling and sealing machines from Toyo Jidoki, a Japanese company; pouch forming and filling equipment by FLtecnics; and INV Pack stickpack and sachet forming and filling machines. Both FLtecnics and INV Pack are based in Spain. Matrix is now a one-stop-shop for companies large and small that package food, personal care, or over-the-counter products in bags, pouches, and sachets.