With over 45,000 attendees and nearly 3,000 exhibitors expected to flood Chicago’s McCormick Place on Nov. 2-5, many people in the packaging industry might consider Pack Expo 2014 to be a pretty big deal in itself. But for one particular company, this year’s expo is going to be big no matter how many people show up.

Totani America Inc. will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year at Pack Expo, where the company will also demonstrate some of its new and bestselling machinery.

Totani Corp., the Japan-based parent company of Totani America, supplies machines for standup-, side-gusset-, three-side-seal and flat-bottom pouches. Totani machines are now located in over 30 countries around the world and serve a number of markets within the flexible packaging industry including food and beverage, pet food, medical, chemical, lawn and garden, flower and custom. Totani machinery has been exhibited at every Pack Expo show since 1984.

Totani Corp., which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, established Totani America in 2004 to provide direct sales and service of machinery and replacement parts to the American market.

Michael Greely, senior vice president and sales manager of Totani America, says the Green Bay, Wis.-based subsidiary has witnessed significant growth in the box- and standup pouch markets over the past 10 years. “The Box Pouch started from the first machine in 2002, and in 2005 I think we sold the third machine here (in America). Now, worldwide we sell eight or nine of them every year,” he says. “Of course, we’re selling a lot more standup pouch machines than Box Pouch machines. The standup pouch market is much larger and continues to grow. ”

This year’s Pack Expo visitors will have the opportunity to experience a firsthand look at a few of Totani’s package-making machines, including the new ST30 spout inserter. The machine debuted earlier this year at Interpack in Dusseldorf, Germany, along with three other Totani products – the HK65V side-weld bag machine, which runs at unprecedented speeds of 500 cycles per minute; the BH60 retort standup pouch machine, which offers two-, three- or four-lane pouch making at 240 cycles per minute using Totani’s “single-cut round corner” technology; and the FD35 one-lane standup pouch machine, which operates at 200 cycles per minute with registered round-corner punches.

Sho Ueki, Totani America’s executive vice president, is excited to demonstrate the new spout inserter’s advanced features at the show. “We are focused on showing the ST30 as a solution to our spouted-pouch suppliers. We are excited to demonstrate its higher accuracy, size range and speed at Pack Expo,” he says.

ST30 features some notable upgrades, including the ability to change over seal and cool bars without tools and a pouch-positioning device for achieving accurate spout position. The machine operates at speeds of up to 70 cycles per minute and offers an inline vision inspection system with CCD cameras and integrated rejection conveyor.

Totani is aiming for the new spout inserter to be on the same level as the company’s pouch makers, Greely adds. “The ST30 spout inserter is much more robust than the earlier models. Our goal is to make them as reliable as our pouch machines,” he says.

The company will also be demonstrating two of its bestselling standup pouch machines in North America, the CT60 and BH60 models, adds Ueki.

The CT60 will be shown at another exhibitor’s booth during the show. “We’ll be running the Slide-Rite slider zipper and press-to-close zipper from Presto in one of our machines at (Presto Products’) booth,” Greely says.

While Totani America is anticipating the demonstration of its new spout inserter and pouch machines at Pack Expo, the company also looks forward to celebrating its 10-year milestone with customers who will be in attendance. One is flexible packaging converter Temkin International, who was a client of Totani Corp. long before its American subsidiary was established.

“I started with (Totani Corp.) more than 10 years before Totani America was born, so I was buying directly from Japan and that was a good experience,” says Danny Temkin, founder and president of Temkin International.

Temkin says the quality and creativity of Totani’s equipment are two things that he appreciates as a long-term customer. “They (Totani America) are very innovative…and are very thorough in what they do. As long as they are coming out with that type of equipment with the quality they are doing, I will be a client forever,” he says.

Prolamina Corp. is another Totani customer who will be present at the show. The packaging converter recently installed the BH80 pouching machine in Prolamina’s Neenah, Wis., facility.

In a recent press release, Prolamina’s CEO Greg Tucker states, “We believe the Totani BH80 to have the greatest inline speed on the market and, coupled with our existing Totani machines, we are well aligned to support the growth of our world-class customers...”

According to Joe Vann, Totani America’s technical project manager and regional sales manager, the company’s ability to satisfy its customers is due to the steadfast support and growth of its team, which has expanded from three to 11 people over the past 10 years. 

“As we’ve grown and as the flexible packaging market has grown, we’ve put a lot of resources into our team,” says Vann.  “Whether it’s technical sales, customer service or technical support, we’ve got a good team established that can help support the customers, and it allows us also to go after some very niche markets that we’re exploring.”

With a decade now under its belt, Totani America looks ahead, expecting nothing less than continued growth and success in the flexible packaging industry.

“When you’re looking at the different flexible packaging markets like standup pouch…or some of the other markets like our Box Pouch line, where we’ve had tremendous success, there’s definitely some good forthcoming opportunities,” says Vann. “The market looks like it’s in good shape and we’re expecting continued growth for the next few years for sure.”

Next year already appears to be promising for the company, adds Greely. “2015 looks very interesting, as we have many machines booked for next year already, including some new medical pouch machines,” he says. “With Totani America’s excellent technical service staff, which includes the most experienced in the pouch-making industry, the future looks bright.”


Totani America Inc.

(920) 632-7319; www.totani.co.jp/en/