By Graziella DiNuzzo
Ever wonder how the piece of paper you find in between beef patties gets there? Most probably not. At one time, human hands painstakingly placed the paper, one at a time, to separate each patty in an assembly line, until engineer Lawrence Ward had an idea that would revolutionize the meat industry. In 1989, Ward invented the Arc’Tronic Hole Perforator - Packaging Progressions Inc. was born.
Dante Pietrinferni was working as a Production Manager at Mechtronics Industries, a machine building company, when Mr. Ward discovered him and offered him a job. It was 1992 and with only six employees, Pacproinc® was designing and manufacturing automatic, high-speed interleavers and stackers, eventually obtaining a patent for their “Inline Foldover” method in 1995.
Pietrinferni became President of Packaging Progressions in 2011.
“Our machines operate at the highest speeds, we have superior customer service and the most industry expertise. We were first to market and consider ourselves number one in the world,” smiles Pietrinferni.
Applications for Pacproinc® began with philly steaks and now include bacon, cheese, cookie dough, puff pastry, empanadas and tortillas, pasta sheets, burger patties, flatbreads and pizza bases, and sliced deli meats.
“We are able to take our core technology and adapt it to many products.”
Popular brands packaged on Pacproinc® machines include Domino Pizza, Subway, and McDonald’s.
“As we grew we were able to develop other packaging solutions within the food industry.”
Today, Pacproinc® has expanded its line of hole perforators, interleavers and stackers to include custom and standard conveyors, value-added services, and a full range of interleaving materials.
“Our biggest domestic sellers are bacon and burger packaging machines.”
Pacproinc® began exporting in the mid nineties, but not without some challenges and lessons learned.
In July 2019, Pacproinc® was acquired by Middleby Corporation, a global leader in the foodservice industry.
“The benefit that excites us the most is being able to leverage Middleby’s international assets to help us sell our products all over the world. Our biggest challenge to selling internationally was our lack of service and sales support within a territory. International customers were reluctant to buy from a company that did not have a local presence and provided support from the U.S.”
In 2019, Pacproinc® sold their machines into Canada, Malaysia, Peru and the U.K.
“We have sold parts, materials and machines to Australia, Thailand, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Canada, Peru, Mexico and the U.K. “
Pietrinferni recalls a meeting organized by WTCGP and the Korean PA Authorized Trade Representative, “We were meeting with a South Korean company, in a Greek restaurant in Germany. The South Koreans seemed angry. By learning some cultural awareness from our WTCGP contact, we understood that was just their communication style.”
As the food industry grows to changing consumer demands, Pietrinferni understands that Pacproinc® will need to adapt.
“We have a lot of discussion about using paper versus plastic, and are looking for more sustainable methods. Some clients require a heavier wax coating on the paper. We are always working on different formulations.”
During a tour of the plant, Mr. Pietrinferni demonstrated a robotic arm that the engineers are looking to integrate with their machines.
“We have developed new designs that work with our core technologies and created about 8 to 10 patents over the years.”
Today, Packaging Progressions (Pacproinc®) has 65 employees and during the last three years have consistently recorded 15% growth each year.
The future looks bright for Packaging Progressions.
“We not only provide a safe and sanitary solution to packaging fresh and frozen food, we also have superior 24/7 customer service. No one else can do what we do.”
Press Release - World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia Partners with Temple University’s Fox School of Business to present the 17th Annual Global Business Conference, March 19, 2020
Philadelphia, PA….December 10, 2019…The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP) will partner with Temple University’s Fox School of Business and the school’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) to present its 17th Annual Global Business Conference on Thursday, March 19, 2020. The conference will be held at Alter Hall located at 1801 Liacouras Walk, Philadelphia, PA.
For the past 17 years, the WTCGP has produced the Global Business Conference to provide an outlook on global market trends, updates on national trade policies and practical tools to help international businesses increase their global sales. Attendees from the international business community and organizations gather to hear from senior trade officials and corporate leaders who provide up-to-the-minute information and insights.
“Through CIBER and our international business programs, we provide opportunities to learn and to build a network,” says Ronald Anderson, dean of the Fox School and the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management. “The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia is a great partner in that mission. The Global Business Conference will offer our students and faculty an opportunity to discuss the changes taking place in the global markets with industry decision-makers.”
Past speakers have included Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Jeffrey Marrazzo, CEO, Spark Therapeutics, Jennifer Morgan, CEO, SAP and many other notable international business leaders and dignitaries. Click here for video of the 2019 GBC.
“I serve on the CIBER board and know the enormous impact that CIBER has as a resource for our region’s international businesses. Partnering with CIBER and the Fox School of Business on our Global Business Conference is exciting - we look forward to the participation of Temple University’s international thought leaders, students and alumni,” says Linda Conlin, President, WTCGP.
The full schedule of speakers and panelists will be announced in early 2020.
About the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia
The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP) is one of over 326 World Trade Centers in 89 countries around the globe. A non-profit and membership-based organization, the WTCGP accelerates global business growth for companies in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey by providing customized, one-on-one trade counseling, market research, educational programs, trade mission support, business networking events, and powerful connections to customers and partners worldwide. Since 2002, the WTCGP has served as a catalyst for regional economic growth and job creation, helping area companies generate over $2B in incremental export sales, supporting over 26,000 jobs.
About the CIBER Program
The Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBERs) were created by Congress under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to increase and promote the nation’s capacity for international understanding and competitiveness. Administered by the U.S. Department of Education under Title VI, Part B of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the CIBER network links the manpower and technological needs of the U.S. business community with the international education, language training, and research capacities of universities across the country. The 15 CIBERs serve as regional and national resources to business people, students, and teachers at all levels. This grant program adheres to the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 74-86 and 97-99.
About the Fox School of Business
The vision of Temple University’s Fox School of Business is to transform student lives, develop leaders, and impact our local and global communities through excellence and innovation in education and research.
The Fox School’s research institutes and centers as well as 200+ full-time faculty provide access to market-leading technologies and foster a collaborative and creative learning environment that offers more than curriculum—it offers an experience. Coupled with its leading student services, the Fox School ensures that its graduates are fully prepared to enter the job market.
The flexibility and responsiveness of our knowledge-creating research faculty allow the school to address the needs of industry and generate courses and programs in emerging fields. As a leader in business research, the Fox School values interdisciplinary approaches and translational research that influence and impact real-world problems. Our research informs an adaptive curriculum, supports innovation in teaching and prepares students for the ever-changing business environment.
Media Contact: Graziella DiNuzzo 609-680-7670 firstname.lastname@example.org
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