If there’s one thing that has remained constant in Packaging Personified’s 42-year history, it’s in the philosophy of doing it yourself.

“If there’s something that we see as a market opportunity or a customer need, we look to develop that capability in house, so we have the control of quality, delivery and cost,” says Joe Imburgia, general manager of operations at Packaging Personified.

The company, which extrudes monolayer and co-extruded film, and manufactures various printed and unprinted sideweld bags as well as roll stock, was founded in 1975 by Dominic Imburgia and Phyllis Muccianti.

While Packaging Personified initially started out without any focus on manufacturing, the founders quickly realized – within two short years, Imburgia adds – that there was a need to have better control over the quality of the products they were selling and the service needs that customers had.

“There are almost no processes that we actually have to toll out to the outside,” Imburgia says. “We’ll bring the capability in house, and that’s been our philosophy since the beginning.”

The company has two manufacturing facilities: one in Sparta, Michigan, and the other in Carol Stream, Illinois. Its Sparta, Michigan, facility employs 105 and offers an 8-color print capacity as well as film extrusion and co-extrusion.

“Our slitting capacity (at both facilities) is almost identical both in equipment and in capacity, and the number of machines,” Imburgia says. “Our converting capacity is very, very redundant, although we focus a little more on some large bags in our Sparta, Michigan, facility.”

The company recently installed an additional 3-layer Evolution-brand blown film line from Reifenhauser, which acquired Keifel Extrusion in 2009, at its Sparta facility. Packaging Personified has been doing business with Reifenhauser for roughly eight years and four of the extrusion lines in its Michigan facility are Reifenhauser.

“We found that, internally, it’s actually more important for us to produce high-quality film because of roll sizes and the speeds we run on our printing presses and slitters than it is usually for most of our end users, but we have to strive to make a film quality that’s appropriate for our internal converting operations,” Imburgia says. “We think in the long run our customers benefit from those efforts.”

Additionally, Imburgia says the company is focused on educating its customers – and, ultimately, the consumer – about its flexible packaging products in terms of environmental sustainability. He cites instances in the industry were products are over-packaged or the most responsible solution isn’t selected. But education is key, Imburgia says.

One effort that Packaging Personified has embraced is through “engineering stronger, tougher and stiffer films,” Imburgia says, which has allowed the company to reduce the amount of material required to meet application needs for its customers.

“Every year, between resin enhancements and equipment enhancements, there’s more opportunities to get a package to do the job it needs, requiring less bulk and material to get that job done,” he says. “It makes it a more cost-effective package, but also a more sustainable package.”

Since 2003, Packaging Personified has worked with Ship & Shore Environmental, an environmental, pollution abatement and energy solutions firm with offices in the U.S., Canada and Singapore, to meet its goals of expanded capacity and environmental sustainability.

At its Carol Stream facility, which employs 115, services include film extrusion, 8-color print capacity, bag converting, slitting/folding, micro perforation, lamination and pre-press/proofing.

Imburgia says Packaging Personified also plans to add extrusion capacity before the end of the year and print capacity before the end of 2018. The company may expand its micro-perforation capabilities as well. The company is anticipating sales between $95 million and $100 million per year in the next 12 to 18 months.

“We’re a debt-free organization, so over that period of time there’s been a lot of just significant reinvestment,” Imburgia says. “The money that the company has generated, a vast majority of that money goes back into the growing organization and strengthening the organization every year.”

Among those investments is a $5 million expansion of its Carol Stream facility to include a new 37,000-square-foot warehouse.

“That’s going to provide significantly more efficient warehouse space, and it’s going to take the current space we’re using for warehousing and open it up for additional manufacturing,” Imburgia says.

Construction of the warehouse started in October 2016 and is expected to be complete this June, bringing its Carol Stream facility to a total of 135,000 square feet. Imburgia says the company has budgeted nearly $10 million in capital investments for 2017.

Packaging Personified

(630) 653-1655; www.packagingpersonified.com