AFA Systems to introduce converting machinery division at NPE2018

AFA Systems Ltd. is introducing its separate division AFA Cooper Inc. to a wider audience following its acquisition of Canadian converting machinery maker Cooper Machine & Tool Co.

AFA Systems purchased Cooper Machine in September 2016. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

All Cooper Machine employees and management were transferred from its facility in Concord, Ontario, to AFA Systems' 30,000-square-foot facility in Brampton.

Cooper Machine was founded by Andrew Wong. His daughter, Conny Wong, sales and marketing manager, oversees operations at AFA Cooper.

AFA Cooper makes blown film converting equipment, such as bag machines, separators, rotary cutters and coreless, surface, budget and turret winders, among other equipment.

"By combining our expertise under one roof, we are in a unique position to offer bag/film converters a complete downstream turnkey solution from bagmaking down to case packing and even palletizing," she said in a March 6 email interview.

To share its new capabilities with customers, AFA Cooper is exhibiting at NPE2018 in Orlando, Fla., May 7-11 at booth W4293.

"It will be our first time exhibiting since the acquisition, so there is a lot of potential for our parent company AFA Systems as well to meet … existing and new customers at a fresh show," Wong said.

AFA Systems has exhibited at NPE and K shows in the past, Wong said, and the company is "eager to showcase" its machinery to customers. The company has a strong presence in the United States and Canada and is looking to grow its existing Latin American base, she said.

NPE's move from Chicago to Orlando is "convenient" for this opportunity, Wong added. She also noted corporate incentives from the new tax law, such as lower corporate tax rates and 100 percent expensing for new investments, will encourage more growth in the U.S.

"The current economy is generally good and current oil/resin prices are at a level that my customers have some budget leftover for capital equipment," Wong said of her overall outlook for 2018. "A few years ago, many were holding back on new equipment or upgrading, so there is a lot of old bag machines and other converting equipment in the market that needs to be replaced or updated to increase output and efficiency."

AFA Systems Ltd. employs a total of 65 workers and manufactures high-speed automated packaging equipment such as cartoners, case packers, tray packers and palletizers for the food, consumer goods, pharmaceutical and industrial parts industries. With its purchase of Cooper Machine, AFA Systems broadened its packaging product range by adding capabilities in plastic bag and film converting segments.

"AFA Systems continues to grow and expand in the worldwide packaging machinery market. A large portion of this growth was attributed to its sales to converting companies requiring automated converting and packaging solutions," Wong said, adding that AFA Systems was attracted to Cooper Machine's "culture of innovation and engineered solutions."

"To date, AFA Cooper has integrated very well with the AFA Systems' culture, and both companies have mutually benefited," she said.