The Specialized Packaging Group (SPG), founded in 1983, had a driving focus—to do things differently and creatively. This led to many innovative processes and capabilities that would define SPG for the next two decades. In 2009, the Specialized Packaging Group merged with PaperWorks Industries, Inc., turning the paperboard manufacturer into an integrated full-service packaging provider headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. SPG thus became the foundation for one of PaperWorks’ two divisions, the PaperWorks Packaging Group. Less than two years later, the Packaging Group would also acquire the Rosmar Packaging Corporation, bringing its five facilities and 750 employees into the PaperWorks family.
Vertically integrated with the Paperboard Group (consisting of its Philadelphia Mill, Wabash Mill, and the many converting facilities of Manchester Industries), the PaperWorks Packaging Group has positioned itself to be a significant contributor in the packaging industry. PaperWorks as a whole has enjoyed aggressive growth and continues to redefine itself through highly diversified capabilities and a commitment to service and quality.
Any concern that some of SPG’s creativity and drive would have been lost in its merger into a much larger entity was unnecessary. The SPG spirit of innovation and its drive to rethink the carton are alive and well, and permeate the corporate culture of this relatively new company. This is evidenced by the formation of the PaperWorks Packaging Group Design and Innovation department (PDI).
As Don Gray, director of technical services and general manager of PaperWorks’ Baldwinsville operation explains, the PDI is “a product development task force that works on both our paperboard and packaging systems. Their mission is to explore new technologies and innovations that could become the next ‘new thing’ to add value to the packages we produce. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on trial time and machine time annually in the quest to create something new—something that doesn’t even exist today. Even an add-value that’s very subtle can create a new niche for us and we’re committed to that kind of innovation.”