Finding quality packaging machinery with sufficient support services is often easier said than done, but Aesus Packing Systems is a home-grown North American fabrication firm that stands by its machines, no matter what.
After twenty-five years, Aesus Packaging Systems has seen it all. The company’s Fortune 500 customers cover industries as diverse as pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, nutraceutical, personal care, medical devices manufacturing, and more, and thanks to the team’s expertise and impressive track record in the trade, no customer is ever left in the lurch. No matter what the requirements are, Aesus Packaging Systems can develop a machine to match its clients’ packing needs at its headquarters in Pointe-Claire, Québec, Canada.
There aren’t many machine fabricators that can say they manufacture most of the parts used in the machines they build. Aesus is one of those few and this permits it to offer a one-year guarantee on all its units. By making around eighty-five percent of its own parts and using only the latest technology, it guarantees customers the best quality.
It is this open-for-business approach that has spurred the growth the company has experienced over the past few years. As it is, 2020 is yet to reach its full swing, but Aesus is already in the process of adding a new mezzanine area to its fabrication facility, complete with new machinery. The company is also implementing enterprise resource planning to ensure that its future growth goes smoothly and according to projections.
This is not a company that expects one size or type of system to suit all its customers. Its full, customized packaging lines are supported by premium, turnkey fabrication and installation services to ensure clients get exactly what they need.
“We are not simply in the business of manufacturing machines for our customers. We are in the business of manufacturing solutions for our customers,” says President and Chief Executive Officer Samantha Lewis.
Therefore, it makes certain to thoroughly understand how clients incorporate the machines into their packaging operations. The result is a large pool of information from which to glean ideas for improving its machines. “We also listen to our customers to know how they use our equipment and what will help them make their jobs easier,” Lewis adds.
The company manufactures the machines that handle the filling, sealing, labelling, and wrapping of any imaginable packaging. This includes single-unit, entry-level packaging machines and complete, fully integrated lines to suit every budget. It also makes pressure-sensitive labelling machines, liquid fillers, cappers, simple shrink-banding units, and high-speed, shrink-labelling machines. There are also its patented hybrid heat tunnels that combine steam and infrared light to render the perfect complex shrink wrap on contoured and hard-to-package containers, as well as conveyor belts, parts, and accessory support.
Due to its pressure-sensitive and patented shrink- wrapping technology, Aesus Packaging Systems is particularly liked for its labelling machines. Of course, a product’s label is the face of the brand. “[Our clients] always come up with some sort of challenging new bottle or label design, and we have to figure out a packaging solution for them,” adds Lewis.
Doing business with Aesus is as simple as picking up the phone, or dropping an email. Its salespeople are known for being technically-minded to fully understand a customer’s requirements. Once the overall must-haves are clear, the sales team collaborates with the engineers and technicians of the fully-equipped research and development department to come up with a packaging system that can be integrated into the customer’s facility with ease.
After the client approves the proposal, parts are ordered, and fabrication commences. The finished machines pass through a validation process during which test runs are done with the actual products for which the machine was built. This is followed by a factory acceptance test where the company demonstrates a run. Clients take ownership once they agree that the machine functions correctly, and the equipment is then sent to the customer’s facility, after which installation and start-up complete the process.
The company was established when three former industry leaders combined forces to form Aesus Packaging Systems in 2003. All the founders were industry veterans who had worked with some of North America’s biggest companies in the field. This characteristic has continued, and today, many Aesus executives have followed a similar career path.
As such, company leadership is well-versed in working on the shop floor when needed, with no job being too big or too small to take on. Here, success is about teamwork, respect, and support.
The 110-strong workforce also knows how to have fun together, and there is no shortage of good times. Some of the initiatives that keep everyone in good spirits throughout the year include contests for the ugliest Christmas sweater and best Halloween costume. “It is wonderful to see how many people dress up and commit to being part of the Aesus family,” says Lewis.
Its people also benefit from a few other thoughtful perks. Employees can choose to add thirty minutes to their workdays to leave earlier on Fridays, and the company hosts a staff lunch every few months to thank its people for their dedication and hard work. In addition, the office spaces had a recent overhaul with a new open layout and an updated cafeteria and games room giving everyone a few more reasons to enjoy spending time at work.
“One of the strengths of Aesus is undeniably our team,” Lewis says, who admits that without this fantastic team, the company would not be where it is today. And the company also cares about the larger community. In December, Aesus Packaging Systems hosted a bake sale with proceeds donated to West Island Community Shares. The non-profit organization then shared the money amongst the organizations that support Montreal’s West Island communities.
The employees’ dedication has paid off in many ways. Because of their superb service, many awards have recognized the company’s achievements over the years. It received the West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce accolades for manufacturing in 2009 and again in 2017 for export. This was followed by being selected as a finalist in the Mercuriades awards, also for export.
As change is the only constant, Lewis foresees that the packaging industry will follow the market’s changes seen by product manufacturers. “Inevitably, change is already underway, with our culture focusing heavily on sustainability and the environment,” she says. Alongside this growing environmental awareness, the company notes a growing improvement in packaging materials and an enlarged call for recyclability. This, she reckons will affect the demand for machinery that can handle new materials and styles.
“We will have to continue to develop new packaging machinery solutions to follow these fast-moving trends,” Lewis says. Meeting these trends with the latest technology also means more production, which will be supported by its new infrastructure and careful planning. The next big goal is to increase the company’s footprint by exporting its machines to new countries in a step that will no doubt be met with great success.