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 Business > Manufacturing

850 Pratt Blvd. | Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 | www.pmicartoning.com

Behind every carton on store shelves, boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, pouches of Hershey’s chocolates, is the machine used to produce it and fill it with content.

An original equipment manufacturer since 1993, PMI Kyoto in Elk Grove Village — PMI Cartoning, Inc., before it was acquired in 2018 by Kyoto Seisakusho Co. in Japan — builds custom, cartoning machines for such industries as food processing and packaging, pharmaceutical, personal care, automotive, and household products.

“When we build a product for a customer, that opens up a relationship for the next 20 plus years because this machinery can last a lifetime,” says Branko Vukotic, president of PMI. PMI maintains a family atmosphere by hiring friends and relatives of employees, which endears clients to the company and has resulted in the most revenue being generated by repeat customers.

“It goes beyond just the equipment but really looking out for our customers’ best interests and keeping functionality in mind,” Vukotic says. “Through our experience, we’re able to ask the correct questions as far as the performance requirements for a given machine. And then tailor the design and optimize it for the particular requirements.”

PMI serves North, Central and South America, Europe and Africa, generating $20 million to $50 million in annual revenue.

The company boasts a cartoning machine with a throughput of 1,000 cartons per minute, among the fastest in the world. It can also accommodate unique packaging formats for customers, such as stand up pouch bags, jars and bottles, a niche that brings with it new, exciting opportunities.

Still, the company has a standard offering of machines but customers almost always have PMI’s engineers modify it for their particular product type, rate and production environment. They also assist clients in customizing the packaging materials and cartons for the equipment. “We get so involved with customers beyond the equipment itself,” Vukotic says. “We advise and select the best possible packaging materials and designs for our customers so that we can build in and notice efficiencies. For example, a simple change to a carton’s size, style or closing design can save customers a lot of money by lowering the cost of materials and eliminating the amount of glue needed to close and seal it. This is how we motivate them to eliminate any bottlenecks. If they can shave off five minutes anywhere, that will boost our productivity and they will get credit for it.”