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New Somic America packaging machine generates outstanding response at PACK Expo

The SOMIC-FLEXX III made a highly successful debut at PACK Expo in Chicago.


After achieving a greater than expected amount of leads at last month’s PACK Expo in Chicago, Somic America, Inc. is about to close the book on the best year in its history. The reaction to the introduction of the SOMIC-FLEXX III at the show was overwhelmingly positive, and it follows an upward pattern the company has established in the past year.

Somic America moved into new corporate headquarters in March, more than tripling its space at the Twin Cities location in Minnesota. Somic also is riding a wave of momentum and plans to install about 20 new machines with several high profile customers in the first half of 2019.

“It has been a very strong year and the introduction of the SOMIC-FLEXX III provides us with many new opportunities for next year. With the number of machines we sold in 2018, that is why we increased our service team and expanded our parts inventory,” remarked Peter Fox, Senior Vice President of Sales for Somic America.

“After PACK Expo in Las Vegas a year ago,” continued Fox, “we sold many of our multi-purpose, retail ready case packaging systems that collate and package soft or flexible products. Since then, we have installed units with a major produce manufacturer in the southwest U.S. and with dairy providers in the Midwest. More machines will be installed in the coming months. A Midwest based supermarket chain and one of the largest non-chocolate confectioners purchased 15 of our systems between the two of them.”

The introduction of the modular SOMIC-FLEXX opens the door to solving more North American retail packaging challenges. A new concept that allows manufacturers to pack primary packages in a flat, nested position or a standing display orientation, Fox says it was a hit with PACK Expo visitors in the Somic booth.

“We engaged in conversations with and have leads from over 150 companies, so it far exceeded our expectations for the show. We talked with companies representing a wide variety of industries, from food manufacturers to medical and hardware providers and others,” he said. “We received a tremendous amount of positive feedback.”

Fox said many who saw the machine demonstrated were impressed with its ability to handle single or multi-component packaging. The SOMIC-FLEXX III is designed to run one-piece corrugated blanks for standard wraparound shipping cases and two-piece tray and hood for retail ready presentations.

“Seeing it live gave people a better understanding how fast and flexible this machine is,” summed up Fox. “It was built to meet any retailers’ packaging demands, and utilizing the newest industrial automation technology from Rockwell Automation makes it even more attractive. Our machine takes the collating, grouping and packing of stand-up pouches, flow packs, rigid containers and other items to a new dimension.”

The SOMIC-FLEXX III demonstrated in Chicago was designed specifically for a food producer with many diverse customer requirements. Therefore, the machine needed to have the capability of running a broad range of retail ready and standard shippers as specified by these customers. It currently is in Somic’s Minnesota headquarters being fitted with special formats and is expected to be installed at its new home in the first quarter of 2019.

New SOMIC-FLEXX III multi-component packaging machine to debut at PACK Expo

The amazing SOMIC-FLEXX III, representing a breakthrough in new packaging machinery, is being introduced at PACK Expo in booth E8550.

A new dimension to end-of-line packaging machinery will soon begin when Somic America, Inc. (booth E8550) unleashes the SOMIC-FLEXX III at PACK Expo. It will be demonstrated in the booth throughout the October 14-17 event at McCormick Place in Chicago.

This modular machine is an intriguing solution to North American retail packaging challenges. SOMIC-FLEXX III is a new concept that combines the ability to pack primary packages in a flat, nested position or a standing display orientation.

The machine also is designed to utilize both single or multi-component packaging: one- piece corrugated blanks for standard wraparound shipping cases and two-piece tray and hood for retail ready presentations. It does so by offering the utmost in adaptability and impressive speed, along with the latest generation of industrial automation from Rockwell Automation.

“Our new machine provides CPG’s with the flexibility to meet a variety of retailers’ packaging demands,” said Peter Fox, Senior Vice President of Sales for Somic America.

“Stand-up pouches, flow packs, rigid containers and other items can be collated, grouped and packed in a wide variety of formats. This includes open or wraparound trays, to paperboard cartons and trays with covers. With the development of this machine, we have delivered the ultimate in packaging flexibility and further expanded the SOMIC success story in North America.”

Fox explained the SOMIC-FLEXX III took two years to design and develop. He is eager to discuss specific applications with booth visitors at PACK Expo.

“Essentially, the SOMIC-FLEX III is a tray packer with a cover applicator that has been split apart at the center and expanded to include an insertion packer. Each of the three user-friendly modules operates as one machine. The advantage is this machine has the capability to run virtually any pack arrangement, and in any type of shipping or display vehicle.

“Somic has a passion for performance and this machine reflects the thousands of hours that were invested in designing and developing this system,” continued Fox. “The tray packer is employed for upright display arrangements, followed by the application of a cover. By replacing the lamella chain (vertical collator) with a control conveyor for horizontal and nested groups, it allows the products to pass through the vertical tray packer. The insertion packer then inserts six items into the pre-formed cartons that were formed in the pass-through tray packer. The final station on the machine glues and closes the wraparound case, or applies the hood or cover to the display tray.”

Fox indicated Somic’s new 13,000 square-foot corporate headquarters in the Minneapolis area is expected to play a major role in supporting all new machines in the North American market. It is located just 10 minutes from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

“We have quadrupled our space requirements and have room for future growth,” summed up Fox. “When our Showroom is completed, we will be demonstrating different types of machines. In recent months, we have also strengthened our Service support team. Having the SOMIC-FLEXX III available for the market gets us one step closer to achieving our goals for 2018.”

Somic America reloads on Sales support by adding three more Service Technicians

With new equipment contracts and interest building for the North American introduction of a revolutionary packaging machine next month at PACK Expo, Somic America continues to emphasize customer support with the hiring of three new service technicians. Service team leader Daniel Freeman, Andre Jackson, and Jesse White bring a wealth of experience to a growing department.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of an expanding company. There are a lot of things taking place and it’s great to be in a position to add the caliber of people we have in the last five or six months,” explained Peter Fox, Senior VP of Sales. “These guys have solid mechanical backgrounds and they were very quick to learn about Somic equipment. Our customers are going to love working with them.”


Daniel Freeman is a U.S. Army veteran with 14 years of supervisory maintenance experience. With a background in the installation of equipment, he has considerable experience in components testing, electrical, mechanical, and electromechanical assemblies, and was cited for his ability to complete difficult or unserviceable projects ahead of schedule. Most recently, Freeman was a mechanical technician for a Minnesota service provider of servo systems and motion controlled packaging machines.


Andre Jackson has over 17 years experience, serving mostly as a field service engineer or system engineering technician. His talents have allowed him to travel the world to troubleshoot and repair complex mechanical and electronic systems. In his most recent position, Jackson integrated manufactured systems and subsystems and worked with his company’s engineering team on new product hardware and software configuration.


Jesse White joins Somic America with experience in the food processing industry as a machine maintenance technician. He has worked on complex PLC systems including Allen Bradley, Fanuc and Siemens, in addition to a wide range of packaging and printing machines. White also spent time in the energy industry as a maintenance technician, troubleshooting and repairing electrical, hydraulic or pneumatic machinery.

Learn more about Somic America’s service capabilities by visiting the booth (E-8550) at PACK Expo in Chicago, October 14-17, or visit www.somic.us .

Somic to introduce unique, multi-component packaging machine at PACK Expo

Somic America, Inc. (booth E-8550) will unveil a revolutionary machine to the North American market at PACK Expo, October 14-17 in Chicago. The SOMIC-FLEX III represents a new concept that will give customers a true advantage in the marketplace with tremendous flexibility, outstanding speed and a host of other benefits.

The patent-pending SOMIC-FLEX III addresses requests from retail chains in the North American market looking for upright, two-part cardboard packaging. A leading manufacturer for end-of-line packaging technology, Somic is known for its design and development capability. The SOMIC-FLEX III takes multiple purpose, retail-ready packaging machinery to the next level.

Customers will find this new machine to be incredibly fast and flexible. They will have the ability to produce any type of packaging carton, ranging from a single wraparound carton to a multiple-component cover-tray-carton combination. Customers will also have the option to group products in an upright position or lying flat.

This capability is being driven by the newest generation of industrial automation with a Rockwell Automation control system. The SOMIC-FLEX III also is equipped with UL certified components. All machines for the North American market will be fully supported by Somic America’s new headquarters in Minnesota. Somic engineers will be in the booth at PACK Expo to answer any questions. For more information, visit www.somic.us.

Somic America bolsters Service Department by adding seasoned Technicians

Looking to team world-class packaging machinery and equipment with world-class talent to keep it operational and productive, Somic America has added two highly experienced associates to the Service Department. Alfredo Avila and Michael Kurtz are both seasoned road warriors with extensive and impressive electrical and mechanical skills.

Alfredo Avila


Avila has 20 years of printing and packaging experience. Most recently he was a field service engineer for FP International, a manufacturer of protective packaging solutions. After beginning his career as a printing equipment operator for the communications department at New Mexico State University in 1996, he became a field service engineer and worked at Heidelberg USA for over a decade. Known for his ability to solve tough issues with his troubleshooting abilities, Avila speaks fluent English and Spanish.

“Alfredo is a professional technician and well-liked. He’s the guy who handles the call when a project runs into an obstacle,” said Peter Fox, Vice President of Sales for Somic America. “For example, he created a solution for a customer that allowed a stationary piece of equipment to become mobile with a portable power supply. It not only increased production but also saved considerable cost. That kind of analytical problem solving will be very beneficial to our customers.”

Michael Kurtz


Kurtz brings a slightly different set of skills to the table. Following a stint with the U.S. Navy, he worked at Delta Airlines for almost two decades as a line maintenance lead technician and in other positions. In 2009, he made the switch to the packaging industry and has spent the last seven years installing and servicing a variety of vacuum packaging equipment for MULTIVAC.

“Michael has a different type of skill set that our customers will appreciate. He was looking for a new challenge and wants to continue learning new technologies, machinery and efficiencies,” remarked Fox. “He has very strong electrical and mechanical skills, and his experience with Beckhoff programmable logic controllers for servo drive systems and Allen Bradley touchscreen controls will bode well for our customers.”

For servicing of your Somic America equipment, please call (612) 247-1709.

LeahNé Thiele named Administrative Services Manager for Somic America

Capitalizing on an outstanding business career that includes a decade’s worth of packaging industry experience, Somic America, Inc. announces the appointment of LeahNé Thiele as Administrative Services Manager. She will report to Peter Fox, VP of Sales.

The hiring dovetails the recent news about the company moving North American headquarters from Chicago to Eagan, MN., a Minneapolis suburb. A Twin City area resident, Thiele has 30 years experience and joins Somic after serving as Finance Manager for the Church of St. Odilia. She was responsible for all financial reporting at the Catholic Church and school, and was involved as part of a team in a successful capital campaign that raised over $6 million.

Thiele’s packaging industry days took place at her previous job where she was the Director of Packaging Materials at Delkor Systems for nine years. In addition to overseeing financial reporting and providing analysis, she managed department staff that serviced customers. Prior work includes a 12-year run with Ecolab that included progression in the Finance department and culminated as Fleet Manager for one of top 40 largest fleets in the U.S.

“It is a very interesting opportunity with everything taking place at Somic. I worked with Peter Fox and Luke Gardner (Customer Support Manager) previously and they are good people,” said Thiele. “During my time at Delkor, I learned a lot about packaging equipment. That knowledge, plus the plan for growth, helped influence my decision to join Somic.”

“I am very excited to have LeahNé join our company,” said Peter Fox. “She is a very meticulous and ethical person and she has succeeded in every position she has worked. This is the perfect role for her with Somic and I know she will be a great addition to our staff.”