When it comes to packaging, the single constant is change. Design, flexibility, speed, footprint – all are critical elements of this changing marketplace.
Into this dynamic landscape steps SWF Companies. For almost 60 years, SWF has provided over 18,000 innovative packaging automation solutions to customers in over 70 countries.
SWF maintains two manufacturing locations within the United States, one in Chicago IL and its headquarters in greater Fresno CA. Total manufacturing and assembly floor space exceeds 175,000 square feet, providing ample capacity to fulfill sizable project requirements.
With over 60 engineers and a technical support staff dedicated to providing cost-effective designs, from the simplest to the most complex packaging application, SWF boasts resources that few can match. Our primary and secondary packaging solutions are among the most sophisticated and through the support of our Fortune 200 parent, Dover Corporation, this dedication will not waver.
We believe that the pace of change in our marketplace will continue, thus creating great challenges and opportunities. Those companies that embrace change will have the best chance to flourish as a supplier partner to leading global companies.
Throughout our history, SWF has been a pioneer in the development of packaging designs and machinery and a driving force during a period of rapidly changing applications, materials, and requirements. As our marketplace has changed, so has SWF. Beginning in 1995, SWF has acquired leading packaging machinery manufacturers to build a broad line of complimentary primary and secondary packaging solutions.
SWF’s beginnings, however, can be traced back to 1946, when Buster Paxton invented the first automated nailing machine for wooden produce boxes to serve farmers and food processors in California’s San Joaquin Valley. For nearly 20 years, the majority of the nation’s fruits and vegetables were shipped in wooden boxes formed by Paxton’s machine, commonly known as “the General.” In the mid-1960s, the development of “hot-melt” adhesives spawned the rapid conversion from wood to corrugated shipping containers and Paxton’s General Nailing Corporation capitalized on this opportunity to design all-mechanical corrugated packaging machinery, which quickly gained a worldwide acceptance. In 1971, the General Nailing was acquired by Southwest Forest Industries and its name was subsequently changed to SWF Machinery in 1974.
Looking to complement its tray and bliss forming product lines, SWF acquired Dyna-Pak Corporation, an innovator in flexible bag case packing serving the French fry industry, in 1995. Throughout the 1980s, Dyna-Pak introduced a range of products, including a case opener/positioner, high-speed flat packing, stand-up pouch packing and case/tray lidding. Today, SWF has furthered this position as the market leader in vertical case packing in the frozen potato and IQF (individual quick frozen) vegetable markets. In 1996, SWF acquired McDowell International Packaging Systems, thereby adding a complete line of RSC case erecting machines to its product offering. Established in 1977, McDowell serviced the RSC case erector/bottom sealer needs of Florida’s fresh fruit market and in 1980, expanded its market focus to include the blow-molded plastics industry with a line of bottle packers, unpackers, and sealers. Over the years, customer demand also led McDowell into the development of case sealers and drop packers.
Closely following the McDowell acquisition, Dover Diversified, Inc. (a Dover Corporation subsidiary) purchased SWF as a stand- alone platform company in late 1997. On the heels of Dover’s purchase, SWF acquired Padlocker (an ITW Company) in 1998. Padlocker, with a history dating back to 1953, allowed SWF to expand its RSC corrugated product line by offering high-speed case erectors and random sealers. Also in 1998, SWF acquired Tri- Sterling, Inc. and subsequently added a targeted line of case packing solutions.
In 2000, SWF acquired Yakima Wire Works, Inc., a leading manufacturer of automatic bagging equipment for sensitive fruit and other non-produce applications, and Salwasser Manufacturing Co., Inc., a leading manufacturer of integrated case packaging equipment of more than 50 years. Salwasser specialized in integrated case packing solutions for the paper, dry goods and toiletries markets.
SWF’s most recent acquisition was Tisma Machinery Corporation in 2001. Tisma, with more than 25 years experience, is a leading provider of horizontal and vertical cartoning machinery, with emphasis on high speed applications for the food, cosmetic and confectionery markets.
SWF, through our own product development initiatives and acquisitions of product lines or companies that are logical extensions, is dedicated to reaching our long-term goal of being a single source of supply for integrated packaging lines that will meet the needs of customers worldwide.