In 1979, Combi Packaging Systems was a machine rebuilding business servicing the beverage and brewing industries. Started by Pete and Janice Ballos with a partner, IMBX Corp, as the company was known then, was located on Southway SW in Canton. The company was doing business with many of the Coke, Pepsi and beer bottling plants throughout the North East and Mid West. It wasn't long before these former employees of The Timken Co. outgrew their facility and purchased property next to the former Martin Airfield in Plain Township.
In 1984, Pete and Janice bought out their partner and a licensing agreement was formed with a Swedish Company called "Combi Pack AB" to manufacture and sell a line of patented machines that automatically erected, packed and sealed corrugated cases. A new company was then formed as Combi America LLC. Starting small but seeing steady growth, Combi grew its market share throughout the US and Canada.
After a few years of development, the opportunity came to purchase the patents and engineering from the Swedish Company. In the years to come Combi showed steady growth expanding it's manufacturing space and staff of employees as it broadened the product line to serve the Food, Pharmaceutical, Household and Personal Care sectors of the packaging industry. By the mid 90's Combi America was a recognized key supplier in the packaging industry, supplying many of the top consumer brands found in the stores today.
In the spring of 1997, the 3M™ company offered to buy Combi America. After two year's of due diligence, a three way joint venture was formed between the Ballos's, 3M™ and a European packaging machinery manufacturer called Siat IT of Turate, Italy. This resulted in the forming of Combi Packaging Systems LLC in the summer of 1999. During the next two years Pete and Janice ran the company as CEO and CFO and chaired the Board of Directors. This was a transition time for the company where it continued to grow with new hires, as well as expanded manufacturing and a new office building expanding to 120,000 sq ft. on the now 17 acres of industrial property.
3M™ moved it's North American distribution of "3M-Matic™" case sealing machines to the newly expanded Canton facility. 3M™'s national sales force was engaged selling Combi products and in the summer of 2001 the Ballos 1/3 ownership was sold, changing the Joint Venture to a 50/50% partnership between 3M™ and the M.J. Maillis Group of Europe. At this time Janice Ballos retired and a veteran of the packaging industry, John F. Fisher, took over as CEO and Pete Ballos assumed the role of Combi International Sales Manager. Pete later retired in December of 2014. With the new management in place, Combi has grown successfully and consistently over the last 20 years since the formation of the joint venture.
Through this joint venture, Combi offers an impressive range of packaging systems for a wide range of packing applications in a diverse range of industries. With local distribution and support throughout North America and the world, Combi offers total solutions for complete end of line packaging systems.
Today Combi Packaging Systems is a leading manufacturer of end of line packaging equipment, including case erectors, case sealers, case packers, case labelers and tray erectors. Combi possesses a competitive advantage with its reputation for building custom equipment that others won't build and by reacting to ever-changing trends in the packaging industry. Through a national and international sales force, Combi has supplied machines to all 50 States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America as well as Asia the Middle East and Australia.