Automated Packaging Systems History

Garage, the first H100 machine and breaking ground in Streetsboro, OH

Automated Packaging was founded in 1962 in a one-car garage in Queens, New York, by brothers Hershey and Bernie Lerner. They saw that polyethylene bags, a new product then, were difficult to open and load product into.

They solved the problem by perforating one side of the bag and leaving the other side open. The bags were then rolled onto a cardboard cylinder. Once the prototype polyethylene bags were proven viable, the men moved into a larger garage and were joined by Arthur S. Gould, a former Beckman Converters Sales Manager.

In short, they ran low on cash and needed money to go any further. Art Gould introduced the Lerner brothers to Herb Crowther and Ridley Watts of American Packaging in Hudson, Ohio. After dinner, Mr. Crowther and Mr. Watts agreed to invest in this new packaging company - provided the men would move to Ohio, which they did. It was lucky that Mr. Crowther paid the bill because the three New Yorkers didn’t have enough money between them to pay for the meal. 

The first ‘machine’ was a cardboard box with a dowel inside to hold the bags on a roll. A war surplus blower, attached to the box, blew the bags open when pulled out by hand.  This rapidly evolved into a sheet metal box. Once the customer had the machine and bags, they needed to seal the bags. Hershey and Bernie designed a sealer which worked like the Vegas “one-arm bandit” slot machine. However, it was still hand-operated.

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Automated Packaging introduced the first fully automatic machine, the H-100. By adding a counter or weigher to the H-100, productivity greatly increased for filling and sealing bags. This advanced packaging system required trained servicemen for installation and repairs. That resulted in establishing a national service department.
Automated Packaging Corporation now had a total system – the material, the machinery and service. To reflect their systems approach to the packaging industry the company name changed to Automated Packaging Systems. A total packaging system was the foundation on which the business was built and it continues today.
For over 50 years, Automated Packaging Systems has introduced many innovative products and is the leader in designing innovative packaging equipment. They solve customers’ problems while improving their packaging efficiency.  As a single-source supplier, the company assumes responsibility for keeping their customers’ packaging operation running.
Forming a joint venture in 1984 with a UK company, Automated Packaging entered the international market and is now a global company with offices and plants throughout the world.
In 2012 Automated Packaging Systems celebrated their 50th anniversary, with plans for continued growth in the next 50 years.