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Our History

Learn About Massman's History

Since 1978, Massman Automation has steadily grown into Massman Companies. Targeted acquisition of companies has steadily expanded the packaging machinery we can offer, from single high-efficiency machines to fully-integrated production lines. These options will continue to grow as we add to the capabilities and services that we offer our customers.

Massman Automation Designs began life on Burl Massman’s garage in 1978. The machines produced in those early years included a system to shrink wrap aluminum storm doors, Within only 5 years, steady production growth required the company to move into a separate building, and by 2003 required that building to be substantially expanded. Since that early success, steady growth in both the variety of machines offered and the industries served has been an ongoing feature of the Massman story.


A New Growth Stage

In 2005, Jeff Bigger, former president of Brenton Engineering and vice president of Douglas Machine, purchased Massman Automation upon Burl Massman’s retirement. That year also ushered in a new stage in Massman’s growth, with the acquisition of Midmac, creating Massman’s filter assembly division.

Within the next 8 years, the company acquired Sabel Engineering, Talon Manufacturing, Packaging Systems Automation (PSA), the PASE Group, and Bedford TechnologyÒ LLC’s packaging equipment division, while adding 14,250 square feet of assembly and office space to accommodate the new growth.

The primary goal of these early acquisitions was to add capabilities that would let Massman offer a wider range of solutions to its customers. Acquiring Sabel added robotic case packaging; Talon added microwave popcorn and flexible pouch packaging; PSA brought cartoning and product handling; PASE introduced drum filling, and depalletizers; Bedford added reclosable packaging, including tin tie reclosable pouch closures for coffee and bakery products, offering Massman its first entry into consumer packaging.

In 2016, Massman acquired Elliot Manufacturing and EDL Packaging, expanding Massman’s offerings in case erecting and sealing and introducing the capability for shrink wrapping and shrink bundling.

In 2018, Massman added automated filling capacity for small to mid-sized packaged liquid products when acquiring Ideal-Pak. Forming the Ideal-Pak/Pase Group which created a Massman Companies division capable of filling a wide range of products into a wide range of package sizes.  In 2022 through rebranding this group is now named Ideal Pase.

In 2019, a major acquisition added DTM Packaging and Custom Automation, a leader in machine manufacturing and re-manufacturing and in the integration and automation of packaging lines. This strategic move allowed Massman to offer, for the first time, complete packaging line solutions for a variety of industries. DTM brought Massman Companies a significant presence in the liquid filling marketplace, as well as partnerships with Ronchi America, an Italian manufacturer of high-speed rotary fillers, and Tolke USA, a German manufacturer of high-speed bottle unscramblers and cap sorters, for whom DTM provides all US service and technical support.

In 2022, Massman acquired New England Machinery, Inc.  NEM builds machines to improve efficiencies in packaging production lines worldwide. NEM product lines include bottle Unscramblers, Orienters, Cappers, Retorquers, and Lidders. NEM also provides several types of specialty equipment including Pluggers, Pump Sorters and Placers, Scoop Feeders, and Spout Inserters. The addition of NEM to The Massman Companies enables full-line solutions from bottle to pallet.


Each of these acquisitions has expanded the range of industry segments that Massman Companies serves, and increased the broad number of capabilities it offers. They have been driven by a positive philosophy. When Massman acquires a company, it is undertaken as a step forward for both entities. Massman adds new capabilities it needs to meet expanding customer needs. The acquired company, rather than being absorbed anonymously into a larger entity, maintains the brand identity its team has built over many years and becomes a team member of the Massman Companies Group. As a result, in addressing a customer’s needs, often machines from the different members are combined to create the final solution.

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The technical and management staff of each acquired company becomes part of the Massman family. Often, as a result of interaction with other Massman engineers and technicians, inspiration for new machines and integration with other Massman systems takes place. The company becomes part of a team executing the Massman approach to business, building strong, long-term relationships with our customer partners.

Massman’s ability to make strategic acquisitions while continuing its ongoing manufacturing operations is supported by its relationship with Granite Equity Partners. Granite provides business intelligence and governance advice, as well as financial support, to Minnesota companies.

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