Brampton Innovators Finding Global Opportunities for Growth

November 4, 2018

When Paul Langen started AFA Systems Packaging Automation in Brampton in 2001, he had 60 years of family history in the packaging industry to fall back on. And keeping up with technological trends, he focused his business on packaging automation equipment – serving a global client base with options to automate the packaging of their food, confectionary, pharmaceutical and consumer products.

Since launch, AFA Systems has implemented more than a thousand packaging systems worldwide, with various robotics and automation partners like Codian and Rockwell Automation. To meet their customer’s needs, AFA Systems’ leadership has consistently looked for innovative solutions, making it part of the DNA of their company. “I’ve always known that as a small company, our size advantage is the ability to focus on innovation, solving complex challenges and using our flexibility to find opportunities,” says Paul Langen, AFA Systems’ president.

One of AFA Systems’ most recent accomplishments is the roll out of its Infinitus Project (I will send pictures of the machine instead of the video). This project will allow one of AFA Systems’ customers to package small liquid vials of product at an amazing speed of 1,200 vials per minute. This project has been designed, developed and tested here in Brampton, and is a testament to the strength of the engineering capacity available in our city and the opportunities that companies like AFA Systems create.

The Infinitus Project is also interesting because AFA Systems is undertaking the project for a customer in China. This large project (US$2.8 million) will provide AFA Systems with another successful global implementation, building on its existing reach into the United States, Argentina and other countries.

“The opportunities for Brampton companies to compete globally require thinking bigger, outside of the local area. There are opportunities, but you have to be open to new experiences and understand the importance of new and diversified markets,” says Langen.

AFA Systems’ commitment to innovation and growing its business internationally serve as a model for how advanced manufacturing is shifting Brampton’s and Southern Ontario’s economy. This commitment to innovation and international growth are key aspects of government initiatives including the federal government’s recent approval of anAdvanced Manufacturing Supercluster​, which has been funded to provide support for transformative businesses and build capacity throughout the advanced manufacturing community. ​