A Look Back At 40 Years
In 1978, Hans Huechert and his business partner recognized the potential for becoming difference makers in the growing North American tissue industry. To more readily compete with other North American suppliers, they chose to import converting equipment from Italy-based Fabio Perini, whose technology and reputation was unsurpassed.
From the basement of their home, Huechert, his wife and business partner staffed Perini America — later renamed Fabio Perini North America (FPNA) — on their own until the mid-1980s when workers were added, bringing the total to 12 employees.
Increased business found Perini America moving to a building directly across the street from a competitor.
Soon thereafter, the building currently housing FPNA in Green Bay was built and five more employees were added
in 1988 to accommodate the company’s first expansion.
The 1990s were equally as favorable to FPNA. The new decade brought an exciting opportunity to increase international reach and the five-employee Fabio Perini Latin America office opened in Miami, Fla. At the North American headquarters in Green Bay, a second building expansion and additional employee hiring took place.
FPNA entered the new century with a renovated building, 40 employees and the need for more space and team members. By the end of 2000, a foyer, gym and two work bays were added to the Green Bay headquarters, and 20 more employees came on board. The 2001 relocation of Körber Paperlink North America brought the total number of employees to 100, and another 11 followed three years later with the acquisition of Green Bay Engineering, which also brought engineering staff in-house.
Forty years of strategic growth has put FPNA squarely in the forefront of the tissue industry, providing local service and support to the North American market. While Green Bay serves as the hub for most operations and employees, remotely based resources have also been established in tactical regions of the United States
including the southeast, southwest and northeast. As part of the largest tissue converting and packaging equipment company in the world, FPNA also taps into a global network of experts at Fabio Perini facilities in Italy, Brazil and China.
In 2013, preparations were underway to produce tissue converting equipment in Green Bay. Since then, local operation teams have completed major projects ranging from the engineering, assembly and testing of full converting lines to complex OEM refurbishment projects.
“The sustained growth and introduction of equipment production in Green Bay have meant FPNA can continue to add and refine customer service-based offerings, such as a spare parts department, which currently houses 5,000 unique components that are always available for customer ordering,” said Pete Augustine, who has been FPNA’s president since 2011. The access to a breadth of spare parts also gives FPNA the latitude to customize local inventory to specific customer needs in order to help them manage space and reduce costly working capital within their own facilities.
Also, the availability and responsiveness of the FPNA technical support team elevate what was once sometimes difficult, time-consuming and costly troubleshooting to efficient, online, real-time solutions — saving customers time and money.
“The continual evolution of technical support and related resources is a top priority for FPNA. Investing in current and forward-thinking technologies has resulted in the development of several advanced solutions,” explained Augustine. “Of particular note is comprehensive remote support services aided by Weareable® glasses for 24/7 customer access to assistance.”
Achieving the impressive milestones FPNA has over the past four decades doesn’t happen when a company remains static. Always pushing forward, FPNA eagerly anticipates the future and how Industry 4.0 will define it. FPNA has already implemented several initiatives and has others in development that leverage current capabilities locally and internationally.
Tomorrow Lab, annexed to Fabio Perini headquarters in Italy, is a laboratory of open innovation where thought leaders, technicians and experts across other disciplines share information and knowledge. While technical topics associated with tissue converting are addressed, Tomorrow Lab is focused on the countless possibilities that arise from Industry 4.0.
Similarly, PIVOT is Fabio Perini’s venture into using Big Data to help customers identify the best equipment configuration and converting processes for their products. This includes using FPNA’s in-house laboratory outfitted with electronic test equipment for measuring standard attributes of customers’ product samples. Combined with the product testing and the development focus of the Pilot Line, FPNA provides converters with services aimed at optimizing production processes, product innovation and analytics that keep pace with Smart Factory advancements.
As the tissue industry evolves, FPNA continues to develop partnerships with technology pioneers such as Siemens and Daqri to get even further ahead of the digitization and automation curve. This type of strategic teamwork is helping FPNA tackle the challenges of tomorrow today and explore the possibilities of game-changing innovations like virtually testing tissue converting equipment and lines prior to installation, among other developments.
FPNA is also a strong community partner, committed to the future growth of Green Bay and the surrounding area through leading by example. The FPNA team passionately supports charitable causes such as The Back to School Store, Toys for Tots, Be a Santa to a Senior, Feeding America and Ben’s Wish food drives each year. True to the FPNA culture of employee empowerment, working together in support of various non-profit organizations allows workers to explore their passion for community involvement and teamwork. The results make a difference in the neighborhoods where they live and work year-round, including in the city FPNA has called home for 40 years — and intends to for generations to come.
A global brand with a regional presence, Fabio Perini North America has come a long way since 1978. However, the commitment to adding value at every customer touchpoint remains the same — from advanced-technology tissue converting equipment to world-class repair, maintenance, and retrofit services. It’s part of FPNA’s storied history of success and continues to shape its future.
3060 S. Ridge Road
Green Bay, WI 54304