Group Managing Director of CPM Packaging Group unveils the company’s sustainable manufacturing practices 

CPM Packaging Group Ltd (CPM) is a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions for the beverage can making and adjacent container industries. Comprising Greenbank Technology Ltd (Greenbank) and Proline Engineering Ltd (Proline), CPM brings decades of technical expertise to the table. With a diverse portfolio of trusted technologies and brands, the group serves various sectors including animal feed, oilseed, bioenergy, human food, plant-based protein, can making, and extrusion. CPM’s commitment to innovation and eco-friendly practices has positioned it as a leading global supplier of process capital equipment and engineered systems technology. Built on nearly 140 years of experience and dedication to product, geographic and acquisitive growth, CPM continues to be the preferred partner for customers worldwide. Mark Williams, Group Managing Director, provides an account of CPM’s history and activities. 

Mark Williams, Group Managing Director
Mark Williams, Group Managing Director

“Whilst CPM is currently not a legal entity, it is set to become one by the end of this year. It is one of five groups related to CPM Holdings in the US, which specializes in high-value capital machinery, supplying bespoke solutions to various industries like food, biofuel, and plastics. CPM Holdings comprises around 33 companies globally, generating nearly a billion dollars in turnover. With about 2000 employees worldwide, CPM Holdings is a highly profitable, international business, headquartered in Minneapolis. American Securities, our private equity firm, whose ownership we have been under for five years, consistently invests in the business. As I mentioned earlier, there are five groups reporting to the CEO, Dave Webster of CPM Holdings, including Engineered Solutions, Process Solutions, Packaging Group, Automation, and Industrial Solutions. Each is led by a general manager or managing director. CPM was formed about 18 months ago through the amalgamation of Greenbank and Proline,” he begins. 

Mark discusses the merger through which CPM came to be in greater detail. “Both Greenbank and Proline were operating within the beverage and packaging industries for a long time before they were acquired by CPM. On one hand, Greenbank focuses on engineering project management, consultancy, and subcontracting, with most of its manufacturing taking place in the UK, along with some facilities in Europe, including Slovakia and Poland. Founded in 1990 by Brian Schofield and acquired by CPM in 2008, Greenbank handles everything from can decoration and printing to internal spray and lacquering. With its headquarters located in Blackburn, Greenbank currently employs circa 45 people and offers full turnkey solutions, from design to manufacturing, installation, and commissioning, with a strong focus on aftermarket services. Greenbank serves customers worldwide, with around 700 installations across 48 countries. On the other hand, Proline is a conveyance manufacturer, primarily moving cans within the plant. Based in Worsley, Manchester, Proline was established by four individuals in 1999 and sold to CPM in 2017. Today, Proline operates two factories with over 100 employees as well as subcontractors, providing full turnkey manufacturing, installation, and commissioning services. Despite a slowdown in the industry last year due to decreased capital expenditure, both businesses have remained very successful and are now focusing on aftermarket services and future innovations,” he adds. 

Throughout the years, CPM has experimented with various technologies to enhance its manufacturing process cost-efficiently and sustainably. “At present, all theInternal bake oven products we offer have the latest and most efficient motors, which reduce energy consumption for both the customer and us. Additionally, we are prioritizing sustainability and reduced operational costs. These aspects are especially important for CPM and our clients as energy costs are through the roof but also because we strive to reduce our carbon footprint. Therefore, we are actively exploring alternative energy sources like hydrogen and increased electrical energy as well as recovery of energy through heat recovery systems. CPM places a great emphasis on innovation, which involves fine-tuning our systems. For instance, our typical washer installed five years ago had 450 sensors, while the newer one we installed last year has 900 sensors. This effort has resulted in nearly a 40 percent reduction in utility water and chemical usage, offering significant operational or process savings to customers and decreasing the overall cost of ownership. Implementing such changes, especially in terms of chemical usage for can etching and cleaning, is extremely important for efficiency and sustainability,” he informs. 

Following the industry’s turbulent start to the year, Mark reveals CPM’s key focus for the remainder of 2024. “This year has been challenging due to the industry downturn, but we are starting to explore fresh areas for growth and diversification. So, we are identifying new industries where our products can be utilized, such as the food can industry and filling lines markets. Proline has already secured a couple of orders in this sector and is enhancing its product offerings with line control and electrical control panel supply, to better serve our customers. Additionally, we will be looking at growing the aftermarket side of the business and expanding into pet food and food industry for Proline. Indeed, we have partnered with leading suppliers and secured orders for filling lines, adding to our diversification efforts. Moreover, prioritizing customer care is one of five key points of CPM’s strategic approach. These encompass putting people first, caring for the customer, acting with integrity, fostering innovation, and striving for growth and improvement. These mantras run through the business, reflecting the goals set by CPM and aligning with our key performance indicators and other measures,” he ends. 

Through Mark’s experienced guidance and an unwavering focus on innovation, sustainability, and exceptional customer service, CPM is well-positioned to grow its portfolio and overcome any industry challenges for many more years.