US-based packaging company Sealed Air is investing more than $30m in its Automated Packaging Systems (APS) brand to modernise and expand the capacity of its facilities.

The investments will see Sealed Air install ‘touchless’ automation and proprietary digital printing technologies at its APS facilities in Streetsboro and Bedford Heights, Ohio, and Keyser, West Virginia.

Work at these sites will be completed this year. Around 80 jobs are expected to be created at the Ohio and West Virginia sites.

Sealed Air will also expand and install equipment at APS’s sites in Malvern, UK, Cavite, Philippines, and Qingpu, China.

The investment will allow APS to meet the demand for its Autobag solutions. The company expects Autobag equipment sales to double over the next three years.

Sealed Air chief growth and strategy officer Sergio Pupkin said: “The successful acquisition and integration of APS into Sealed Air has accelerated our growth and innovation in ‘touchless’ automation and bagging systems for e-commerce, industrial and food customers.

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Pupkin added: “As our customers shift their facilities to a more touchless environment, we are experiencing increased demand for our Autobag automated equipment and sustainable packaging materials.

“These investments will allow us to meet this rapidly growing demand by delivering automated solutions that make our customers’ operations safer, smarter and faster.”

The increased demand for automated packaging solutions has been attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic causing a surge in e-commerce and rapid migration to digital solutions.

Acquired by Sealed Air for $510m in 2019, APS manufactures high-reliability, automated bagging systems.

The brand’s solutions include Autobag bagging machines, pre-opened bags-on-a-roll and EarthAware brand recycled film solutions.

Sealed Air’s acquisition of APS was intended to drive growth in the e-commerce, fulfilment and food packaging markets by broadening its portfolio, as well as extending its use of automation, direct service expertise and ‘total systems’ approaches.