(June 10) SUWANEE, Ga. — Like the song says, they’re coming to America.

They, in this case, are representatives of German packaging machinery company Affeldt Verpackungsmachinen, and they are here to stay.

The company, which specializes in machinery for the produce industry, has opened up its first North American subsidiary, Affeldt Packaging Machinery LLC.

The new location will offer equipment sales, a spare parts inventory, professional factory certified service and complete sales support.

Jim Miller, president of the new division, said Affeldt made the move in an effort to be closer to its North American customers. Customers, he said, had requested more direct contact with the equipment manufacturer. Previously, Affeldt equipment had been available in North America only through third-party distributors.

“The communication is a lot more direct,” he said.

To that end, Miller said Affeldt may open satellite offices in key produce areas throughout North America for local sales and service of machinery. No time frame or locations have been set, but Miller said the move would be an important one.

“The key is to become a lot closer to the customers and find out what they need,” he said.

For more information, call Affeldt’s Suwanee office at (770) 945-8348.