Crane Engineering, a Kimberly, Wis.-headquartered distributor of fluid technology solutions, finalized the acquisition of RD Smith Company Inc., a fluid processing equipment distributor based in Eau Claire, Wis. RD Smith serves clients in Wisconsin, Minnesota and northern Iowa. Crane Engineering said the deal adds more high-value manufacturers to its offerings, including those from Fristam Pumps, APV (an SPX Flow brand) and Dixon Sanitary. It also extends Crane’s distribution capabilities into Minnesota and Iowa. 

The DuPont Nutrition & Health Microbiome Venture announced its second strategic research and development partnership in March. The newly forged relationship with the Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies (TFTAK) in Tallinn, Estonia, will focus on developing cultivation and bioprocess capabilities for “next-generation” probiotics, the company said. Last November, DuPont Nutrition & Health, Copenhagen, Denmark, announced the creation of its Microbiome Venture to spearhead development of new microbiome science-based solutions. Since then, the Microbiome Venture has already taken significant steps in contributing to DuPont’s business growth strategy.

Stauber USA, Fullerton, Calif., a distributor of ingredients and solutions to the nutritional, food and other industries, entered into a strategic partnership with Chicago-based CoreFX Ingredients, a manufacturer of custom dry dairy, cheese and lipid ingredient solutions. The partnership will strive to deliver innovative service-driven ingredient solutions, the companies said.

Tetra Pak’s packaging material factory in Izmir, Turkey, received the world’s top award for manufacturing excellence in March. It is only the 22nd factory worldwide to win the prestigious award in more than 40 years, the company said. The World Class Total Production Maintenance Award is presented to facilities that have achieved outstanding levels of production quality, reliability, efficiency and environmental performance.

The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), Annapolis, Md., announced that a new flexible packaging market tracker tool is available on its website, FPA worked with Euromonitor International to develop the tracker. The tool features 20 key flexible packaging country markets and highlights market dynamics, trends and opportunities to expand business internationally.

Chr. Hansen, Hørsholm, Denmark, purchased the Banker Wire manufacturing facility in Mukwonago, Wis., adding to its presence in North America, in convenient proximity to its Milwaukee-base. The company said it took this step in response to an ever-growing interest from U.S. consumers in products made from natural, recognizable and safe ingredients, putting pressure on food and beverage producers to convert to natural colors.

The acquired facility will be renovated to become the new North American headquarters for the company’s Natural Colors Division, housing everything from production and research and development to application and quality assurance labs, a pilot plant, a dedicated warehouse and sales and marketing and other business support functions, the company said.

Sonoco, Hartsville, S.C., a global packaging company, completed the acquisition of Highland Packaging Solutions, a Plant City, Fla.-based manufacturer of thermoformed packaging for fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs. Sonoco said it acquired the privately held Highland for approximately $150 million in cash. Highland’s financial results will be added to Sonoco’s Consumer Packaging segment, and the business will operate within the company’s Global Plastics division.

Silgan Closures, Downers Grove, Ill., a manufacturer of closure technology, announced the availability of ELC gable top caps for cartons of all formats and sizes from 28 millimeters to 35 millimeters. The company said that in a recent focus group, consumers preferred the drop-down tamper evidence feature. ELC provides a fitment that eliminates the pull ring in favor of a drop-down tamper band, providing visual, audible and tactile tamper evidence, the company said. Silgan Closures is a division of Silgan Holdings Inc., Stamford, Conn., a supplier of rigid packaging for consumer goods products.

ProMach, Covington, Ky., a manufacturer of packaging machinery solutions, was acquired by Leonard Green & Partners, Los Angeles. Financial terms were not disclosed. ProMach’s management team and employees will continue to operate from their facilities across the globe.