In 1933, several executives from U.S. companies that manufactured and sold process machinery, parts and components to the U.S. pulp and paper industry founded the Pulp & Paper Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (PPMMA). PPMMA was composed of a small group of executives and owners that met annually during Paper Week. At that time, PPMMA’s goal was to promote high standards in manufacturing, marketing, and occupational safety. The focus of the group was and remained for many years to be that of improving the internal conduct of businesses manufacturing engineered equipment in the United States. For many of its earlier years, PPMMA had a nationalistic focus.

In the 1980s, the association thrived with the continued capital expansion of the industry in the United States. The name of the organization was changed to the American Paper Machinery Association, yet its membership grew to include many international companies. In addition, the focus of the Association moved away from the pure manufacturing of equipment to the more general sale and supply of a wide range of technically differentiated products and services.

With the evolution of the form and structure of the suppliers to the industry, in early 2003, the name of the Association again was changed to the Association of the Suppliers to the Paper Industry (ASPI). The change embraced the fundamental strategic focus of the Association externally toward the customer base it services. Today, ASPI is a global organization, with a North American focus. Approximately half of ASPI’s current membership is foreign-based and over 80% of ASPI members have a material percentage of their business outside North America. Furthermore, ASPI’s membership is very diverse and includes companies that supply the industry a wide range of products and services that vary from complete process islands, engineered machines, consumables such as roll covers, machine clothing, specialty and commodity chemicals, drainage elements, doctor blades, etc, specialty field services and engineering and construction services. ASPI prides itself in the diversity of its membership and such diversity is a major asset of ASPI.

ASPI is managed by TAPPI, a leading non-profit association for the pulp, paper, packaging, and converting industries. However, ASPI is an independent association that uses TAPPI's Association Management Services. 

ASPI is a non-profit 501(C6) association.