Posts Tagged ‘plastic injection’

Polymera’s wood-plastic composite compounds not slated for decking

Polymera’s wood-plastic composite compounds not slated for decking

Located in a 160,000-square-foot former Diebold plant in Hebron, Polymera will make WPC compounds on three twin-screw Milacron extruders. At full production, the plant will be able to make more than 50 million pounds of compounds a year, and employ about 60 people, according to Herb Hutchison, vice president and general manager. The plant will employ 15-20 people when production begins in the fourth quarter of this year.

Polymera also will produce its own wood fibers on a Schutte-Buffalo grinder and hammer mill system.

The flexible, automated production operation includes a blending system than can add up to nine ingredients to a recipe.

The company is led by four industry veterans, including three with more than 25 years of experience at Crane Plastics Manufacturing Ltd. of Columbus, Ohio. Most recently, Hutchison was director of international business development at equipment maker Milacron Extrusion Systems.

Hutchison and other Polymera leaders described their strategy during a recent interview at the plant.

Decking will not be the focus of Polymera. Instead, Hutchison said the company will fill other needs in the wood-plastic composite industry. The major, large-volume decking extruders already do their own blending and compounding of wood fiber and plastic, but Hutchison said most lower-volume wood-composite users can’t afford to buy the equipment for just one or two products.

“It’s a very capital-intensive system and that’s limited other extrusion companies from getting involved. And if you look at injection molding, it’s even more limiting,” Hutchison said. “There hasn’t been a material out there — other than somebody that can blend a million or a half-million pounds a year, total — there hasn’t been a major player that can offer a raw material to the injection molding industry on a consistent basis. We have that capability.”

People in the WPC industry have talked about injection molded parts for years, but the sector has been slow to adopt wood-plastic materials. Polymera officials want to help change that.KraussMaffei targeting growth in Latin America

KraussMaffei Technologies has doubled its sales of new injection moulding machinery in Brazil to €18m this year, a senior official says.

The €18m worth of business in the South American country “is more than 50% up on 2010”, he said.

López is KraussMaffei’s head of injection moulding technology sales in Ibero-America.

Brazil, where 650 KraussMaffei injection moulding machines are installed, and Mexico are the German company’s two largest markets in Latin America, López said.

In Mexico sales of new KraussMaffei injection moulding machinery have totaled between €15m and €16m in 2011, slightly up on last year’s, he added.

By next year the company will have installed about 1,000 new machines, including both injection moulding machines and extruders, in Mexico in 15 years, according to Héctor Moreno, managing director of KraussMaffei subsidiary KraussMaffei de México.

“Our main business is still automotive, which is mainly injection moulding,” Moreno said in a separate interview, adding that, out of 185 KraussMaffei customers in Mexico, about 100 are in the automotive industry.

Its most recent sales include that of a 1,600-ton clamping force injection moulder, bought by Plásticos Panamericanos of Tultitlán, near Mexico City, which will use it to produce pallets for Fomento Ecónomico Mexicano (Femsa), of Monterrey, a leading soft drink and beer bottler.

Munich-based López said that, while Brazilian customers tend to purchase mainly very large injection moulding presses, in Mexico the clamping force demand is more varied, ranging from 50 tons to 4,000 tons.

“Argentina is always a surprising market, difficult, but they buy big machines. This year we sold six big machines (up to 4,000 tons clamping force) in Argentina and that’s not usual.”

“We get our machines out in two days. If you have your documentation in order, there’s no problem.”

KraussMaffei has not come across corruption in its dealings with private companies in Mexico either, he said. “We deal with a lot of companies, both national and international, and no money crosses hands.”

Moreno said a concern continues to be the importation of used machines. “60% of the machines coming into Mexico are second hand,” he said.

This year the company, which employs a full-time staff of 23, introduced a 240-hour diploma course to increase the knowledge of those working in the plastics industry and to help combat the importation of used equipment.