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machinery feature | Twin-screw compounders

cated to providing turn-key solutions. “We see custom- ers reducing engineering capacity and wanting their supplier to provide this expertise,” says Frank Lechner, head of process technology at Coperion. The company offers customers the option to pre-test

an extrusion line at Coperion’s facility in Stuttgart, Germany, before shipping to the final location. “Testing at our site makes it easier to solve any problems, gives the customer greater confidence, and assures a reduced start-up time. Some customers take this opportunity to have Coperion train shift leaders and engineering staff at the Stuttgart site,” adds Lechner. He notes that many of Coperion’s earlier projects

Entek provides customers with guidance for plant layouts and expansions

itself, but builds modular, turn-key systems. Dr. Kirk Hanawalt, president of extruder manufac-

turer Entek Manufacturing, adds: “Turn-key systems reduce risk for the customer, with a fixed price and the guarantee of having a functioning system with minimal hassle to them. It provides a single point of responsibil- ity for the entire project, which makes it easy for the customer.” Entek has experienced increased demand for its

Steer’s SPL 40 is a very cost-effective turn-key compounding line

turn-key twin-screw extrusion systems in the US in the past few years. “We see more interest from customers wanting us to do more up and downstream of the extruder. Occasionally this includes a ground-up plant, but more often involves retrofitting an existing facility with new or replacement lines,” says John Effmann, director of sales and marketing at Entek. He notes that the company has a broad base of

expertise including engineering design and a full machine shop. It recently increased its engineering services and provides customers with guidance for plant layouts and expansions. The Entek team spends a lot of time reviewing the customer’s systems and provides an external viewpoint to help them optimize how they work, says Effmann. Coperion has been supplying turn-key lines for

more than 10 years, and the service is now a key part of its corporate strategy under a business group dedi-

involved large, global compounders that wanted to start production in China, but now demand is widespread with projects in the US, Germany, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia, for example. In other cases it is the smaller, start-up companies

without experience or in-house engineering capabilities who want one project partner to provide the whole solution. While many of these companies are in developing countries, small-scale compounding companies in Europe and the US are also looking for turn-key solution providers. Speaking at last month’s NPE show, Ulrich Bartel,

president and CEO of Coperion Corporation in the US, said that turn-key business has been “booming” over the past 18 months. This includes demand for modular systems in steel frames, as well as requirements for fitting out factories with complete lines. For American customers, Coperion can construct and test lines at its Ramsey facility in New Jersey. Coperion produces materials handling equipment and underwater pelletizers in-house and it recently added stand pelletizer capabilities with the acquisition of Pell-Tec. Century Extrusion says that it is seeing its fastest

growth in sales of complete systems incorporating not only its twin-screw extruders, which its manufactures in the US and China, but also feeders, pelletizers and dryers. Charlie Spearing, general manager of the group’s Ruiya Extrusion operation in China, says that the company has recently sold turn-key lines to customers in Egypt and other North African countries, as well as transplant factories in emerging markets. German twin-screw extrusion manufacturer

Feddem also has turn-key compounding line clients in North Africa as well as China and Germany. The company was formed when the Feddersen Group acquired the German

extruder maker Decroupet 16 COMPOUNDING WORLD | May 2012

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