MILACRON, HPM JOINING FORCES IN THIN-GAUGE EXTRUSION LINES

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BATAVIA, OHIO—Two Ohio-based machinery competitors, Cincinnati Milacron Inc. and HPM Corp., are teaming up to produce thin-gauge sheet extrusion systems.

The machinery is used to make packaging products such as cups, portion packs, lids and trays.

Both companies are marketing the equipment under the brand name of Alliance System. Alliance technology combines Milacron's single-screw extruders with downstream sheet equipment designed by both companies and manufactured by HPM.

James Abbiati, marketing vice president of Milacron's Plastics Machinery Applications Business, said the two companies ``can achieve a quick roll-out of a very cost-competitive, high-performance system that would take years longer for us to develop individually.''

Milacron's Plastics Extrusion Systems Business is based in Batavia. HPM is in Mount Gilead, Ohio.

According to the companies, current Alliance models can produce sheet in widths of 30, 36, 48 and 60 inches, with a minimum thickness of 0.3 millimeters.

Alliance systems include everything needed to make sheet, including melt pumps, screen changers, a cooling/polishing unit, conveyors and pull-roll.

Milacron and HPM said they will source other needed components, such as thermoforming equipment and winders, from other companies.

HPM brings an extensive library of designs from years of building custom-made sheet lines, according to Ferdinand Pranckh, general manager of HPM's Extrusion Division. The pre-engineered equipment can be modified to give customers ``near-custom engineering'' at prices of standard equipment, he said.