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CHICAGO—American Kuhne Inc. (Booth N6527) is displaying its first U.S.-built extruders at NPE.

The new extrusion equipment supplier built 21/2-inch and 31/2-inch machines with 24:1 length-to-diameter ratios and AC Vector drives and motors. Each features a full-surround, water-jacketed feed section with replaceable liner.

The 40-horsepower 21/2-inch version is air-cooled while the 150-HP 31/2-inch machine is water-cooled.

American Kuhne built the extruders at its Norwich, Conn., facility using U.S.-sourced components, according to David Citron, the firm's director of sales and marketing.

American Kuhne, established about five months ago, is mainly selling barrier screws designed by Ed Steward, formerly chief process engineer with Davis-Standard Corp. of Pawcatuck, Conn.

``Steward is well-known and our prices are attractive,'' Citron said.

Steward designs the screws, which are cut by an undisclosed outside supplier.

Citron said extruder sales were slow initially but he expects his company to have about a dozen on order by the third quarter, based on its recent quoting activity.

He estimates its current, 10,000-square-foot facility in Norwich is big enough to assemble extruders during its first year in business. Citron said his firm will assemble extruders ranging from 2-8 inches in diameter, using parts sourced domestically. It offers screws from 1-12 inches in diameter.

``The market wants another credible [extruder] supplier,'' Citron said in a pre-NPE interview. ``We will be especially attractive to companies that need technical support.''

American Kuhne's booth contains barrier screws designed by Steward and an extrusion analyzer with up to eight channels. Also on display are new sheet roll stacks and a 60-millimeter, low-profile extruder and blown film die from Kuhne GmbH, the firm's partner based in St. Augustin, Germany.

American Kuhne employs many former officials of Davis-Standard, the dominant single-screw extruder supplier in North America.

Citron was senior sales engineer for Davis-Standard and came on board to replace Al Hodge, who returned to Davis-Standard as vice president of sales and engineering.

Bill Kramer, American Kuhne's director of engineering and manufacturing, was Davis-Standard's technical director. American Kuhne's chief design engineer, Jeff Lawton, was senior development engineer for Davis-Standard, and its controller, Ares Zarkos, was Davis-Standard's vice president of finance.

Citron said the 31/2-inch extruder at its booth will return to Norwich after NPE to be part of its screw development lab. The lab now has a 31/2-inch machine that will return to Germany.

Company officials claim American Kuhne extruders are competitively priced and contain such features as high-capacity gearboxes and massive one-piece gearbox housings for longevity and productivity.