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CHICAGO — United States Granulator Corp. (Booth S167) announced at NPE in Chicago its debut as an original equipment manufacturer. The firm previously focused on remanufacturing granulators. U.S. Granulator President Stephen Maguire said his firm used its experience in remanufacturing to develop rugged machines that are more productive and versatile than competing granulators and easier to maintain.

It claimed its granulators have 10 percent more open area in the screen, increasing movement of material. They feature a constant cutting circle with minimum, uniform gaps between the rotor knives and bed knives and screen.

The Smithfield, R.I., firm noted that offset placement of knives in its granulators prevents shocks and wear.

``We've also placed great emphasis on reducing downtime,'' said Kevin Cabana, general manager. ``Our knives last longer, and the granulators incorporate several new features that permit easy access to change knives or perform other maintenance. The key cutting chamber components — even the rotor — can be repaired or replaced without having to ship the entire granulator back for disassembly.''

Cabana noted in a news release that U.S. Granulator has been developing its machines for more than three years.

``When we began our remanufacturing business at the start of 1994, we immediately began developing new designs for the cutting chamber, which is the heart of any granulator,'' Cabana said. The firm also drew on the experience of Maguire Products Inc., an affiliated company for which Maguire is also president. Maguire makes blenders, feeders and vacuum loaders.

U.S. Granulator is displaying at NPE its first two models, USG 2436 and 2454, for granulating large molding such as auto bumpers, tough or abrasive materials like electrical cable, and high-volume post-consumer waste. Early next year it will introduce a larger model, USG 2472.

USG 2436 has a 24-inch cutting circle and rotor length of 36 inches. Its throughput is as high as 6,000 pounds per hour. USG 2454 has the same size cutting circle, a 54-inch rotor and estimated throughput of 10,000 pounds per hour.

Base prices for the two machines are $90,000 and $120,000, respectively.

U.S. Granulator said it maintains an extensive inventory of knives, screens and other parts at its 40,000-square-foot facility in Smithfield.