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Ireland's Balcas orders equipment for fiberboard production

By: Roger Renstrom

April 3, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 3, 8:40 p.m. ET) — Balcas Kildare Ltd. ordered a desiccant dryer and material handling equipment from Conair Group (Booth 3643) in advancing its production of medium-density fiberboard in Naas in Ireland’s County Kildare.

Balcas is investing more than $1 million for several pieces of upsteam and post-extrusion equipment from Conair, a single-screw extruder from Milacron LLC (Booth 2803) and surface technology processing capabilities from Eastman Chemical Co. (Booth S230D), said Peter Burton, Balcas production manager.

In February, Balcas signed a licensing agreement with Eastman giving Balcas exclusive use of the Eastman Cerfis-brand technology to make molding and trim products in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Eastman in Kingsport, Tenn., began developing the Cerfis technology in 2009.

Burton expects to receive delivery of the equipment in August with the upgraded operations starting in September to produce internal moldings for the architectural, construction and house building sectors.

Over two decades, “we were never able to produce a fully finished product,” Burton said.

For any profile, Cerfis technology can maintain a consistent geometry and surface finish, durability, dimensional stability, moisture resistance and reduced warping and twisting. Cerfis avoids use of volatile organic compounds.

Balcas was an early pioneer in the primed MDF molding industry in Europe and expects the Cerfis technology to move its products into the market with established molded products.

Balcas will produce paintable white MDF with the new systems.

Established in 1989, the Kildare operation employs 70 and has manufacturing facilities on an 11-acre site. Parent firm Balcas Ltd. of Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, has a total of about 800 employees and annual sales of about 100 million euros ($132 million).