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Davis-Standard targeting China

By: Angie DeRosa

April 3, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 3, 9 a.m. ET) — Extruder supplier Davis-Standard LLC is expanding into China.

The company, which had a change of ownership last year, will open a facility in Suzhou, a suburb of Shanghai, that will be operational by the end of the year. The company also has a new president for Asia, Fred Pereira, who starts next week.

“We are a global company but we don’t have a global footprint,” said Bob Preston, the newly installed CEO, who came on board three months ago. “We have a reasonable amount of procurement already but we want a stronger manufacturing presence in China.”

The 4,300-square-meter assembly site in Suzhou will primarily support U.S. manufacturing. Initially the plant will handle service and procurement to support customers in the region. Assembly will be phased in.

The expansion is one major change that is taking place under private equity owner Oncap of Toronto, which acquired Davis-Standard from Hamilton Robinson LLC last year. Oncap is the middle market equity arm of Onex Corp., which sold injection molding equipment maker Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. to Berkshire Partners LLC and Omers Private Equity Inc.

Davis-Standard will be streamlining procurement under the tutelage of Hassan Gangji, who will start as chief procurement officer next week. Gangji is from Husky.

Where 85 employees had an ownership share, now 110 employees hold shares, said Jim Murphy, President of Extrusion Systems.

“Clearly our company has a lot of talented employees,” said Murphy. “They’re very excited about the new owners and the future of the company.”

The company also is seeking acquisitions. It grew through strategic acquisitions under Hamilton Robinson. With a $27 billion private equity firm backing it now, “They have the opportunity to help us look at inorganic growth opportunities,” said Preston.

“We will look at that as a potential way of advancing our technology,” he said of the bolt-on targets.

At Davis-Standard’s NPE2012 exhibit (Booth 5945), machinery dominates. Extruder capabilities on showcase include a groove feed extruder; a MAC extruder; a direct drive medical extruder, and a Super Blue extruder.

The Super Blue is being shown in a 3.5 inch model. The machine is hailed for its quick delivery and rugged design with energy efficiency and easy maintenance. A Thermatic HS High Speed Extruder boasts a high volume feed section and electrically heated/air-cooled system. The extruder is targeted for use with PS and PE resins for sheet and in-line thermoforming. For those particular applications, a 75 mm high-speed extruder is capable of producing the throughput equivalent to a 150mm machine.