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Coperion expanding US plant

By: Angie DeRosa

April 16, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 16, 1:10 p.m. ET) — Compounding extruder firm Coperion GmbH (Booth 6463) is seeing a steady return of manufacturing to the U.S.

The Stuttgart, Germany-based firm will expand its site in Wythe­ville, Va., boosting its physical footprint by 60 percent. Officials did not disclose square footage.

For Coperion, 2011 was a booming year, said President and CEO Ulrich Bartel during the firm’s April 4 press breakfast at NPE2012 in Orlando.

“2011 was a very good year, especially after 2009, which for all of us was very difficult,” he said.

The company also is making upgrades to its test lab in Ramsey, N.J., where it will add a twin-screw extruder from its new ZSK Mc18 series for higher productivity with greater efficiencies. The equipment has a torque increase of 30 percent, allowing processors to run the ZSK at a higher degree of screw fill. The result is up to 30 percent higher throughput rates with a lower energy input and, therefore, a lower material discharge temperature. Officials said the equipment is ideal for processing torque-limited products like engineering resins or glass-reinforced compounds.

For its STS machines, the firm is encouraging U.S. customers using single-screw extruders to upgrade to a twin-screw. Its goal has been to offer a twin-screw compounder to the market for standard applications but at an attractive price-performance ratio. Bartel said that market is particularly good in color concentrates.

Coperion also is strengthening its position by offering complete turnkey compounding plants. At NPE, the firm is showcasing 3-D simulation of a turnkey compounding line. The systems are designed with standardized, pre-assembled modules integrated into a steel structure to expedite delivery and installation. The company has installed more than 70 turnkey systems worldwide.