Bekum's new leader looks east for growth

By David Eldridge
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: October 28, 2013 2:53 pm ET
Updated: October 28, 2013 3:02 pm ET

Bekum at K show

Image By: Caroline Seidel, Plastics News Andreas Kandt, managing director for Bekum, in front of the new all-electric EBLOW 407D extrusion blow molder at the company's K 2013 stand

Related to this story

Topics Machinery, K 2013, Business News & Features
Companies & Associations Bekum America Corp.

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Some careers take a direct linear route, while others follow a zig-zag path. For Andreas Kandt, the new managing director of Bekum Maschinenfabriken GmbH, the shape is a circle.

When he finished his mechanical engineering degree in Berlin, the first company he joined was Bekum, an extrusion blow molding technology group.

He stayed at the Berlin-based company for 15 years, but eventually decided to move on. Following long spells at Kautex and Hassia, he has for the last five years been Davis-Standard's managing director for Europe, Middle East and Asia.

In all that time, he stayed in touch with Gottfried Mehnert, Bekum's founder and long-serving CEO, who is now stepping back from day-to-day operations after running the company for five decades.

"I had continuous contact with Mr. Mehnert. He finally convinced me to come back and help find an even better direction for the company than before," said Kandt in an interview at Bekum's K 2013 stand.

Bekum is having one of its best years ever and is set to make 80 million euros, up from 76 million euros in 2012. Order intake is at record highs in its established regions of Europe, North and South America, where it has manufacturing facilities.

Yet, Kandt is firm in his intention to focus on Bekum's sales.

"The next goal will be to reach 100 million euros. If we can achieve that in the next 24 months, it will be a good goal for the company," he said.

The sales drive will focus especially on Asia and other promising regions such as Eastern Europe and Russia.

"We will emphasize and optimize the Asian market," Kandt said.

Bekum's structure gives a large degree of independence to the sales and manufacturing operations in Williamston, Mich., and São Paulo, Brazil.

"It's a set-up that works pretty well," Kandt said. "But one of my key aims is to intensify communication between all these individual entities."

In Europe, Bekum has a manufacturing facility in Traismauer, Austria, that complements the headquarters facility in Berlin, where development of the group's core technology takes place.

And Asia?

"There's nothing yet in Asia. So it's something we will look at in the next six months," Kandt said.

Kandt would not be drawn out on whether Bekum's move into the region would be in a greenfield investment or through co-operation with a local partner. Whatever it is, China is the most likely location.

"It's clear we have to do something in Asia. It's too difficult to cover the region from Europe," he said.

Bekum is an established supplier of blow molding equipment to automotive companies, so this gives the company a platform to launch in China, where the automotive market is growing quickly.

Its bottle and container expertise also makes China's packaging market attractive. Those markets are also growing in India.

"From the technology standpoint, we have the capability to be successful there [India]," Kandt said.

Bekum's wide range of blow molding technology makes it a major supplier, but it can't stand still, said Kandt.

"We will continue to invest a significant amount of money in R&D for new products," he said. "There is only one way to keep our technology on top. That's to continuously invest and stay a step ahead of competitors."

At its K 2013 stand, Bekum demonstrated an all-electric EBLOW 407D extrusion blow molder that uses the group's C-Frame clamp design.

It is equipped with a triple-spiral mandrel extrusion head and is producing a cosmetic bottle in highly transparent polypropylene.

Bekum's 07 series is based on a standard platform and can be ordered with electric or hydraulic drive systems.

According to the company, the precise repeatability of the EBLOW 407D sets a high standard. This contributes to a long service life, especially with regard to blow mold cutting edges, which has a direct impact on product quality.

The C-Frame clamping system was launched at K 2010. Its design has clamping platens that move along precise, low-friction linear guides, which enables symmetrical clamp force distribution over the entire mold area, while maintaining high clamping platen parallelism.

Bekum said the EBLOW 407D is a very fast machine, with a dry cycle time of 2.5 seconds.


Comments

Bekum's new leader looks east for growth

By David Eldridge
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: October 28, 2013 2:53 pm ET
Updated: October 28, 2013 3:02 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Trade group lists China's top plastics machinery manufacturers

August 15, 2014 9:58 am ET

The China Plastic Machine Industry Association has unveiled its latest rankings of the top 25 plastics machinery suppliers in China as well as...    More

Image

Wittmann Battenfeld adding machining center in Austria

August 15, 2014 9:42 am ET

Austrian injection molding and auxiliary equipment machinery company Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH is already increasing capacity of the new assembly hall ...    More

Image

Euromap designs machine energy efficiency label

August 15, 2014 9:38 am ET

A European trade group has designed a new standardized label that shows the energy efficiency class of plastics processing machinery.    More

Image

Italian machinery companies combine forces to market in North America

August 14, 2014 2:48 pm ET

A trio of Italian plastic machinery companies has formed a network and is retaining Alliance Automation LLC to market their products in the United...    More

Image

Jinming licenses Dow PVDC technology

August 11, 2014 3:18 pm ET

Guangdong Jinming Machinery Co. Ltd. said it is poised to becoming the first Chinese machinery manufacturer to master polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) p...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events