By: Bill Bregar
December 5, 2013
Wittmann Battenfeld Inc. is increasing its focus on auxiliary equipment for extrusion — with new people, products and marketing efforts.
“We’ve got a dedicated team for extrusion. We have a separate rep. network for extrusion. So a lot of investment has gone into an extrusion team here in the U.S.,” said Michael Stark, divisional manager of material handing and auxiliaries. Wittmann Battenfeld is targeting pipe and profile, film and sheet, compounding, thermoforming and extrusion blow molding.
Wittmann Battenfeld is known for its injection molding machines and auxiliaries for injection. But Stark said the company has made extrusion-related equipment, dating to the beginning of Nucon Canada, a resin conveying equipment company, in 1985. Nucon served extrusion with products like bulk resin conveying, railcar unloading and powder equipment.
Wittmann Battenfeld bought Nucon in 1998. Since that acquisition, the company has grown into a well-known supplier of material handling and auxiliary equipment, especially in injection.
In late 2012, company officials decided to make a major push into extrusion by developing equipment specifically designed for that market. The machinery maker hired Joe Norco as national extrusion sales manager this past February.
Norco, who had worked for more than 20 years at Conair Group, has assembled a national network of extrusion sales representatives. And Wittmann Battenfeld, based in Torrington, Conn., added some engineers for the extrusion department.
Wittmann Battenfeld is partnering with CDS Inc. (Custom Downstream Systems), a
Canadian maker of extrusion downstream equipment. CDS is supplying tanks, pullers, combo units, cutters, haul offs and medical-extrusion equipment.
Wittmann Battenfeld makes a range of products for extrusion, including: material handling systems and powder handling, dryers, blenders, granulators, temperature control units and chillers, upstream yield control, PET systems and crystallizers, film and sheet reclaim and fluff handling, and railcar and bulk unloading systems.
The partnership has helped Wittmann Battenfeld supply turnkey extrusion projects.
Stark said CDS is focused on extrusion equipment, making it a good partner. “There’s a lot of pride that goes into that company,” he said.
This year, Wittmann Battenfeld exhibited its extrusion products at the Society of Plastics Engineers thermoforming and blow molding conferences.
Wittmann Battenfeld leaders plan to roll out more extrusion-specific products in early 2014, Stark said. The innovations will include a line of completely redesigned powder receivers and more downstream equipment.