By: Rebecca Kanthor
PLASTICS NEWS CORRESPONDENT
April 23, 2014
CPM Extrusion Group and ECON GmbH unveiled their brand new EUPC line of underwater pelletizers today at ChinaPlas held in Shanghai, China.
The EUPC underwater pelletizer was developed in collaboration between ECON, a small Austrian company, and the CPM Extrusion Group, a joint venture consisting of Century Extrusion in Traverse City, Mich., and Ruiya Extrusion in Nanjing China.
“Co-development of the EUPC line has been an exciting opportunity. We look forward to unveiling the EUPC line alongside CPM in Shanghai,” said Gerhard Hehenberger, CEO of ECON, based in Traun, Austria.
The EUPC line is based on the EUP series that ECON built in Austria. The EUPC will feature critical components from ECON’s Austrian factory with noncritical parts, final assembly, and control systems implemented at Century’s Ruiya Extrusion factory in Nanjing.
Bob Urtel, president of Century Extrusion, described the machine line as: “The heart is from Austria and the body is from Asia.”
“It’s a winning combination,” says Uwe Neumann, ECON’s sales director. “That is the reason we expect big success here.”
Underwater pelletizers are a step up from strand pelletizers, Neumann explained. It features higher productivity, faster startup and is safer. There are energy savings of 30 to 50 percent and cleanup is easier.
Both ECON and Century emphasized that their combined underwater pelletizer system offers convenience and cost savings for themselves and their customers.
“Our customers before would buy a machine from Century to do compounding and a machine from ECON to do pelletizing,” Urtel said. “Now customers are buying a compounding system from us to make a pellet. Today we can together take the responsibility of providing a pellet that provides the standards that the customer needs for their application.”
“This is a customer oriented solution” Neumann added. “The costs and investment of the machines is cheaper but the costs on the customer side is also less.”
The system will make it easier for customers, who will only need to sign one contract and deal with only one after-sales service provider, they said.
The machine will be sold in all of Asia, except India.
“We have this machine that is cost competitive, but it has the features of the highest level machines in the world,” said Charles Spearing, general manager of Ruiya Extrusion. “I expect the hottest spot will be multinationals in China or leading domestic producers.”
Currently the machine is available in three sizes and the companies aim to each sell five to 10 machines per year. While the pelletizer had only been on display for a few hours when the two companies spoke with Plastics News at ChinaPlas, Neumann said he’d already noticed interest.
“I saw a lot of guys standing around the machine and looking at the chambers and so on,” he said.