DUSSELDORF, GERMANY - American Maplan Corp., a McPherson, Kan., extruder maker purchased in July by Battenfeld GmbH of Germany, will manufacture Battenfeld downstream and auxiliary equipment and add a new product line - single-screw extruders for polyethylene pipe - according to officials of both companies. In turn, Maplan gives Battenfeld a broader line, especially systems for windows and siding.
Although Battenfeld is a major European player in extrusion systems, the company had virtually no business for pipe and profile extruders in North America, said Wolfgang Studener, chairman of the managing board of Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik GmbH in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany.
``Our American market share will be growing,'' Studener said at an Oct. 6 press conference. ``Maplan also brings us a bigger technology pool.'' Battenfeld bought Maplan, which has about $30 million in sales and employs 135, from F. Theysohn GmbH of Salzgitter, Germany.
In North America, the 18-year-old Maplan is considered to be strong in extruders for PVC pipe, especially large-diameter pipe, and siding.
Maplan began supplying systems to the fast-growing market for window profiles a few years ago, making extruders, vacuum calibrators and pullers, according to Mike Wallen, vice president of technology.
Of window profiles, Wallen said, ``That's going to be one of the places where there's going to be some nice cooperation'' between Maplan and Battenfeld.
In pipe, Wallen said Battenfeld's pipe downstream equipment is high quality, but expensive. Maplan, which will make the equipment in McPherson, will try to reduce costs and lower the price for systems sold in North America, he said.
At Battenfeld, sales of pipe and profile extrusion equipment grew 16 percent in the most recent fiscal year, ended June 30.
Studener attributed most of the gains from ``booming markets'' of Asia and South America.
At K'95, Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik showed a twin-screw extruder to make PVC pipe. On the screw, the company has added an extra zone before the venting area to give a smaller difference in volume at transitions between the zones. Also new for pipe: a new line of calibrators and cooling baths the company claims are easier to maintain and clean than earlier models, at the same cost.
Maplan also showed new technology in Dusseldorf. A PVC pipe diehead has two offset spiders, giving pipe extruders flexibility to make pipe in a wider range of diameters, Wallen said. Maplan also showed a puller and a vacuum calibration table for PVC profiles.