DUSSELDORF, GERMANY-Hermann Berstorff Maschinenbau GmbH, feeling the positive effects of its 1994 takeover by Krauss-Maffei AG, has filled out its line of ZE twin-screw compounding extruders, developed a new foam extrusion process and redesigned some existing equipment. In a release issued at K'95 in Dusseldorf, officials of the Hanover, Germany-based plastics and rubber machinery maker painted a significantly brighter financial picture, even though the company still projects an unspecified loss for 1995.
An extensive restructuring program, buoyed by an invest-ment of 100 million deutsche marks (about $62 million) by new parent Krauss-Maffei of Munich, Germany, is expected to yield a break-even performance in 1996, said Rudolf Ruppert, the chief executive in charge of finances and controlling.
Ruppert said that while 1994 sales amounted to only DM 80.5 million (about $50 million) with a staff of 700, sales this year should more than double with 60 fewer employees.
``Further measures, such as the increase in the outsourcing share to up to 50 percent, the taking in of outside work in order to fully utilize machine capacity, and the introduction of shift work and teamwork in the production departments, are being taken in order to cut down costs drastically,'' he said.
Manfred Reichel, Berstorff chief executive in charge of sales and production, added that, ``Without a strong parent, this vitally necessary clean-out would have been absolutely unthinkable.''
Part of Berstorff's revamped strategy calls for extending its core business by standardizing individual product ranges.
At K'95, held Oct. 5-12, the firm announced it had reconfigured its smallest twin-screw extruder, the ZE 25, and introduced new sizes ZE 110-A and ZE 155-A to fill out its compounding extruder range. The firm also introduced its smallest underwater pelletizer for polypropylene, the UWG 10, and unveiled a process for making foamed thermoplastic elastomer profiles.
Jeff J. Karigan, a territory sales manager for the German firm's Charlotte, N.C.-based Berstorff Corp. subsidiary, explained the developments at the show.
The two new twin-screw extruders include some enhancements from the existing ZE models, including a different gear box and redesigned manifold, Karigan said. Design changes have boosted the torque transmission that the company says can, in certain processes, increase output by 30 percent.
Like the other nine sizes in the range, the new extruders are available in the ZE version (for difficult dispersion jobs), the ZE-A version (mostly for compounding), and the ZE-R version (for reactive manufacture of thermoplastics and degassing of plastics). Each version offers a different outside-to-inside screw diameter ratio.
The redesigned ZE 25 co-rotating, twin-screw laboratory extruder has had its controls integrated into the machine. This eliminates the separate control cabinet and greatly reduces the unit's footprint.
The new UWG 10 underwater pelletizer, Karigan explained, is the smallest yet for Berstorff, yet with a rating of 5,500 pounds per hour, outperforms some of thelarger models.
The TPE foam extrusion line, meanwhile, is the same core machine as previously offered, but it now has a new screw geometry that helps yield good, even cell structure and even dispersion of color masterbatches, he said. Berstorff developed this line, dubbed the Schaumex 90 Profile line, in partnership with Advanced Elastomer Systems NV/SA of Belgium.