Machinery suppliers like to operate and show off their wares at trade shows but getting equipment up and running can be a headache. Pomini SpA went through this exercise at NPE and was rewarded with the sale of its new compounder.
Pomini personnel produced two highly filled materials on a 55-millimeter compounding line at Chicago after four hard days at work. Ron Nekola, sales manager for plastics machinery, said his firm usually has the luxury of taking two or three weeks to get such a line running at a customer's plant.
During the show Pomini alternated production of low density polyethylene filled with 70 percent titanium dioxide and 40 percent glass-fiber-filled polypropylene.
McCormick Place is a union shop so Nekola, a lab manager, and a service technician had to rely on show tradespeople to do most of the installation. From moving machinery from the loading dock to setting up final electrical connections, Nekola was at the mercy of their schedules.
He and his colleagues supervised a platoon of riggers, plumbers, millrights, electricians and other skilled and unskilled workers.
``By Sunday at 2 p.m. we didn't know if we could be running on time, Nekola recalled in a post-NPE interview from Pomini Inc.'s Brecksville, Ohio, office.
The Pomini people worked through most of Sunday night, after putting in three consecutive 18-hour days, and by Monday morning got the compounding line going for the show's first visitors.
The Pomini line included its LCMX-55, a continuous mixer and twin-screw extruder combination. Auxiliary equipment included four AccuRate gravimetric feeders, three of which included Piab vacuum feeders, and a Rieter strand pelletizer. Nekola said it was the first time Pomini worked with Rieter equipment in North America.
Pomini sold the show compounder to an undisclosed company in Montana, which will use it to compound agricultural waste such as straw with recycled high density PE for shingles and other building product applications. The customer will add ground-up agricultural waste through a side feeder into the LCMX. Nekola said the compounder ``mixes dirty polyethylene well'' for such applications.
Riccardo Curti recently became Pomini SpA's rubber and plastics division manager. He reports to Mauro Medici, general manager of Pomini's two divisions.
Its roll grinders division supplies machinery to the steel industry.