DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Italian auxiliary equipment supplier Piovan SpA is expanding operations in Europe and South America.
The Santa Maria di Sala-based company plans to respond to growing demand for its blenders, granulators, drying units and other ancillary equipment in South America, particularly in PET processing, by investing $5 million to build a new manufacturing plant in Brazil.
Earlier this year, Piovan finished a major expansion in Italy, adding an 86,400-square-foot plant next door to its existing manufacturing unit.
The company, which runs a sales and service unit for North America in Mississauga, Ontario, also is studying whether to set up a manufacturing plant in North America, according to Joe Pedace, general manager of Piovan Canada Ltd.
He pointed to the sustained growth in the PET bottle market as well as the even-greater potential in the growing PET carpet fiber business.
Overall, Pedace said, Piovan will need to double in size within the next five years to maintain its share in the global auxiliary equipment market.
In Brazil, Piovan has purchased land at Osasco, near SÃo Paulo, to construct a 54,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, said Ricardo Prado Santos, director of Piovan's local sales and service subsidiary Piovan do Brasil Ltda. in SÃo Paulo.
About 40,000 square feet will be devoted to production with the rest providing storage, service and support, he said.
The company bought the land and began the project a couple of months ago. ``We expect to have the plant completed in 15-18 months' time,'' Santos said.
The new plant will start by making one specific type of equipment, but Santos would not identify which one. The firm will add new products depending on demand from the South American market, he said.
Brazil already represents 15 percent of Piovan's total business, Santos said.
``It is very difficult to keep up with delivery times [from Italy] and the needs of Brazilian and South American customers generally,'' Santos said in an interview at K'98, held Oct. 22-29 in Dusseldorf. The company set up a sales and service outlet in Brazil five years ago.
In Brazil, the firm offers all of its products except robots.
In North America, Piovan already is considering different options for local equipment manufacturing, according to Pedace.
``I'd say that ... in the next year and a half to two years we will be manufacturing some of our products in Canada. We're looking at different studies at the moment,'' Pedace said. ``What's going to dictate this manufacturing is how successful we are with the carpet fiber business.''
Pedace said that since the price of PET resin has dropped, many carpet manufacturers have turned to using bottle-grade PET fiber.
Piovan featured a number of innovations in its products at K'98. Equipment shown included its new mono- and multihopper trolleys offering modular solutions for dehumidification, the firm's new CD drying unit and its smallest MDW30 and MDW50 gravimetric blenders.