After 40 years of producing mostly single-screw extruders, HPM Corp. is moving into new territory — twin-screw compounding extruders. HPM will do final assembly work at its Mount Gilead, Ohio, machinery factory, of twin-screw compounders made in England by the APV Baker's Industrial Extruder Division. HPM made the announcement in late December.
HPM will market the machines under the Prodex APV name.
Under an exclusive arrangement with APV Baker of Staffordshire, England, HPM will build the MP and AC series of compounding extruders. HPM will add U.S. electrical components, drives and controls in Ohio. HPM will sell the compounding machines to North American customers.
APV will ship HPM the base machines — co-rotating, intermeshing extruders. Initially, APV will supply the segmented screws for the extruders, officials at both companies said.
Dennis Paradise, HPM's corporate president for extrusion, said the agreement gives HPM a full-service slate of extruders. The company had sold some single-screw extruders to compounders. HPM also has made twin-screw machines before, but those were counter-rotating extruders used to make vinyl profiles.
Paradise said HPM officials have thought about making twin-screw compounding lines for years. They looked at making an HPM-designed machine, but decided to go with the APV machines because of that company's long history and good reputation, he said.
HPM will handle sales and service for machines it sells and for existing APV Baker twin-screw compounders.
APV makes two types of twin-screw machines, both under the Baker Perkins name. A line of laboratory machines comes in two screw-diameter sizes — 19 and 24 millimeters. Production machines, known as the Baker Perkins MP and AC extruders, come in sizes from 30-160mm.
The MP and AC machines are used for making color compounds, reinforced compounds, hot-melt adhesives, cable compounds or devolatilization.
John Lovatt, sales manager for APV Baker, said HPM should rejuvenate sales of Baker Perkins machines for plastics compounding. Lovatt said the company had been very successful selling to North America about 10 or 15 years ago, but then switched focus to twin-screw machines to make powder coating.
A "very large number" of APV Baker twin-screw compounders are running in the United States, Lovatt said, although he did not have an exact number.
Lovatt said B&P Process Equipment Systems LLC in Saginaw, Mich., will continue to represent APV Baker powder coating machines in North America, but no longer will build plastic compounding extruders. That development was confirmed by B&P's president, Ray Miller.
APV Baker is part of the giant London-based electronics and engineering group, Invensys plc, which was formed by the February 1999 merger of Siebe plc and BTR plc.
Besides APV Baker, Invensys owns several other companies that serve the plastics industry: machine controller maker Barber-Colman Co. of Loves Park, Ill.; Eurotherm plc of Horsham, England, which makes temperature and process controllers; and two firms that develop Windows-based industrial data systems, Foxboro Co. of Foxboro, Mass., and Wonderware Corp. of Irvine, Calif.