CHICAGO — A business relationship that could have been either a rivalry or a partnership has taken the high road and formed an agreement that benefits both parties.
Filtration equipment makers Beringer LLC (Booth S1459) and Kreyenborg GmbH (Booth E11940) announced a marketing agreement June 15.
Beringer will gain access to Kreyenborg's piston-style screen-changing and underwater pelletizing, and Kreyenborg of Muenster, Germany benefits from Beringer's flat-plate technology, said Beringer President Michael Kelly.
"Beringer's been in the screen-changer business for 40 years, and we do not make a piston-style screen changer. We see theirs as a product that is very important to have going forward," Kelly said last week by telephone from the firm's Marblehead, Mass., headquarters. "In a reverse way, they don't sell flat-plate technology, which is what we carry. They see a need for that with their customers.
"The fit was quite natural."
Kreyenborg President Jan-Udo Kreyenborg said an added benefit of the deal is that each company maintains its autonomy.
"In this combination of all of our systems, we are able to offer every customer the quality and price range he needs," Kreyenborg said. "It's like Daimler and Chrysler, but it's a sales cooperation only and we don't have joint companies."
The companies have more than 80 years of combined experience as filtration systems suppliers.
Kelly said Beringer mainly serves extrusion and masterbatch production industries, while Kreyenborg said his company serves recycling, PET sheet production and fine filtration operations.
For Beringer in particular, the partnership means an opportunity to keep existing flat-plate customers that have concerns about continuous flow, as the piston style is more commonly understood as a continuous-flow device, Kelly said.
"In our style — flat plate — you can have quick change, but with a small drop in flow," Kelly explained.
"With piston-style, you may have a reduction in flow, but you never have a stop in flow.'
Kreyenborg, in turn, now can offer plate screen-changing systems to its customers in Europe as well as increase its sales potential in the United States. The company has a sales office in Atlanta.
"We will do our business as in the past, but we will have more salespersons in our office in Atlanta," Kreyenborg said. "By spring of next year we will have a laboratory line in our building in Georgia, and [offer] a 31/2- or 4-inch single-screw extruder, made by another company."
Beringer also has a European sales office in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland.
"We're very excited," Kelly said. "We're two companies that have really grown up on different sides on the ocean, and we see opportunities with a company that in the past was a competitor, but at this stage can be a partner."
Beringer, a privately held company, was founded in 1960, and has sold more than 10,000 screen changers, pelletizers, jet cleaners and other machines in more than 50 countries.
Kelly would not disclose the company's annual sales, but said he expects the agreement with Kreyenborg to increase sales by 25 percent.
Kreyenborg, founded in 1953 to develop and manufacture mixing and materials-handling equipment, said it has sold more than 200 pelletizing systems worldwide.
Jan-Udo Kreyenborg said his firm and its sister company, Bruckmann and Kreyenborg Granuliertechnik GmbH, have combined annual sales of $30 million.