CHICAGO (July 13, 4 p.m. EDT) — The Plastics Technologies Group of Milacron Inc. booked orders for more than $50 million worth of plastics machinery at NPE 2000, a record for the company that tops $40 million in sales from the 1997 NPE.
Officials said the company generated 9,000 leads.
Milacron credited its technology, booth design and a "buying mood" by NPE visitors for the sales. The show, held June 19-23 in Chicago´s McCormick Place, attracted 90,142 attendees, up about 9 percent from the 1997 show.
Milacron displayed a total of 37 pieces of equipment at 34,000 square feet of space in five locations. The company claims it was the largest exhibitor.
Milacron announced the NPE sales July 11. The Cincinnati-based company is scheduled to release its second-quarter financial data the week of July 24.
Harold Faig, vice president of the Plastics Technologies Group, said the company grabbed some business from competitors.
"Our level of business from new customers hit record levels in some units, with companies that had used overseas sources for years altering decisions to Milacron," Faig said. "We believe many pending sales not booked at the show will be converted in the coming weeks, too, because the scope of the projects involved is so vast that it precludes quick buying decisions."
Faig said the Xtreem controller was pivotal to the company´s success. Milacron unveiled the Xtreem, outfitted with a machine-mounted camera that links a person on the shop floor to someone off-site via the Internet and personal computer-based technology.
Milacron also saw strong sales in all extrusion markets, including pipe, profiles, vertical blinds, woodflour and the newly acquired Akron Milacron unit, which makes single-screw extruders.
The company rolled out an all-electric system for making PET bottles — including a new preform injection press and a new blow molding machine. NPE 2000 marked Milacron´s return to the preform press market, which it abandoned in the 1980s.
Sales of the Powerline all-electric injection presses more than doubled as a percentage of total sales, compared with NPE 1997. Faig said more than half of the Powerline buyers in Chicago were new to electric molding machines.
Milacron´s D-M-E mold component business also reported nearly twice as many inquiries as in the 1997 show.
In 1999, the Batavia, Ohio-based Plastics Technologies Group reported sales of $904.2 million. In the first quarter of this year, the group reported sales of $217.6 million.