CHICAGO (July 28, 5:15 p.m. EDT) — Uniplast International Inc. diversified into smaller-profile downstream equipment with the global launch of its Genius line at NPE 2000.
Uniplast of Meadville, Pa., has specialized in downstream equipment for vinyl window profiles but is responding to customer demands for equipment to handle smaller-diameter window accessory profiles, according to James Hess, the firm's chief operating officer. It displayed prototype Genius equipment at its booth and expects to have machines available for delivery in September, when they will be launched in Europe.
The Genius line will include a haul-off and cut-off devices and a calibration table. The calibration table features fully retractable hoses for quick tool change and a water-catch pan on the infeed side that can be lowered out of the way to ensure smooth startup. The haul-off has displays to indicate haul-off force and speed and a hood with large viewing panels for safety. The cut-off saw travel can be adjusted and is synchronized with the haul-off speed by an electric motor.
Genius equipment has a unique, smooth-contoured design and is rustproof. Machines can be operated from either side. All connection sockets for auxiliary attachments are recessed into the machine to protect from damage. In addition to vinyl profiles, the system is suited for ABS, polypropylene and other polymer profiles.
Hess said in an interview at the Uniplast booth that the company recently spent $1.5 million to double the size of its Meadville facility to accommodate steady growth. The technical center, including testing area, has 22,600 square feet. The office area was more than doubled to 4,500 square feet.
Uniplast sources its equipment from Greiner Extrusionstechnik GmbH of Wartberg, Austria. Greiner owns 70 percent of Uniplast. Tool and die manufacturer Sipco Inc. of Meadville owns the rest, Greiner director Franz Wimmer said. Uniplast was established in 1989 and built its facility in 1995. It employs about 33 and has begun to diversify into downstream systems for vinyl fencing and decking. It subcontracts tool building to Sipco, which is located next door.
Greiner focuses on downstream PVC profile machinery. Its other facilities and offices are in Micheldorf, Austria; Trhove Sviny, Czech Republic, and Beijing. The private firm's 1999 sales were 1.1 billion Austrian schillings ($85 million).