LOS ANGELES — Under the new Coperion Corp. umbrella, the Waeschle materials-handling equipment business will mesh well with the Krupp Werner & Pfleiderer business of compounding extruders, according to a Waeschle executive.
"We're a good fit, because we are a leader in the pneumatic conveying part, and they are a leader in the extrusion part. So together we can make turnkey equipment," said Heinz Schneider.
Some new markets, like wood-plastic composites, are driving demand for turnkey systems, Schneider said during an April 10 interview at the Plastics Encounter show in Los Angeles.
Also, more companies today do not want the hassle of cherry-picking components and putting together their own production line.
"A lot of companies don't have the engineering expertise anymore," he said.
Schneider was president of Waeschle Inc., based in Bloomingdale, Ill. Under the new Coperion Corp., he is president of the Components Group, which includes Waeschle products.
Coperion was formed to coordinate the growing plastics machinery operations of Georg Fischer AG, based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Last year, Georg Fischer bought Krupp Werner & Pfleiderer GmbH from Germany's Thyssen Krupp AG. By combining W&P with its own Buss kneader business, Coperion claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of compounding and mixing machines.
But while much of the attention about Coperion has focused on how W&P and Buss will link up, as primary equipment makers, Schneider thinks the Waeschle connection is just as important.
He said Waeschle did not have an active link to Buss, because the Buss kneaders typically are not tied into large conveying systems.
Waeschle, based in Ravensburg, Germany, makes equipment for bulk materials handling for extrusion, including conveying systems and components such as high-pressure rotary valves, diverter valves and shut-off valves.
Schneider said Waeschle employs 45 at its U.S. operations in Bloomingdale and Houston. The company does manufacturing in Bloomingdale.
Waeschle's core products do pneumatic conveying, but recently, the company introduced technology called Conticon that uses water to move plastic pellets smoothly over long distances.
After extrusion and pelletizing, the material is moved by water through pipes to a dryer, then distributed to the blending/storage silos using a short pneumatic conveying system. According to Waeschle, Conticon offers four advantages over the use of pneumatic conveying alone: almost no product abrasion, energy savings of 40-70 percent, lower noise and no shock forces on the pipe.