DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (Nov. 1, 3:15 p.m. EST)— Brazilian flm and sheet machinery builder Rulli Standard IndÃºstria e Comercio de Maquinas Ltda. is investing about $5 million in a new production plant near SÃ£o Paulo.
The 320,000-square-foot facility, near Rulli Standard headquarters, is to begin operating by April. The company said it will shift production from its 70,000-square-foot plant in SÃ£o Paulo.
Meanwhile, Rulli Standard is looking for a new partner to help it sell blow film machinery in North America.
In April 2000, Rulli Standard formed an alliance with Black Clawson Converting Machinery LLC of Fulton, N.Y., to produce cast, stretch and barrier film lines for the South American market, using U.S. technology. The deal also aimed to open the way for Black Clawson to market Rulli Standard blown film and sheet equipment in North America.
The two suppliers joined forces at NPE 2000 in Chicago, where they displayed a Rulli-built blown film line.
But the deal has not resulted yet in cast film machinery sales for Black Clawson in South America, and officials from both companies say Rulli Standard might be better off with another partner in its efforts to sell Brazilian-made machines in the United States.
Executives from both companies emphasized, however, that Rulli Standard will continue to market Black Clawson machines in South America.
Black Clawson still is considering how to take advantage of an obvious market opportunity in that region, said Andy Christie, the firm's extrusion machinery business manager.
"The challenge for us has been to create a product that is appropriate for the South American market in cast film. Our cast film products are geared to larger, higher-volume markets and we have not really created a product for the lower-volume markets there,” he said.
"South America requires a less-sophisticated machine so they can support it locally, and a downsized machine from our typical offering to meet the smaller market needs of that region," Christie said at K 2001 in Dusseldorf.
Black Clawson wants to find a potential local customer with whom to develop a suitable new machine, according to Christie.
With the prospect of greater machine-building capacity next year, Rulli Standard hopes to get its blown film and sheet extrusion equipment into the North American market.
Despite the original aims of the Rulli-Black Clawson association, the Brazilian supplier has decided to seek a new distributor in North America and is already in discussions with potential partner companies, said Luis Carlos Rulli, commercial manager at Rulli Standard.
"The point is, we do not have a presence in blown film, and so we wouldn't take their product to the entire market. So they are looking at other alternatives," Christie said.
Rulli confirmed that the agreement with Black Clawson is continuing, and he said both partners are seeking customers in South America for cast equipment employing the American firm's technology.
Last year Rulli Standard sold 90 blown film machines in Brazil and 10 sheet extrusion lines, while it placed nine blown film machines in Argentina. In 2001, another three film lines have been sold in Argentina with another seven elsewhere in Latin America, including two lines for Lima, Peru-based packaging company Peruplast SA, said Rulli sales executive Silvio Davi Pires.
For 2002, Rulli Standard has five machines earmarked for customers in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru, said Luis Carlos Rulli.