DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (Nov. 7, 3 p.m. EST) — Reduction Engineering Inc. will continue its rapid growth track by opening new facilities early next year in France and Brazil.
The Kent, Ohio-based maker of plastics pulverizing equipment will launch a new manufacturing site in Santa Catarina, Brazil, and a sales and service center in Toulouse, France, during the first quarter of 2001, product manager Carlos Garcia said Oct. 28 at K 2001 in Dusseldorf.
The company also plans to expand the new French operation within the next two years from 1,200 square feet to 5,000-6,000 square feet and add an equipment showroom and a spare-parts warehouse, Garcia said.
The initial investment in both facilities will total close to $1 million.
The move marks a major step for the 8-year-old company. Before now, manufacturing has been done only in Kent. The company had relied exclusively on a network of sales agents in Europe, with no facility to show products or supply spare parts.
“We're the No. 1 pulverizing company in the United States, and 85 percent of our sales stay in America,” Garcia said. “But a good deal of growth is coming from Europe and South America.”
The company has developed an auxiliary-machine niche that has exploded since its inception in 1993. Its pulverizing equipment primarily is used by rotational molders using polyethylene. The company also is expanding into recycled rigid PVC applications for various applications.
The Brazil facility, in the southern part of that country, will manufacture pulverizing systems for several customers who have opened locations in South America, Garcia said. The company decided to open the 10,000-square-foot plant after finding it costly to pay import duties, he said.
“Eventually, we knew our machines needed to made locally,” Garcia said. “The import duties were too high.”
The company initially will employ 10 in Brazil and two or three in France. During the next year, Reduction Engineering will launch an expansion in Toulouse and install a state-of-the-art pulverizer.
The French plant then will evaluate new materials and offer other conveying systems and silos made by the company. Reduction Engineering can provide complete pulverizing systems, including conveyance devices, granulators, silos and mixers.
Reduction Engineering has undergone other changes in the past couple of years. On Jan 1, 2000, it merged with Accu-Grind Industrial Knife Co., a maker of computer-controlled sharpening, repair and replacement parts. And the company formed an alliance a year ago with Conair Group Inc. to manufacture and market several Conair pelletizers with Accu-Grind rotors.
The company's core pulverizing business has grown globally, aided by European recycling initiatives and the growth in some consumer products for its rotomolding customers, said domestic sales manager Alain St. Pierre.
Company sales have risen more than threefold in the past seven years, St. Pierre said. This year, Reduction Engineering expects sales to reach $20 million.