DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (Nov. 12, 10:05 a.m. EST) — Oriented film equipment supplier Bruckner Maschinenbau GmbH is riding high with its order book bulging after securing 17 contracts, mostly from China, so far this year.
Bruckner of Siegsdorf, Germany, has won orders ranging from extruders and cast film machines to stretching lines, turnkey projects and the world's third 33-foot-wide, biaxially oriented polypropylene line.
"We are absolutely at the top of the mountain this year. [Business] started to grow last year," said Markus Gschwandtner, area sales manager for the Middle and Far East and former global marketing manager. The oriented film sector is at the high point of its four-year investment cycle, he said.
Contracts gathered during the past two years are valued at about 140 million euros ($125 million), he said.
Meanwhile, the company has three more contracts with customers that Gschwandtner declined to identify, for shipment before the end of this year.
So far this year China has accounted for about 12 of the total number of Bruckner contracts. The business included nine complete sequential stretch lines, ranging from 20½ feet to 27 feet wide. Most are for OPP, but the company also sold a three-layer PET film line and two cast PET film lines, according to Bruckner.
Demand for oriented film in China is growing about 12 percent annually, and processors there expect to double OPP and PET film capacity in the next two years.
At K 2001 in Dusseldorf, Gschwandtner said he recognizes that demand will take time to catch up with such a surge in capacity, so Bruckner is prepared for a slowdown in orders.
"But the Chinese market does not behave quite like the usual Western market,” he said. “Even if they could almost double capacity within a year's time, we will still have lots of projects.”
Gschwandtner said major markets for Bruckner remain North America and Europe, but Asia Pacific and Latin America already are very important growth markets.
Other sales this year include a turnkey, five-layer OPP line for a customer in the Philippines, a PET line for a customer in Japan, a 22-foot-wide OPP line for an extruder in Italy, and a 10-foot, transverse-direction orienter for a U.S. company.
Bruckner claims to be the world's only builder of 33-foot OPP sequential stretch film lines. It sold the latest equipment not in Asia, but to Manuli Stretch SpA of Milan, Italy.
The trend in the sector now is for much wider lines of 27-33 feet wide, with speeds up to 1,650 feet per minute, according to Bruckner.