The changing of the guard continues at plastics machinery companies as Swiss injection press maker Netstal-Maschinen AG names a new president for its U.S. headquarters in Devens, Mass.
Werner Christinger will retire at the end of the year as president and general manager of Netstal Machinery Inc. Netstal's new top U.S. official will be Rick Shaffer, currently vice president and general manager of Demag Ergotech USA. Shaffer is to join Netstal on Aug. 1.
Netstal, based in NÃ¤fels, Switzerland, announced the change June 27. The day before, Van Dorn Demag Corp. announced it was promoting William R. Carteaux to replace William G. Pryor as its top executive.
Both changes have a northeast Ohio connection, since Van Dorn Demag and Demag Ergotech USA both are based in Strongsville, Ohio. All three companies - Netstal, Van Dorn Demag and Demag Ergotech - are part of Mannesmann Plastics Machinery AG, based in Munich, Germany.
Christinger will help with the transition until Shaffer takes over full responsibility Jan. 1.
Shaffer has worked for 19 years for Demag Ergotech, which formerly was known as Mannesmann Demag. He began his plastics career at the injection press division of Beloit Corp. in Dalton, Mass., where he was engineering manager. He worked at Beloit from 1977-83 before moving to Demag as operations manager.
Christinger, 62, said he plans to retire to Florida, where a retirement house is under construction in Bonita Springs, on the Gulf Coast. He said he may do some consulting - with the emphasis on may.
``I've run around the world for 40-plus years,'' he said.
Christinger joined Netstal in 1996, replacing longtime president Barry Potter. The following year he oversaw the 1997 move of Nestal from Fitchburg, Mass., to a technology center in Devens, a former military base converted to a business center.
A native of Switzerland, Christinger has lived in the United States since 1966.
Christinger already was retired when Netstal hired him. He had a long career at medical products maker Becton Dickinson Corp., retiring in 1994 as vice president for process development. He then started his own consulting company for plastics product design.
Netstal employs about 50 people in Devens.