Berstorff GmbH, a German maker of extruders for compounding, foam, sheet and film, sees some light at the end of the tunnel, a U.S. Berstorff executive said at NPE 2003 in Chicago.
``After two tough years we are experiencing increased demand for capital investment in the plastics industry,'' said Korbinian Kiesl, vice president of Berstoff Corp. in Florence, Ky.
Kiel outlined the company's push to supply complete systems instead of individual machines, improve service and become more global. That includes supplying equipment for U.S. customers that set up shop in China.
On March 19, Hanover, Germany-based Berstorff bolstered its sheet and film equipment portfolio by acquiring Adolf Seide Engineering of Buckholz, Germany, a maker of smoothing rolls and other equipment for cast film and sheet calendering. Berstorff and its sister company, Krauss-Maffei Kunststofftechnik GmbH established KMB Seide Technology GmbH.
NPE 2003 marked the first appearance of KMB Seide. The acquisition will help strengthen Berstorff in standard thermoforming sheet. A Seide Planet calender was displayed on the Berstorff stand.
Berstorff also emphasized its ability to supply turnkey lines to make roofing membranes, car interiors and sheet for thermoformed packaging. Berstroff said it has supplied 40 in-line compounding lines around the world that do compounding and extrude the melt into a finished product in a single, continuous process.
Berstorff also displayed a UTX compounding extruder, which debuted at the K 2001 show in Germany. A rectangular barrel housing can be opened quickly for simple barrel changes. Other features include larger side-feed openings and degassing vents and a new temperature control system. The company also has integrated auxiliary units, such as the lubrication system and electronics, into the machine base.
A C-clamp system for the barrel enables a time savings of 70 percent when opening the barrel, compared with the bolted-flange connections.
Berstorff also announced a concept for extruding silicone rubber. A hot-air oven can use recirculated air in addition to infrared electrical energy to achieve vulcanization.