You can buy basic jeans, and Basic cigarettes. Now you can buy a ZE Basic extruder from Berstorff GmbH.
At K 2004, Berstorff will unveil a lower-priced compounding extruder, the ZE Basic, and roll out a new process to extrude multi-material profiles for an automotive sealing market moving toward rubber/thermoplastic elasto- mer products.
Berstorff is building the extruder at its headquarters in Hanover, Germany.
The company has offered the ZE UTX series for years, but has not filled the lower end of the market, said Dan Pearce, sales and marketing manager for plastics technology at the U.S. unit, Berstorff Corp. in Florence, Ky.
The twin-screw ZE Basic is aimed at small and midsized compounders. Pearce said the Basic gives slightly less throughput at significantly lower cost. Markets include compounding, color concentrate manufacturing and reactive processing.
ZE Basic extruders come in screw diameters of 26, 34, 42, 52, 62 and 77 millimeters, with maximum screw speeds of 600, 900 and 1,200 revolutions per minute.
Berstorff shaved costs with a high degree of standardization in components and assemblies, such as a new design of the barrel sections, the drive train, ancillary equipment, the machine base and electrical equipment.
The ZE Basic - like the ZE UTX - also comes with the new second-generation advanced control system, which has a new operator interface.
Berstorff officials outlined their K show introductions with two press conferences in May - one conference in Germany and another at SPE-Antec in Chicago.
Korbinian Kiesl, vice president of the U.S. operation, said Berstorff is gaining U.S. market share, even as the market remains flat. One reason is new product development: Kiesl claimed that Berstorff is one of the few extrusion machinery suppliers that is profitable. That puts the company in a good position to spend on research and development, he said.
Kiesl said Berstorff generated sales of 115 million euros ($125 million) for fiscal 2003, which ended Sept. 30. The company predicts a 20 percent sales gain for this year.
Berstorff has recorded big gains in the Far East and Eastern Europe, especially China and Russia. The extruder maker runs sales offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China, and opened a new five-employee office in Moscow.
Officials said Berstorff's strong points include its direct compounding technology, the flexibility of the machines and the fact that Berstorff builds both plastics and rubber extruders.
That dual expertise is winning orders from new profile extrusion customers, such as suppliers of automotive sealing strips that are moving away from all-rubber and using more TPE seals.
``This is one of the strongest areas of Berstorff, in that we have rubber and plastics technology,'' said Peter Hunziker, vice president of sales and marketing.
At the K show, Berstorff will introduce the Hybrid Head, which brings two different materials from two or more isolated extruders together at the head, creating a single extruded profile. Automotive sealing is a key market. The machine builder worked with a German automotive supplier to create a four-component profile, with TPE foam, solid TPE, sponge rubber and a steel support member.
The head thermally separates the TPE and the rubber, eliminating coextrusion problems that can be caused by the different processing temperatures of each material.