Extruder maker Century Inc. has signed a deal with China's second-largest producer of twin-screw compounding extruders, Nanjing Ruiya Polymer Processing Equipment Co. Ltd.
The deal will let Ruiya tap into Century's technology, design and engineering expertise making extruders for world markets, Century said.
Century, based in Traverse City, Mich., will do sales and service for Ruiya's offering of TSE twin-screw extruders, ancillary equipment and other products in North and South America, Europe and some other areas.
Ruiya is working with Century to upgrade the TSE extruders. They will feature higher speeds and torque than currently offered by the Chinese company.
In addition, Century soon will start using Chinese components in its own CX co-rotating, intermeshing extruders. Chairman William Janis said the process will start with screws and barrels, with gearboxes to follow. Century sells 15-20 machines annually.
The deal follows one made earlier this year when Stuttgart, Germany-based Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer bought China's biggest producer of twin-screw extruders, Keya Corp. of Nanjing. The pact also comes only days after Century announced an alliance with Extricom GmbH of Lauffen, Germany, which makes 12-screw ring extruders used for high-end compounding. Century already has the rights to make and sell Extricom ring extruders in the Americas.
Both Century and Extricom originally were suppliers of spare parts and services. Century still supplies aftermarket components for most major brands of compounding extruders.
Markus Blach, Extricom general manager, said Century and Extricom will pool various patent rights and other intellectual properties, as well as manufacturing capabilities.
Extricom will provide sales and service for Ruiya products in Europe. Ruiya will sell Extricom ring extruders in China.
Ruiya, one of about 20 makers of twin-screw compounding extruders in China, claims about 30 percent of the Chinese market. The firm was founded two years ago, but its top engineers have more than 20 years' experience in the sector. Ruiya claims it can make 300 extruders a year, most of which are sold in China. It also makes other types of twin- and single-screw extruders.
At K 2004 in Dusseldorf, Ruiya executives said the firm could make as many as 800 extruders during the next two years. Century business adviser Asmut Kahns said the North American market for twin-screw machines is probably about 200 machines annually, similar in size to Europe.
The new TSE extruder probably will cut into the market for high-torque, high-power machines, Kahns said. ``It will have a very attractive price-to-throughput range,'' he said, while volunteering no selling price.
Blach said the deal could open up the Chinese market for ring extruders, which are best-suited to high outputs. Depending on the model, the machines can compound more than 8,000 pounds per hour. Extricom has been making ring extruders for five years, selling 25 units in that time.