Stuttgart, Germany-based compounding extruder maker Coperion Holding GmbH is beefing up service as part of its move to open up eight U.S. regional centers and decentralize its U.S. operations, according to Jan van Bakergem, president and chief executive officer of Coperion Corp.
Coperion announced in late 2003 it would end U.S. manufacturing of its twin-screw extruders in Ramsey, N.J. Interviewed at the K show, van Bakergem said the regional centers make more sense as the company reaches out to customers. Coperion still makes screws in the United States.
The move ``has now definitely given us a good result,'' van Bakergem said.
``We are concentrating our activities on midsize compounders. And the regional operations are the answer to that equation. We are sitting much more on the doorstep of our customers as we have in the past, and we have had a nice spinoff effect.''
The U.S. operation now is creating regional service centers. The first is scheduled to open in early 2005 in Akron, Ohio, with the second one slated for Chicago. Van Bakergem said the Akron area has a large installed base of Coperion compounding extruders.
At K 2004 in Dusseldorf, Coperion introduced its new generation of the high-output MegaCompounder, called the ZSK MegaCompounder Plus. The extruder offers more torque, boosting production by up to 20 percent. The keys are an improved gearbox design and newly designed teeth on the screw shaft, which allows for more power transmitted to the screw.
Coperion expected its 2004 sales to reach 315 million euros (US$390 million), a 13 percent increase from 280 million euros in 2003. Orders also were expected to grow by 13 percent, to 340 million euros (US$421 million).
The 2004 numbers include three months of sales from Coperion Keya, the company's plant in Nanjing, China, purchased last year. Wolfgang Horn, managing director of sales and service, said Coperion Keya makes between 350 and 400 extruders a year. The company claims to hold more than 50 percent of the Chinese market for standard and midsize extrusion equipment.
Coperion is marketing the Chinese-made machine as the STS, for standard twin screw. Since introducing the STS in July 2004, Coperion has sold 18 STS extruders in Europe, Latin American and Asia, Horn said at K, which ran Oct. 20-27. The company said it has sold two STS machines in the United States.