AACHEN, GERMANY (June 1, 11:30 a.m. EDT) — Inspection-system maker Intravis GmbH (Booth E10562) of Aachen has established a subsidiary, Intravis Inc., in Norcross, Ga.
The new location offers North American technical support and service, a spare-parts depot, warehouse, offices and a display of operating systems.
Andreas Mueller heads the subsidiary as executive vice president. The unit was legally formed as a Delaware corporation in 2004 and opened in 15,000 square feet in January.
Intravis focuses on vision inspection in the separate niches of plastic components and plastic packaging decoration processes, such as pressure-sensitive labels, printing and hot stamping. Intravis equipment can detect wrinkles and bubbles on pressure-sensitive labels.
“The U.S. is the market of the future for us,” Gerd Fuhrmann said in a telephone interview. “I believe we are the market leader in Europe.”
Fuhrmann formed Intravis in 1993 and, as president of both entities, pursues global players in the plastics market. About 830 high-speed Intravis vision inspection systems operate worldwide. “As an average, Intravis installs 10 systems every month,” he said.
Depending on the product, “our systems have 25 percent to 50 percent U.S. content,” Fuhrmann said.
At NPE, Intravis plans to emphasize its PreWatcher automatic stand-alone preform tester and its in-line spectrophotometer-equipped ColorWatcher system.
“The ColorWatcher is a tool for ensuring that the color of a preform is exactly correct,” Fuhrmann said.
Until last year, the ColorWatcher was available only as part of the PreWatcher. The PreWatcher remains useful for sealing surface and sidewall inspections and reading cavity numbers.
Other systems include the BottleWatcher for bottles, CapWatcher for closures and PrintWatcher for different types of printing machines, including silk-screen printing. Intravis has added high-resolution color cameras to the CapWatcher and PrintWatcher units.
The PrintWatcher can inspect print on plastic bottle surfaces that “never have exactly the same shape,” Fuhrmann said.
A unit of Melbourne, Australia-based Amcor Ltd. asked Intravis to supply the ColorWatcher function separately, and Intravis installed the first unit in an Amcor PET Packaging plant in Mendig, Germany, in mid-2005. Amcor is getting its second PreWatcher at a plant in Gresford, Wales.
The presence of Intravis' first U.S. customer in McDonough, Ga., helped Fuhrmann in deciding to locate in the Atlanta region. The parent customer is custom blow molder Alpla Werke Lehner GmbH & Co. KG of Hard, Austria. Operations of Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever United States Inc., Graham Packaging Co. and Silgan Plastics Corp. are among other Intravis customers in the U.S.
Marvin Baker with the Houston-based business development firm High Technology Associates assisted Intravis in its site search.
In Aachen, Intravis employs 32, about one-half of whom are engineers. The firm is recruiting for five more positions.