Powder King LLC, which makes pulverizers to grind resin into powder for rotational molding, is investing $1.8 million to build a new headquarters in Arizona and a service facility in the fast-growing market of Australia.
``Our huge growth has been in the Australian market, whether they're custom compounding and grinding facilities, or directly to the rotomolders who are grinding themselves,'' President Jim Hummel said.
Hummel bought a 20,400-square-foot building in in Anthem, Ariz. Powder King will move from its current 4,000-square-foot site in Anthem, into 10,000 square feet of the new space around October and lease the rest, he said.
Massillon, Ohio-based King Machine and Tool Co. manufactures the Powder King pulverizers.
Powder King was founded in 2003 and moved into its current Anthem site two years later, adding a small showroom and test grinding operation. The new building will house three pulverizers for handling anything from grinding laboratory samples to full production-scale testing.
Hummel said the U.S. pulverizer market is ``picking up.''
``It seems to be growing some. I see a lot more quotes and our business is a little better than it has been,'' he said.
The hot markets are outside the U.S., especially Eastern Europe and Latin America, he said. Australia is booming, as its government encourages homeowners to install tanks to hold rainwater in the face of a drought, Hummel said. Another big market is rotomolded underwater tanks for gray water - from household uses such as washing dishes and bathing - which is filtered and used for watering plants.
``The Australian market has doubled in growth this past 18 months, because of the drought,'' he said. ``There have been 20-something new rotomolding companies in the past 18 months. It's just been unbelievable growth.''
In Braeside, Australia, the firm plans to open a 4,500-square-foot service center later this year for sharpening pulverizer disks.
Powder King also has introduced a pulverizer powered by direct drive instead of standard belt drive. On the PK-DD Mega Mill, the flywheel for rotating disks is connected directly to the motor shaft. According to Power King, the design eliminates the belt, bearing housing and motor adjustment fixture. Heavy-gauge piping uses clamps with an O-ring seal, eliminating the leaking of powder at the connection.
The PK-DD runs up to 2,200 pounds an hour of 35-mesh high density polyethylene, or more than 2,200 pounds of 20-mesh resin, the firm said.