Austrian machinery builder Cincinnati Extrusion GmbH said it is on course to post a 17 percent increase in sales for 2007.
Driven by strong performances in the U.S. and Russian markets, and the growing acceptance of wood-plastic composite production, 2007 sales stand to grow to 100 million euros ($144 million), from 85 million euros ($122 million) a year ago.
Since re-entering the U.S. market at the beginning of 2006, Cincinnati Extrusion has made headway quickly, according to marketing director Hans Berlisg. A geographical noncompetition agreement SMS GmbH reached with Milacron when it bought the company's non-U.S. extrusion operations in 2000 prevented it from selling in the U.S. until the end of 2005. German private equity group Triton acquired it from SMS GmbH earlier this year.
``We are quite happy with our development in the U.S. This year we will sell over 50 extruders there,'' he said. ``We have dominated the window profile market and are probably No. 1 already.''
Berlisg said the return of its former owner to the European market has not diminished those U.S. gains noticeably. ``We really have not felt the pressure of Milacron in Europe. They have been using their experience in [wood-plastic composites], but it is not easy to sell a U.S. machine in Europe.''
Berlisg said the company has seen similar success in the Russian marketplace. ``This is becoming a very big market and we are doing very well in profile and pipe, especially [polyolefin] pipe. We see very good growth for the future.''
Cincinnati Extrusion also is benefiting from Europe's developing interest in wood-plastic composites, which, while seeded by the solid profile systems used in the U.S., now has developed its own distinctive, hollow-profile products.
``The European market started with trial machines, but this trial period seems to be over. There are now a few companies starting to make [wood-plastic composites], mostly decking,'' said Berlisg.
During the K show, held Oct. 24-31 in Dusseldorf, Deckwood, a Netherlands-based wood-plastic composites developer, signed a letter of intent to buy three Cincinnati systems to install at a Deckwood production unit in the United States.
Cincinnati Extrusion Managing Director Walter HÃ¤der said the company's growth plans are fully supported by new private equity owner Triton, which seeks value-adding acquisitions.
Triton also is supporting HÃ¤der's plans to implement Six Sigma lean manufacturing principles to help speed delivery and manage cost while increasing production efficiency.
At K, Cincinnati Extrusion showed its latest high-efficiency extrusion model - the direct-drive, high-speed Rapidex Ltd. unit. The 60-millimeter machine is designed to deliver an output of 3,500 pounds per hour in polyolefin pipe applications. A prototype system has been in operation at the Rehau AG plant at Viechtach, Germany, and is on its way to realizing those output rates, said HÃ¤der.
The company also has focused on reducing the energy consumption of its machines, fitting energy-efficient AC motors as standard on all of its extruders, along with new barrel insulation and energy-optimized screws.
The company announced at the show that it has, together with injection machinery maker Engel Austria GmbH, embarked on a project with the Vienna University of Technology to develop a simple system for rating the energy efficiency of plastics processing equipment.
Company leaders hope that system eventually may be presented to Frankfurt, Germany-based Euromap - the European Committee of Machinery Manufacturers for the Plastics and Rubber Industries - as the basis for a standard rating system.