Heinz Schneider and Paul Wagner, two executives of pneumatic conveying products maker Pelletron Corp., have completed their buyout of the company from its founder, Jerry Paulson.
Paulson, a mechanical engineer, started Lancaster, Pa.-based Pelletron in 1986. He invented processes for bulk material handling, including the DeDuster, which is used to separate dust, fines and fluff from resin pellets. Paulson has retired.
Schneider and Wagner announced Feb. 4 that they now own the entire company. Terms were not disclosed. When the two men took top executive positions at Pelletron in 2003, they made an agreement with Paulson to buy his shares over time, according to Schneider.
Their titles at Pelletron remain the same as before: Schneider is president and chief executive officer and Wagner is vice president.
Before coming to Pelletron, Schneider had been an executive at compounding extruder maker Coperion Corp. of Ramsey, N.J., and was president of Coperion's resin conveying equipment business, Waeschle Inc. Wagner also had been a Coperion executive.
When we came, the DeDuster was the main business of Pelletron, Wagner said. Our goal was to expand this product line and take the company to become a solution provider, which includes pneumatic conveying and conveying components. That's a field where we could see the growth.
They worked with Paulson to expand Pelletron's conveying business, and established a new component line of rotary and diverter valves.
Schneider said the broader product range, together with expanding sales to Europe and Asia, helped Pelletron's sales grow to about $15 million today.
Exporting is very important for us, especially now when the U.S. economy is slow. There are other areas in the world that are still going, Schneider said. Today, exports account for about half of total sales.
Pelletron employs 18, but outsources production to suppliers in the Lancaster area. We have engineers and people who are strictly in design and engineering and developing new products, Schneider said.
He said the company will roll out three or four new products at NPE 2009.
Although Pelletron has focused on the plastics industry, the company also wants to expand into the minerals, food and pharmaceutical industries.