Conair Group Inc. (Booth S42031) has adopted a market-driven approach to new product development a strategic change the auxiliary equipment firm has made in order to design products more specifically tailored to the needs of its customers' customers.
What matters most to our customers isn't necessarily plastics processing that's almost secondary. What matters most to them is serving their end customers, Larry Doyle, Conair vice president of global sales and marketing, said in a phone interview. To that end, we started to understand that processors are different in different market segments.
Conair's subsequent research and development efforts led to a number of innovations the company is showcasing at NPE2009, including three new products for film and sheet extrusion, downstream systems for medical tubing extrusion, and new options for energy-efficient drying.
Ultimately, the pressure is on our customers to be successful, Doyle said. We can be that conduit, from products that aren't developed for products' sake, but with end goals and business goals in mind.
Energy-efficiency products designed to enhance more green manufacturing and cost savings is an obvious theme of NPE.
Conair is introducing a new EnergySmart single-stage (ES-1) drying system developed for PET and other plastics that need high drying temperatures.
The new drying system, company officials said, incorporates technology developed for the original two-stage EnergySmart system and applies it to a less-costly single-stage configuration.
The dryers can handle resin throughputs between 400 pounds per hour and 5,000 pounds per hour, according to a Conair news release.
A new TouchView dryer control regulates air temperature, dew point and airflow. The controls have the ability to fine-tune the air temperature, dew point and airflow to maintain a stable temperature within the hopper, regardless of throughput changes or variations in material temperature or ambient conditions, the release said.
The product is designed for processors that previously could not justify the investment in an EnergySmart due to relatively small throughput rates.
Conair has invested about $5 million in research and development to make many of the products it is showcasing at NPE, officials said.
The company will not forsake its bread-and-butter offerings, Doyle said, but will continue to focus on making specialized products when appropriate.
There are other product introductions that have broader-based appeal, he said. But look at where you're going to make your investment. It has to be an investment made with the end customer in mind and helping to achieve their goals.
Conair is headquartered in Cranberry Township, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh.