In the seven years since Geiss Thermoforming AG of Sesslach, Germany, established a presence in the United States, it has sold 35 thermoforming systems to U.S. customers. So is Manfred Geiss, founder and managing director, happy?
I am the boss of the company, so I am never happy, he said at the Geiss booth (N60045) at NPE.
But he sees now as a good time for the U.S. market to buy Geiss machines, which have been developed to allow flexible operations.
Potential U.S. customers say to us that before, they would change molds every three days and spend three hours on the changeover, but now they must change at the end of each shift and in just one hour, Geiss said.
Processors are looking for greater levels of capability and Geiss Thermoforming has sought to answer that need with the development of machines that can do a variety of tasks, including twin-sheet and composites thermoforming.
The flexibility espoused by the company means that the machine it has developed for composites processing can be switched easily to standard thermoforming operations, giving customers the ability to extend their own offerings from standard thermoplastics into composites.
Geiss has a patented system that extends closing forces for use with reinforced-plastic composites. Servomotor drives exert closing forces of 20 or 31 metric tons, and a hydraulic unit can extend the closing force up to 100 or 200 tonnes.
The German equipment maker's presence at NPE2009 is designed to spread the word about Geiss to thermoformers based in the United States.
The firm recently installed a Geiss system for Sabic Innovative Plastics LP, the U.S. unit of Saudi Basic Industries Corp. of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Sabic IP is using the Geiss system at its plastics processing development center in Pittsfield, Mass., to run trials of its composite materials for customers.
Geiss believes in giving customers complete systems, and as well as manufacturing tooling. The company also makes trimming systems. A standard trimming unit can be fitted with ultrasonic cutting, computer numerically controlled milling, a laser or a combination of these. That variety of options is important as processors move into more challenging materials like honeycomb composites, which require ultrasonic trimming.
Manfred Geiss said that despite the recession, he is optimistic about prospects for the U.S. plastics industry: The U.S. market was the first to decline in the economic downturn and I have a feeling it will be the first to recover.
Geiss Thermoforming USA LLC in Mount Prospect, Ill., is the U.S. distributor for Geiss machines in North America.
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