Kautex Maschinenbau GmbH, the extrusion blow molding machinery maker, has come back strongly from the recession, with 2010 sales up about 11.5 percent to 70 million euros ($93 million) and expected sales of 78 million euros ($103 million) in 2011.
Sales director Jurgen Moitzheim said the firm lost sales in Europe but gained in China, where automakers are buying Kautex machines to blow mold fuel tanks.
Bonn, Germany-based Kautex is known for machines to mold multilayer plastic tanks and other industrial parts, but executives predict similar growth in 2011, as it pushes its expertise in consumer and industrial packaging machines.
In packaging, Kautex traditionally has focused on single-layer blow molding, Moitzheim said. But a deal last year gives it access to multilayer, intermittent accumulator heads from Rikutec-Richter Kunststofftechnik GmbH & Co. KG of Altenkirchen, Germany. The technology allows a layer of regrind buried between two virgin-plastic layers, he said. Last year, Kautex took over sales and service for the giant Rikutec machines, used to mold septic tanks and other massive parts.
At K, Kautex highlighted a long-stroke KLS 8-100 molding shampoo bottles. They were conveyed through a wall to the adjoining booth of Delta Application Technics bvba of Belgium, where they went through a fully automated series of downstream equipment, including leak detection, laser marking, weighing, vision inspection and tray packaging.
Kautex intends to maintain its leading position in multilayer fuel tanks and has developed its C3LS technology that allows one to open the parison and install internal components in the tank. The six-layer system meets California PVEZ and LEV3 regulations.
In another innovation: Kautex developed a turnkey project in Asia for blow molding a composite cylinder for holding liquid petroleum gas.