Ettlinger Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH, a German maker of specialty injection presses and filters for recycled plastics, has a new majority owner and is opening a U.S. office led by two former officials of Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd.
Ettlinger makes low-pressure presses that can mold very large, thick-walled products. Its Ettlinger rotation filter is designed for running plastic scrap that has high levels of contamination.
Last October, Volker Neuber bought the majority of the shares of Ettlinger from Roderich Ettlinger, who founded the KÃ¶nigsbrunn company in 1983. He remains at the company as general manager of research and development, working on new technology.
His son, Thorsten Ettlinger, an engineer, owns a minority stake, and is general manager of engineering.
Neuber was Husky's vice president of sales and service for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before that he was managing director of GE Plastics Germany.
In early January, Mike Diletti joined Ettlinger to head North American sales. Diletti is the former Husky vice president of service and sales.
Diletti said that Ettlinger filters are running in North America, as part of complete recycling lines from European suppliers. His initial job is to raise awareness for Ettlinger filters and injection presses. Diletti is looking for an office and eventual technical center in the Chicago area.
The Ettlinger name and product line is well-known in Europe but just beginning in North America, Diletti said.
Ettlinger melt filters can handle very contaminated materials without clogging, thanks to a rotating-drum design that removes foreign matter every time it turns typically about every 30 seconds or less. A scraper on the drum takes off the contaminated material and removes it to a carryout screw.
Diletti said traditional melt filters used for recycling clog up quickly, This one can take up to 14 percent contamination and keep going because the contaminants are scraped off after each revolution, he said.
Neuber said the melt filter has gained a good reputation beyond the recycling sector. Ettlinger sells about half the total units to plastic processors and compounders.
Ettlinger's injection molding machines are customized for special large-part applications such as pallets, heavy-duty shipping containers, road markers, manhole covers and very big fittings for wastewater pipes.
The horizontal machines come in clamping forces up to 3,500 tons. They use a two-stage injectiona screw feeds material to a shooting pot, which pushes the melt into the mold. That allows you to plasticize a huge amount of material an hour without having multiple injection units, Diletti said.
The low-pressure machines also are well-suited for running recycled plastics.
Depending on the application, Ettlinger can configure the injection presses with a rotating table that allows the parts to shuttle through cooling stations before they are removed.
Neuber said he was working at Bolton, Ontario-based Husky when he met Roderich Ettlinger. I was impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of such a small machinery company, he said. He left Husky to buy Ettlinger.
Neuber went from executive positions at Husky and GE Plastics to become general manager of Ettlinger, which employs 25 and generates sales of around $8 million to $10 million.
He wants to expand Ettlinger's international presence. Diletti has hit the ground running, Neuber said. He is very familiar with the North American landscape and will provide instant credibility to our company, he noted.
In addition to a North American office, Neuber plans to add representation in the Middle East and Asia this year.
Ettlinger will exhibit at the Fakuma show in October in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Neuber said the machinery maker also will exhibit at the next NPE show, in 2012 in Orlando, Fla.