Italian blow molding machine maker Automa SpA has opened a technical center in Appleton, Wis., a move a company executive called important to win U.S. business.
“It's definitely a must. It gives customers and potential customers that comfort level that they can be served by a local facility,” said Frank Varuzza, sales manager for North America at the company.
The Automa tech center is housed in part of the Appleton facility of sister company TMC — Tissue Machine Co. SpA. TMC makes automated wrapping and bundling equipment to package paper goods such as tissues and toilet paper.
Automa makes one-step PET machines and accumulator extrusion blow molders in Bologna, Italy.
Automa will hold an open house in Appleton from Sept. 27-29. In a showroom, the company will demonstrate two continuous extrusion shuttle blow molding machines. One will produce a cosmetic container in an eight-cavity mold, fully trimmed and tested inside the machine. Automa will dry-cycle a second machine, capable of producing a cosmetic container for up to eight-parison (16 cavities) or dual-parison (four cavities) for up to 4-gallon containers.
Automa had a U.S. operation in the late 1990s for several years, before pulling back. Now the Wisconsin technical center is handling parts, service and product development.
Automa hired Brian Whitaker as technical service manager.
The blow molding machinery manufacturer also designated PlasBM Machinery Corp., headquartered in Aurora, Ontario, as sales agent for the North American market.
PlasBM is managed by Kyle Grodzinski, a 15-year industry veteran who was president of Techne North America Inc.
Grodzinski will be working with Automa's other agent for North America, Helmut Scherer, who runs Scherer Plastics Systems LLC in Lansing, Mich.