Steer America Inc., the North American unit of Indian compounding extruder manufacturer Steer Engineering Pvt. Ltd. has sold more than 50 extruders since it was founded in 2008.
Steer America passed the milestone late last year, said Mike Millsaps, chief operations officer at the company in Uniontown, Ohio, south of Akron.
“We've grown, starting off with four employees to 14, in the U.S.,” Millsaps said in an interview. “We started in 2008, and in hindsight, you probably couldn't have picked a much rougher time to start a business. But, take the 2009 recession, those 50 extruders are quite a mark, in that amount of time.”
Steer Engineering was virtually unknown in the United States before the Ohio operation opened. Now company founder Babu Padmanabhan is a recognized authority on twin-screw compounding technology.
“It took us a couple of years to get our name out, to get the recognition that these (extruders) are real and these are high quality,” Millsaps said. “Babu's highly respected.”
Steer America handles sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America.
The company is moving into direct extrusion for the pharmaceutical sector, known as hot melt extrusion.
Millsaps said Steer America has moved well beyond the “startup” phase. “We expect to considerably more than that this year. We're growing exponentially,” he said.
He said the spare parts business is picking up. “We sell parts for all extruders: barrels, screws, and elements. And that continues to grow as well,” Millsaps said.
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