ORLANDO, FLA. — Erema GmbH had a decision to make.
After years on the market, its shredder-extrusion system to recycle plastics just wasn't attracting enough attention, or sales, for that matter.
Sure, more than 50 systems are operating around the world, but it has taken about 10 years to sell that many.
It was time to either commit deeper to the business or get out.
From that fork in the road, a brand new company called Pure Loop GmbH was born this year to emphasize and differentiate the technology from the rest of the company.
So far, so good, company officials recently said at NPE 2015 in Orlando.
“The decision for us was, let's say, not completely easy because we had this product for years inside of Erema,” said Manfred Hackl, CEO of Ansfelden, Austria-based Erema.
But the market, he said, essentially wasn't paying much attention.
“So either we said we shut down this or we push it. And in the end, you see, we pushed it,” Hackl said.
Pure Loop, aimed at the post-industrial market, uses a shredder technology to reduce recycled plastic before it's extruded and cut into pellets.
This differs from the cutter/compactor/extruder technology that's more familiar with customers of Erema.
Separating the two technologies through the creation of Pure Loop allows the company to market the shredder/extrusion approach separately without it getting marginalized.
“It is a clear signal for the market, for our customers, that they can choose,” Hackl said, between the different approaches.
Manfred Dobersberger is CEO of Pure Loop, which relies on Erema and its 470 workers for its infrastructure. Just three people work for Pure Loop right now, but he hopes to add eight to 10 people by the end of the year. The company also is looking to develop its own stable of sales representatives separate from Erema to further differentiate the technology.
It can be awkward for sales representatives touting the cutter/compactor/extrusion approach to then switch gears and start talking up the shredder/extrusion technology during a sales call, Hackl said.
Separating the technologies solves that dilemma.
“The machine has been promoted, I would say, not with a great ambition on it,” Dobersberger said, in past years. “There was absolutely not really a focus on this machine ... and even the potential of the machine was not really discovered.”
“The product has a lot of potential still,” he said.
Hackl believes that the company will know for sure fairly soon if the decision to create Pure Loop was the right move.
“I would say in a year, but we already see today that it is a success,” he said about the initial reaction to the move.
Pure Loop has made sales since its creation earlier this year and attracted plenty of attention at NPE, the men said.
“We see the positive feedback we get from the market is really very nice, and within the first two months, we have sold already two machines. So it was a very good start and hopefully we will continue like that, but it looks extremely promising,” Dobersberger said.