Paul Godwin, a 38-year plastics industry veteran, is the new president and CEO of Battenfeld-Cincinnati USA, effective Jan. 1.
Godwin has worked at the machinery company in McPherson, Kan., since 2000.
Battenfeld-Cincinnati USA is part of Vienna-based Battenfeld-Cincinnati Group.
At Battenfeld-Cincinnati USA, formerly American Maplan Corp., Godwin started as sales manager for vinyl siding systems and the siding market. He did market development and sales management for natural fiber composites, blending plastic with wood flour.
When Kurt Waldhauer moved up from vice president of sales and marketing to become president and CEO of the Kansas-based machinery maker in 2004, Godwin became the director of sales. Godwin later became director of program management at Battenfeld-Cincinnati USA.
For the past two years, he has been director of engineering and quality control.
Battenfeld-Cincinnati makes extruders for a wide range of sectors, including pipe, windows, siding and thermoforming sheet.
Godwin looks at economic indicators for machinery sales — namely, spending on screws and barrels and spare parts.
“That's our barometer, so when we start to see that business improve that means people are using their equipment. So we've seen a steady recovery for our business, which is a good sign,” he said.
Godwin is projecting that business at Battenfeld-Cincinnati USA will see a “real turn-up” around the middle of this year. He thinks extruder sales will see a positive trend, although it won't be a huge leap in growth. The McPherson company employs 70.
Although U.S. home construction industry is still below pre-recession levels, the sector is in a long-term recovery mode, economists say. And new President Donald Trump has pledged to improve the nation's infrastructure.
“If the United States does make an investment in the infrastructure for our country, then that's going to be an economic driver for our customer base, which are manufacturers of pipe, profiles and construction infrastructure products,” Godwin said. If that happens, customers of extruder manufacturers should then need to add capacity, he said.
Godwin said the packaging market remains steady, with nominal growth.
Gerold Schley, CEO of the Battenfeld-Cincinnati Group, said Godwin's industry experience and nearly two decades with Battenfeld-Cincinnati, are a strength.
“His in-depth experience ideally positions him to advance Battenfeld-Cincinnati's commitment to equipping customers with the technologies, services and expert support they need to survive in today's demanding marketplace,” Schley said.
Godwin's plastics industry career began in 1979 at Dow Chemical Co., where he worked as a laboratory technician in extrusion, compounding and a wide range of other areas. From 1986 to 1990, he worked at Mobay Corp., part of Bayer Corp, as a lab specialist in extrusion. He moved to HPM Corp. as a sales engineer for the machinery maker's sheet systems, for four years.
He was regional sales manager with Maag Pump Systems from 1994 to 2000.