Shanghai — Traverse City, Mich.-based CPM Extrusion Group is doubling capacity in China with an ambitious new plant for its Nanjing-based subsidiary Ruiya Extrusion.
The company announced the investment April 26 at Chinaplas in Shanghai, and said the 120,000-square-foot plant will have a production capacity of 500 extrusion machines per year when it comes online by mid-2019.
"We're building the factory to be able to double our output," said Robert Urtel, group president. "Our current capacity is strained."
The new factory will be in a high-tech factory zone, Urtel said: "I know they look like a lot of iron, but there's a lot of knowledge that goes into them."
After years of steady growth, unit sales jumped 40 percent to 247 machines for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2017, and are expected to reach 265 machines this fiscal year, said Charles Spearing, general manager of global twin-screw operations.
CPM Holdings Inc., a diversified, privately held equipment manufacturer based in Waterloo, Iowa, acquired Century Extrusion of Traverse City in 2006 and the next year acquired Nanjing-based Ruiya Extrusion. Founded in 1993, Ruiya is one of the oldest extruder manufacturers on the mainland.
"Nanjing is the hub of compounding and extrusion manufacturers in China," Spearing said. "Ruiya was the second twin-screw company in China."
Today, roughly three-quarters of Ruiya machines are delivered to mainland locations, Spearing said.
Most of the Ruiya machines are used by compounders, Spearing said. Recycling is another key application.
"A lot of multinationals, Century customers that rely on us in the States, are now buying from Ruiya for their plants in China," Spearing said. "Domestically, we work very hard to be the top quality [extrusion machine] in China."
Ruiya's key export markets are India and Southeast Asia.
"We have really strong backing from our board to grow in India. We'll support the manufacturing for India here in China," Spearing said.
Last year CPM purchased Extricom GmbH of Lauffen, Germany, which specializes in premium 12-screw machines for niche applications such as high-performance tires and PET bottle recycling, Spearing said. Extricom built its first twin-screw machine this year, Spearing said.
"All three facilities are shipping all over the world," Spearing said. "We continue to grow the group and integrate as one company."
All told, CPM Extrusion Group has sold more than 4,500 machines worldwide, the company website says.
"We're preparing for the growth of the plastics industry worldwide," Urtel said.
The meat-and-potatoes extrusion industry has been getting a swanky Industry 4.0 upgrade in recent years, Spearing said. CPM Extrusion Group is launching a new smart series of machines at NPE2018 in Orlando, Fla., May 7-11, he said. Sensors throughout the machine will monitor oil pressure, vibration and other key indicators, Spearing said.
"It allows the customer to monitor not just the process, but also things that are helpful for preventative maintenance," Spearing said. It will exhibit at Booth W6875.