Orlando, Fla. — Chris Crittenden has deep insights about auxiliary equipment and brings a worldly perspective in fulfilling his duties for Maguire Products Inc. of Aston, Pa.
Crittenden is managing director for Maguire's Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based unit, covering India, Middle East and Africa operations and also oversees Maguire's global marketing strategy.
He noted that Maguire in 2016 shipped its 50,000th gravimetric blender. The equipment sequentially dispenses each ingredient into a weigh chamber, monitors the gain in weight of a batch and adjusts blender controls for subsequent batches.
"As a result of making 50,000 units, we learn what our customers are moving toward," Crittenden said in an interview at NPE2018.
An example is Maguire's 2016 partnership with Busto Arsizio, Italy-based process control specialist Syncro srl for creation of extrusion-control technologies.
These include an automatic air ring flyer series and a gating system to work toward automating film lines for the film, pipe and profile market segments.
Cooling the bubble below the air ring boosts an extruder's production.
Model Y2 of the flyer series accommodates die sizes ranging from 50-180 millimeters, offers productivity gains of 10-100 percent and results in improved physical properties for the film.
Bubble stability is increased, scrap is reduced, and a carbon fiber chamber handles the anticondensation function, the partners say.
Downstream use of digital input and the integration of information are key elements.
The technology is "modular and affordable" and can be a return on investment with "big impacts," Crittenden said. "We can sell the air rings globally."
Separately, Crittenden observes that blow molders are "going to five or six [polymer] materials from one or two materials."
It is important to provide "new ideas — both revolutionary and line-specific — for old customers," he added.
The ideas need to be relevant to competitive markets and include ways to better visualize and understand processes, mechanical systems and materials such as the popular mineral filler calcium carbonate.
Crittenden believes the U.S. and European markets are mature.
Within his current market area, "Turkey and Africa can go straight to digital [to be] competitive, efficient and verify results," Crittenden said.
The African market has potential for consumer products and packaging but is not ready for the level of high-tech applications as North America, he said.
But Africa is open to fresh approaches, particularly in education and understanding, he noted.
Crittenden graduated from the University of Reading in England with a degree in economics. He worked for British auxiliary equipment firm Summit Systems Ltd. for almost three years and joined the Maguire Europe operation in Tamworth, England, in 1998. Summit and Maguire have an ongoing relationship.
In September 2014, he headed the startup and development of Maguire's new regional IMEA hub, serving customers across his current extensive territory.