Orlando, Fla. — Nordson Corp.'s polymer processing systems (PPS) is wrapping up construction of new global and regional operations. The work on constructing a new business culture continues.
"We have one business with multiple product lines," said John Keane, Nordson executive vice president. "We want to get people to believe they belong [within the organization]."
PPS is an combination of entities with varying backgrounds, and Nordson has been working to create a unified culture since the end of 2014.
"It has been a journey," he said in an interview at NPE2018 in Orlando.
Nordson first hinted at the full spectrum of its PPS capabilities at NPE2015. It expanded on that at K 2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Now at NPE2018, Keane said he believes the culture of Nordson and its acquisitions are coming together, even though many of its operations have come from multiple owners.
Keane acknowledged that "getting skilled labor is hard."
PPS capital investments have accelerated development.
Nordson is completing the building of a global hub in Münster, Germany, for BKG pelletizers and melt-delivery components. Among the projects, "We are increasing the lab in Münster, and we will replicate that in Shanghai and Hickory, N.C.," Keane said.
Extensive infrastructure and equipment investment in a Pirmasens, Germany, plant enable Nordson to produce Xaloy screws and barrels in Europe for the first time.
Nordson is consolidating production capabilities from several sites at a new Austintown, Ohio, regional hub for Xaloy screws and barrels in the Americas.
Following major investments, Nordson is introducing advanced systems for the manufacture of EDI dies at the Nordson Extrusion Dies Industries LLC unit in Chippewa Falls, Wis.
In Shanghai, Nordson moved its EDI extrusion and coating dies operation to a larger facility and used the space to begin the assembly of BKG screen changers and gear pumps. "We may pick up four weeks' lead time if we avoid needing to ship some equipment [to fulfill orders]," Keane said.
Nordson's Saitama, Japan, site added capacity to build EDI dies and remanufacture dies and established a superfinishing unit for local specialty markets such as optical-grade film.
For the fiscal year that ended Oct. 31, PPS invested about 6 percent for capital equipment vs. 3 percent for Nordson Corp. as a whole, Keane said.
PPS employs more than 1,200, has added 5-8 percent to its customer base and is hiring particularly in China, South Korea, India and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. "We want to deploy people with knowledge of the language and local culture," Keane said at NPE2018.
The publicly traded Westlake, Ohio-based corporation reported fiscal year profit of $295 million on sales of $2.06 billion.