Moretto's gravimetric blender has been "extremely well-accepted here in the states," he said. Moretto USA also has sold more than 20 of its Moisture Meters, which measures the moisture of pellets in real time as they come out of the drying hopper. Moretto introduced Moisture Meter at the 2015 Fakuma trade fair.
"The market acceptance has been great," Flockerzi said. "We've had tremendous success within the PET preform market segment. Also, the medical market. And it's been very well-received in some automotive as well. But the medical and packaging would be the two biggest market segments of purchasing that technology."
Medical molders can certify moisture content at the exact time parts were molded.
Moretto USA has signed up reps covering the Midwest and West Coast. Flockerzi said the company is still filling in the East Coast.
"It's coming together nicely. Now that the service side is on, I have qualified people that can help me out. Now the focus is on the front side of the business, getting more resources to help the generate quotations and things along those lines, so we can get the quotes responsibly and quickly. Being the new vendor, you don't want to be slow on the turnaround. You want to exceed the customer's expectations on quotes and things along those lines," he said.
In Columbus and for the last couple of years, Moretto did most of its business through complete systems, which were engineered in Italy. But now that U.S. distribution has grown solidly and Moretto is becoming more well-known here among processors, unit sales have doubled over last year, according to Flockerzi. System sales are solid, about the same as last year.
The Jackson Center facility has about $9 million in parts and equipment inventory, up from around $800,000 in Columbus. "We need to be able to satisfy customer needs quickly," Flockerzi said.
Moretto SpA and its president and owner, Renato Moretto, are devoting significant resources to the U.S. market, where Moretto is a new player.
"We have an inventory," he said. "So, our goal is a customer gives us an order, we can ship it out in one day or two days to the customer and have it in their hands. U.S. customers aren't going to wait 16 weeks for delivery of equipment. We've got to be able to support them with equipment that's at our fingertips to get out to our customers."
Flockerzi said Moretto USA continues to work with Italy on systems, but the Jackson Center facility has space to set up a small line, if needed.
For now, Moretto USA is concentrating on selling individual pieces of auxiliary equipment, shipped from Italy. But in early August, the parent company bought another 4 acres of wooded land in front of the Jackson Center building. "It gives us a great place if we want to grow and set up a first-class showroom and office complex; we can add it up there," he said.
Pennsylvania site also has land behind the building for future expansion. And the paint booth is ready to go to support any manufacturing down the road.
"Long term, the Morettos feel it's very important to grow here domestically. They made a huge investment with this building. A nice investment with the property. And then as far as a nice investment in the local economy bringing jobs to this area," Flockerzi said. "We'll continue to grow, and we'll see what the next step is."