Italian materials firm Sirmax SpA is adding machinery in Indiana, Italy and Poland.
Cittadella-based Sirmax recently purchased six new extrusion lines, officials said in a news release. The firm invested 10 million euros ($11.2 million) in the new lines, which will increase its global compounding capacity by almost 60 million pounds per year. That equates to a 10 percent increase in Europe and a 15 percent increase in the U.S.
Three of the lines will be installed in Kutno, Poland (built in 2019), with single lines installed in Anderson, Ind., and Cittadella and San Vito al Tagliamento, Italy. Sirmax acquired the new extrusion lines and other equipment from Coperion, MAAG and Brabender Technologie.
Sirmax officials said the new equipment will make for simpler and more effective scale-ups between production lines and research and development programs. All of the lines will be in place by September 2022.
Officials said the new capacity will allow Sirmax to meet increasing demand for compounds based on engineering resins — such as nylon, polycarbonate and ABS — and polypropylene compounds, which are mainly used in cars and household appliances. In the first nine months of 2021, the firm's engineering resin compound demand grew 50 percent, with PP compound demand up 26 percent.
Overall sales volumes at Sirmax grew 22 percent in that nine-month period. Full-year sales are projected to be 450 million euros ($506 million). Officials said these numbers "project a stable and positive 2022 and encouraged [the company] to make new investments."
"At a time when the polymer market continues to experience shortages, we are reaping the benefits of our correct strategic positioning," CEO and President Massimo Pavin said.
"Our regionalized and loyal supply chain means we do not depend on a single area of the world," he added. "This allows us to produce at full speed without falling short of the commitments we made to our clients."
Sirmax also is continuing R&D work in its green business unit, making new types of sustainable compounds with high-performance, both in bio-based compounds and post-consumer recycled materials. The firm now makes fully biodegradable and biocompostable biocompounds for food packaging, cutlery and other applications.
"Today, Sirmax is an all-round sustainable group," Pavin said. The investments Sirmax has made in the last two years have given the firm the capacity to treat up to 100 million pounds of PP and polyethylene from post-consumer packaging, he added, turning waste into compounds for the household appliance and automotive industries.
Sirmax ranks as one of the world's largest PP compounders, selling into automotive, household appliances, power tools, construction, furniture and other markets. The firm operates 13 global production sites — six in Italy; two each in Poland, India and the U.S.; and one in Brazil.
Clients working with Sirmax include Whirlpool, Bosch-Siemens, Electrolux, Philips, Honeywell, ABB, Volkswagen Group, Daimler, BMW and Audi. The firm employs 700 and posted sales of 315 million euros ($355 million) in 2020.