Farrel Pomini Shows Off Spanking New HQ For Continuous Compounding Business

More than 50 visitors were given a tour of Farrel Pomini's new headquarters for continuous compounding systems in Ansonia, Conn.

On a breezy hilltop with a clear view down to the sprawling old mill on the Naugatuck River that had been its home since 1848, Farrel Pomini now occupies handsome new headquarters and assembly plant in Ansonia, Conn. Although the official ribbon cutting was last month, the firm’s 86 employees actually moved into the 60,000-ft2 facility last September. “It’s the first time in 100-plus years that all U.S. Farrel people are under one roof,” said Paul Lloyd, the business unit director, FARREL POMINI.

More than 50 visitors were given a tour of the new headquarters for continuous compounding systems based on Continuous Mixers and Compact Processors. It incorporates offices, machine assembly, spare-parts stocking, rotor repair and refurbishment, and a processing laboratory and customer demonstration area with a CP550 Compact Processor equipped with automated upstream materials handling and downstream pelletizing, plus the new CPeX lab-sized Compact Processor that was introduced at K 2016.

The facility also includes an R&D department with a 3D printer for prototyping scaled-down rotors and other machine components, and also an automation laboratory for designing and testing control systems for compounding process lines.

Lloyd reported that his business unit has enjoyed 15-20% annual growth, supplying continuous compounding equipment for flexible PVC, polyolefins, and TPEs. A promising new area of opportunity, he added, is biopolymers such as PLA, which require gentle handling due to their heat and shear sensitivity. The Compact Processor, which consists of a Continuous Mixer with twin “wing-type” rotors mounted over a short single-screw discharge extruder, is well suited to PLA, said Lloyd, because its large open feed area allows for high levels of fillers and additives; its short 6:1 L/D minimizes the heat history, and its design separates mixing and pressurizing functions, so mixing can be optimized while still providing a shorter residence time than a twin-screw extruder.

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Farrel Pomini business unit director Paul Lloyd announcing the official opening May 4th of the company’s new headquarters in Ansonia, Conn.

� View from the new hilltop site of the old Farrel mill in the Naugatuck River valley.

� Glass-enclosed office area at entrance to the new headquarters.

� New Automation Laboratory where Farrel Pomini develops integrated line control systems using components from a number of suppliers.

� Extremely worn and dirty mixing rotors in Farrel Pomini’s repair department.

� Heating a mixing rotor prior to welding in the repair department.

� Newly refurbished mixer screws.

� Using a gauge to check an extruder barrel in the QC department.

� Four men move a 21,000-lb frame for Farrel Pomini’s largest model, the CP4000XL, into the paint-spray booth effortlessly with the aid of AeroGo air casters.

� The assembly area.

� Laser leveling a machine frame prior to shipment.

� Steve Haldezos in the R&D lab with a 3D printed scale model of a mixing rotor for testing.

� 3D printing a scale model of a mixing rotor to test new designs.

� The new Process Lab with 30-ft-high ceiling and equipped with a CP550 Compact Processor and new CPeX lab Compact Processor, plus Gala pelletizers and pellet dryer, and Schenck Process feeding equipment on the mezzanine.

� Gala underwater pelletizer on a CP550 in the Process Lab.

� CPeX laboratory Compact Processor capable of 22 to 66 lb/hr.

� Gala strand pelletizer attached to the CPeX laboratory compounder.

� Demonstrating a rotor change on the CP550 in around 18 min.

� Clamshell-opening barrel gives easy access to the mixing rotors.