Italian Equipment Makers Aim For U.S. Expansion

Expansion plans by some Italian plastics equipment manufacturers are focused on North America

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I had the terrific opportunity to attend last week’s Milan Plast 2015, held at the Fiera Milano (Rho) fairgrounds which hosted three satellite shows: Rubber 2015; 3D Plast—3D printing and related technologies; and, StartPlast—innovative startups.  In my visits among the more than 1500 exhibitors, I got a strong sense from some Italian equipment manufacturers that their current global expansion plans are focused on the North American market. Here are four examples:

 

  • Sandretto S.p.a. a long-time manufacturer of injection molding machines, unveiled a range of heavy-duty industrial 3D delta-type printers, which makes the company the second injection molding machine manufacturer entering the additive manufacturing arena after Arburg, which launched its Freeformer two years ago. These machines use 1.73mm filament and have been tested with PLA, ABS, TPU, HIPS, SEBS, PET and PETG. By the end of the year, they expect to have a new list of materials, including granulated plastics, according to Roberto Moretti, COO Additive Manufacturing Division.

 

 Meanwhile, CEO Fausto Ventriglia told me the company will be participating in IDTechEx’s 3D Printing USA 2015 in Santa Clara, California, Nov. 18-19. “For the USA market, Sandretto will set up a direct branch for additive manufacturing—which will cover Canada as well, by the end of the year. Afterwards, we will use a distribution model based on agents for each state.”

 

 • Termostampi s.r.l. ‘opened up’ its U.S. office six month ago in Elkhorn, Wisc. Franscesco Faluomi, sales area manager for USA-East Europe-Russian Federation, explained that the site is part of thermoforming, extrusion and in-line systems maker OMV USA.

 

Termostampi, maker of precision molds and product development for thermoforming of food packaging is part of the Elkhorn Tech Center—a unique co-operation of independent companies combining their expertise in thermoforming to provide customized solutions in today’s marketplace. Also included are WM Thermoforming, maker of precision plastic thermoforming machinery and TPM-USA, maker of pulp and fiber forming machinery.The company is working with owner of OMV USA Kent Johansson, known for his expertise in the thermoforming packaging industry. Initial projects are focused on customized prototypes but the company has plans to produce its molds here within a year.

 

Bausano & Figli S.p.a, manufacturer of a wide range of single- and twin- screw extruders is currently in the midst of negotiating with Italian manufacturer of chillers Frigo Systems Srl. to share space in the latter’s U.S. site in Columbus, Ohio. Says sales manager Alessandro Robotti, “We are working with them to share the location there within the next year—possibly with a couple of other Italian plastics equipment manufacturers.”

 

Comac s.r.l, a 37-yr old family-owned manufacturer of co-rotating extruders and complete compounding lines for the production of a broad range of masterbatches, according to export coordinator Pietro Zanotto, is now looking for “more consistent, long-term representation in the United States”.