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KraussMaffei Celebrates 50 Years in U.S.

The U.S. has become the largest single-country market for KM.

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In May, Krauss-Maffei Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of the German KraussMaffei Group, celebrated its 50th anniversary at its headquarters in Florence, Ky. The event was attended by more than 400 customers and included 50 tabletop displays by partner vendors, more than 20 technical presentations, and seven machine exhibits from all the KM brands. The latter included A 750-ton KM GX machine, 50-ton CX press, and a Netstal Elion 320-ton hybrid demonstrating both the new stack-mold injection-compression process with IML and use of a high-speed delta or “spider” robot for stacking (photo; see 2015 Fakuma show report last December). There were also demonstrations of pipe, profile, and sheet extrusion from KraussMaffei Extrusion, compounding from KraussMaffei Berstorff, and PUR RIM from KraussMaffei Reaction Process Machinery.

The event came less than a month after China National Chemical Corp. completed its acquisition of the entire KraussMaffei Group from Onex Corp., which was announced in January (see February Starting Up).

With 200 employees, the U.S. subsidiary has grown to account for $300 million in sales to this country and $100 million more to Mexico. In fact, “The U.S. is now the largest single-country market for the KraussMaffei Group,” according to Paul Caprio, president of Krauss-Maffei Corp. He said automotive is KM’s number-one market in the U.S., but he also sees great demand in the logistics/packaging sector, especially for industrial-size packaging like pallets and large containers. The thin-wall packaging market is also picking up after being somewhat soft for the last two years. The construction industry and bulk chemical sector are KM’s third pillar of growth, encompassing extruded roofing sheets, foamed insulation panels, pipes, and profiles, as well as compounding.

One newer development, say company sources, is that the U.S. operation is now selling “significant numbers” of CX and GX injection presses built mostly in China, except for the injection unit, which still comes from Germany. Because KM’s German plant is extremely busy, its Chinese capacity is very helpful in reducing lead times for North American customers. (For more on KM in China, see last month’s Chinaplas Close Up.)

In addition, KM U.S. executives said they aim to promote the firm's capabilities for liquid silicone rubber (LSR) injection molding more actively in the future.

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