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May 22, 2008

2 Min Read
Auxiliaries: IPEG consolidates Conair, Rapid manufacturing sites

Plastics auxiliary supplier Conair (Franklin, PA) and size-reduction specialist Rapid Granulator (Bredaryd, Sweden) will mirror the organizational model applied in their new Chinese production plant, with the sister firms consolidating North American and European manufacturing efforts. Chris Keller, president of the companies’ parent firm, International Plastics Equipment Group (IPEG; Cranberry Township, PA), described the decision in a conference call as a continuation of what began last year in China with the combined Shanghai plant and “the next move in IPEG’s corporate strategy.”

In the short term, the decision means that Rapid will wind down its presence in Rockford, IL, offering some but not all of the 30 staff there the opportunity to move to Franklin, PA, which will transition from only production of Conair equipment to an IPEG manufacturing site, assembling and manufacturing Conair, Rapid, and also Moditec low-speed size-reduction products. In Europe, Rapid’s Bredaryd, Sweden site will also become an IPEG facility, adding a Conair presence, although it will not initially include the manufacturing and assembly of Conair products there. “We leave open the possibility of adding Conair manufacturing to Sweden,” Keller said. “That is not something we have as a requirement today.”

Keller stressed that IPEG will keep the sales, marketing, engineering, and aftermarket support of the brands separate, in spite of the shared manufacturing location. Given the greater space in Pennsylvania and ability there to manufacture larger units, Keller said that in North America this move will ultimately mean an increase of manufacturing capacity for IPEG’s Rapid. “One of the things that’s driving this [for Rapid] is market-share growth,” Keller said, adding that demand in larger size-reduction machines is also an impetus, with demand coming from the packaging market and greater interest in post-consumer recycling. The Franklin facility consists of 180,000 sq ft of manufacturing and assembly space, with IPEG Bredaryd covering 130,000 sq ft.—[email protected]

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