Sponsored By

As it celebrates the big three-0 this month, Ettlinger Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH (Königsbrunn, Germany) isn't about to rest on its laurels as a maker of injection molding machines and melt filters. In fact, its customers won't let it. Growing global demand for its services means that it must continue its aggressive international expansion even as it commemorates its achievements.

Norbert Sparrow

April 7, 2014

3 Min Read
Molding systems maker Ettlinger fetes 30 years, but best is yet to come

As it celebrates the big three-0 this month, Ettlinger Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH (Königsbrunn, Germany) isn't about to rest on its laurels as a maker of injection molding machines and melt filters. In fact, its customers won't let it. Growing global demand for its services means that it must continue its aggressive international expansion even as it commemorates its achievements.

ettlinger-group-shot-350.jpg

Company founder Roderich Ettlinger (left) with joint managing
directors Volker Neuber (center) and son Thorsten Ettlinger.

Founded in 1983 by mechanical engineer Roderich Ettlinger, the firm's first project was to design two custom injection molding machines for a Swedish converter. This project laid the foundation for the company's srm series of high-performance, low-energy-consumption injection molding systems with clamping forces from 2000 to 30,000 kN. In 2004, the portfolio was extended to include the ERF series of high-performance melt filters designed to process heavily contaminated recycled plastics.

In 2010, Ettlinger transferred his shares to his son Thorsten and Volker Neuber, joint Managing Directors responsible, respectively, for technical and commercial activities. They are building on the company's legacy by investing €1.5 million to expand the Germany facility. It is also seeking a larger facility for its North American subsidiary, which it opened in 2013.

"The expansion of our German plant is needed because we have been overwhelmed by the growth of our high-performance melt filters over the past two years," Neuber told PlasticsToday. "Based on forecast demand for our existing melt filter, plus the new ECO model we introduced at K2013, we need the extra space. We will be adding some grinding machines and a pyrolysis oven but mainly we need additional assembly space. Capacity for spare parts storage also will be increased," says Neuber.

Although the North American plant in Wheaton, IL, only came online in 2013, Ettlinger is already looking for a larger premises. "The success in the U.S. market in such a short period of time came as a surprise," says Neuber. "The move to a larger facility will allow us to stock more spare parts so that we can serve our U.S. customers completely out of the U.S. facility." The company will launch its Eco filter here by the end of the year, which will require additonal space, says Neuber. A lab line to demonstrate Ettlinger's capabilities is also planned.

Neuber also attributes the company's faster-than-expected growth in the U.S.market to an overall positive investment climate. The focus on sustainability by large companies such as Coca-Cola and P&G, as well as federal and state governments, has been a driver. "Recycling is on everyone's mind, and Ettlinger has the right solution when it comes to clean plastics through its high-performance melt filters," says Neuber.

Although the economic indicators are a bit murkier across the pond, Neuber anticipates continued growth for its products in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Eastern European countries.

Asia-Pacific is also on Neuber's mind. "Our main focus has been on Japan," he says, but Ettlinger has identified a clear need for technology designed to recycle contaminated plastics across the region. "We established a relationship with an agent in Hong Kong at the beginning of this year and expect to establish a subsidiary in that part of the world within the next couple of years," he told PlasticsToday.

Ettlinger_machine-600.jpg

An srm 800 injection molding machine with integrated continuous ERF melt filter.

Based on a modular design, Ettlinger's srm injection molding machines offer affordable solutions and flexible machine concepts for a range of applications, says the company, typically as complete turnkey solutions from material feed to fully automated removal of the molded parts. Its ERF high-speed filters eliminate even the most problematic types of contamination from the melt, such as paper, aluminum, wood, or silicone.

Norbert Sparrow

Norbert Sparrow is Senior Editor at PlasticsToday. Follow him on twitter @norbertcsparrow and Google+.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.

www.linkedin.com/in/norbertsparrow

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like