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KraussMaffei and Netstal to combine Brazilian operations as business there continues to grow

São Paulo-KraussMaffei and Netstal will combine their Brazilian operations under a new business entity, KraussMaffei Group do Brasil, effective this October with the start of their new fiscal year. The companies announced the move at Brasilplast, where Netstal and KraussMaffei operated separate booths, but in two year's time at the next Brasilplast, the companies said they would share a single stand. Their local operations have already been working together since June.

The new business will be led by Klaus Jell, an 18-year veteran of Netstal who started at KraussMaffei and is currently the general manager of Netstal's operations in Germany. "It makes sense to join our forces," Jell told PlasticsToday at the Brasilplast show. "We'll have more eyes and ears for our customers in Brazil."

Jell said he and his colleagues will manage the various brands separately, including sales, income, and expenses. "Every brand will be completely independently operated," he noted, so that the combined group will have four brands under its care in Brazil: KraussMaffei's injection molding machinery, Netstal, KraussMaffei reaction processing machinery, and KraussMaffei Berstorff extrusion lines.

The combined group will have 10 sales people in country, with healthcare, packaging, and automotive forecast as the strongest growth markets going forward. In terms of local business, Jell declined to release specific figures but did say that overall, business in 2010 was improved over 2009 and 2011 is on track to be better than 2010.

Bruno Sommer, extrusion manager in Latin America for KraussMaffei Berstorff, said the domestic building and construction and infrastructure markets hold a great deal of promise. This potential growth includes large-diameter pipe. His company will install a 1600-mm diameter pipe system at a Brazilian processor's facility in the first quarter of 2012-the largest plastic pipe extrusion system in Brazil, he said.

At the show this week, the KraussMaffei stand features two machines, a twin-screw counter-rotating extruder designed to handle various PVC formulations, as well as a KraussMaffei AX 180-750 all-electric injection molding machine. Renato Benatti, head of KraussMaffei's injection molding machinery business in Brazil, said Brasilplast marked the Latin American debut for the machine.

At the event, the machine processed a small polystyrene cup in a six-second cycle from a four-cavity mold. Saying that the press uses 30% less energy than a comparable hydraulic design, Benatti added that energy efficiency is a growing concern for the local market. Currently KraussMaffei has around 600 installed machines in Brazil, with the most important market to date being large machines for automotive.

Netstal, which targets highly engineered products largely within the medical and packaging markets, has installed about 300-400 machines in Brazil, with approximately 500 in all of South America.

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