is exhibiting at three shows, one each in Brazil, China, and Poland, which makes clear the company is keen to continue the expansion of its global customer base. Bengt Rimark, the granulator manufacturer's director of sales and marketing, said the company (Brebaryd, Sweden) has bounced back strongly in the past 18 months after hitting a low-note and being forced to reorganize in 2009. "The reorganization was a hard time but now we feel zero effects from it; we're back to business as normal, we're more flexible, we've improved every facet of our production and of our sales organization. And we're investing heavily in R&D again," he added, noting, "It's in the details where you can separate yourself from the pack." He wouldn't share exactly where that R&D money is being spent, but asked processors to keep an eye out for some new technology coming soon.
Rimark was kind enough to answer our call while on a skiing vacation with his family, a welcome respite (we did apologize profusely for the call) after what has been a very busy time in Rapid's history. Since last fall's K show, business has truly accelerated, said Rimark. "It was fantastic activity at the show, and investment (by customers in new machines. We're still filling orders from that show. But not only from the K show; we're seeing increase demand overall."
Demand has returned strongly for the company in North America, the Middle East, almost all of Europe and in Southeast Asia, he said. "2010 was profitable for us, and this year we're way ahead of our numbers from last year," he added. He credits some of the improved demand with the company's consequent introduction of its open-heart design across its entire granulator range. The design gives a user total access to the heart of the machine, and so supports rapid cleaning, maintenance and inspection of the machine before it resumes operation, preventing potential contamination at color and material changes.
Sales have been especially strong to companies serving the automotive industry, he said, but Rapid also has seen a marked uptick in sales to packaging processors. Of special note, he added, has been increased demand for the company's "bread-and-butter" small press-side granulators for small injection molding machines. Demand for this type of machine had been slow for some years, he explained, and so it is especially pleasing to see that bounce back. —PlasticsToday Staff