LAATZEN, Germany—German machinery maker KraussMaffei Group is building a new plant and extrusion research and development center in what it says is its largest investment program in the company's history.
The site in Laatzen will merge all corporate extrusion operations at a single location.
"Bundling the extrusion activities at one location is the right strategic response to current and future challenges in our industry," Volker Nilles, executive vice president for new machinery business at KraussMaffei, said.
During the past 20 years, KraussMaffei has grown a portfolio with nearly all extrusion technologies, including: pipes and profiles; sheet and flat film; rubber and foam extrusion' compounding' and recycling. Now, all these different technologies will be brought together at a single location.
In strategic terms, the company said the approach will yield product benefits for customers, valuable synergy effects for the company and new opportunities and fields of research for the future.
For several years, the company has been exploring new developments, such as direct processing solutions that require fewer process steps and less energy, which in turn decreases the thermal stress. The new R&D center will provide opportunity to implement and test other, completely new ideas as well, Nilles said.
Companies will be able to produce their own materials, even based on e.g. reclaimed materials, and test drive new processes and technologies.
Experts in extrusion, digitalization and Industry 4.0 will also be at the R&D center to oversee trials.
"Customers will get a live experience of all the technologies available at KraussMaffei," Nilles said. "This saves time and substantially simplifies coordination."
The company has also implemented a new sales structure based on closer cooperation between technical experts and regional sales, he added, designed to boost its customer support capacities. In addition, new staff will be added to the pipe and profile expert team
"We are firmly convinced that we are well prepared for future challenges in the extrusion industry, no matter what the application," Nilles said.
The relocation of the entire extrusion division is scheduled for the second half of 2022. The new facility will span 10,000 square meters and be equipped with 26 production scale extrusion lines that will take in downstream equipment such as a cooling section, take-off system, winder and separating system, specifically for customer trials.