Lifetime Kayaks for the World
Lifetime Products Inc. is the world‘s leading manufacturer of blow molded polyethylene folding chairs and tables, picnic tables, and home basketball equipment. In 2015, six Kautex machines were ordered for the production of kayaks..
Lifetime uses polyethylene blow molding and metal forming technology to manufacture a variety of consumer and industrial products. The company has one of the largest blow molded plastics facilities in North America. Lifetime Products occupies over 3,000,000 square feet (278,000 m2) at its USA Head- quarters and employs over 2,200 people worldwide.The company started its molding business in rotomolding and in 1995 purchased their first Kautex extrusion blow molding machines. From 1997 to 2001, another 13 machines, built in the US at that time, followed. During the next 15 years, Kautex worked to supply Lifetime with retrofit accumulator heads for legacy machines. Since the acquisition of Emotion Kayaks in 2015, Lifetime has become one of the largest blow molded kayak manufacturer in the world.
Kautex-Maschinen für Kayak-Produktion
Finally in 2015, with Lifetime’s plans to open a new production facility in Mascot, TN, Kautex received an order to build three machines each of the model series KBS241 mono and KBS480, all intended for the production of various Kayak models.
”Kautex is our preferred supplier for blow molding machines,” explains Bob Adams, Vice President Lifetime Products Inc.. ”Their machines are technically superior and better built than competitive machines in the industry. When faced with the challenge of starting up a new facility, we chose to partner with Kautex because of their capacity to design and build multiple machines and to provide technical support, service and training for our personnel.”
Toray Industries does research together with Kautex
With the substance polyphenylene sulphide (PPS), the Japanese chemical corporation Toray has developed an ideal material for the production of feed and exhaust air ducts for modern turbo-charged engines. New materials are being developed in close cooperation with Kautex Maschinenbau.
Toray is a corporation in the chemicals industry with business activities in 26 countries and regions and has about 45,700 employees all over the world. In addition to the main business areas of fibers & textiles as well as plastics & chemicals, Toray is also involved in the development of IT products, carbon fiber composite materials, pharmaceutical and medical products, as well as in the environment & technology areas.
Starting in August 2016, Toray will use a KBS20-SB in the company's own technical center at the factory in Nagoya for testing the production of various 3D ducts using the suction blow molding process. The focus lies on the development of especially heat- and pressure-resistant air ducts made from PPS. Kautex Maschinenbau has provided the Japanese corporation with an extrusion blow molding machine for research and development purposes.
PPS for turbocharger ducts
A current development trend in the car industry is the downsizing of car engines. Turbochargers are used in order to be able to achieve the same performance with fewer cylinders and smaller displacement. However, these require heat-resistant air ducts in the engine. Toray achieved very good results here with polyphenylene sulphide (PPS). This plastic distinguishes itself with especially high and durable heat-resistance up to 220°C. The Kautex machine with high-temperature equipment can process this material without problem.
A development partnership
Jürgen Moitzheim, Sales Director at Kautex Maschinenbau, is looking forward to working with the Japanese plastics manufacturer. ”The latest developments in car engines always create new challenges for car industry suppliers. This is particularly true for the interplay between materials and engine technology. For this reason we like to work very closely with our customers on the development of new solutions.“
This also convinced Toshiteru Nishijama, Manager Automotive Products Business, Resins Global Marketing Dept. at Toray: ”We were looking for a provider who not only produces good machines, offers high process reliability and good service, but who will also support us with their know-how in the R&D field. It became clear quite quickly that we would use a Kautex machine.“
Elmeg shapes its future with Kautex machines
In the international automotive business, the name Elmeg has enjoyed a good reputation for more than 30 years. The Italian automobile supplier has specialized in the blow moulding process and has been the official supplier for suction blow moulded 3D parts since 2013 as they are used, for instance, in turbo-charged engines.
Elmeg purchased its first Kautex machines 10 years ago. Since then the two companies have developed a virtually friendly relationship. Salvatore Giordano, the recently deceased founder of the family company, compared the cooperation of the two companies with the successful cooperation between Ferrari and Michael Schumacher: ”It is very nice to work with Germans when you want to develop new ideas.“
Automotive in the DNA
In the meantime the son of the company founder, Gianluca Giordano, has taken over the management of the company and conducts business in the same manner his father did. Values such as technical competence, willingness to improve one's performance, and especially appreciating one's own values are part of the company mission. And not to forget, a passion for automotive which is passed down from generation to generation in the Giordano family. ”Being fascinated with automobiles is deeply engrained in our company DNA,” says Gianluca Giordano.
The Italian automobile supplier uses a total of four Kautex machines. They include a KB260 for the production of plastic fuel tanks and a Kautex K3D-SB8 suction blow moulding machine which Elmeg loves because of its reliability and flexibility. This compact machine can be used for suction blow moulding and for conventional blow moulding applications and various materials. This allows Elmeg to process different materials alternatingly, such as Hytrel, Zytel, or PA6.6.
Specialists for 3D blow moulded parts
Its specialization in components created using blow moulding has allowed the company (which has an additional factory in Serbia since 2012) to acquire a great wealth of know-how. In contrast to most other competitors, and in addition to doing the engineering, Elmeg also makes its own moulds. This allows them to realize customer wishes quickly, flexibly, and cost-effectively but also to perform short-notice optimizations in the process.
Gianluca Giordano feels that this high level of customer support positions his company very well and adds: ”An important criterion for success is the optimal interplay of know-how, materials, and mechanical engineering. Kautex Maschinenbau is a partner which always supports us actively in the development of new solutions.” In the future Elmeg plans increasing international expansion under the motto ”Shaping together” – especially as expert for 3D suction blow moulded components.
Learn more about Elmeg here: www.elmeg.it
Zibo Jielin Plastic Pipe Manufacture - Fighting the price war with quality
The Zibo Jielin Plastic Pipe Manufacture Co Ltd has been producing plastic container products for 7 years. Despite the very competitive market, it has now expanded its production by purchasing another KBS241 machine.
Zibo Jielin began life as plastic pipe manufacturers in 2001, but since 2007 the company has also been producing intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and plastic drums with volumes up to 200 liters. Its plastic pipe business concentrates on Northern China and Jiangsu-Zhejiang, whereas its containers are distributed throughout China. And with some success: this year General Manager Xu Yueming has expanded production with the purchase of a KBS241 from Kautex Maschinenbau.
Mr Yueming, what do you expect from your machinery?
In these times of scarce resources and volatile energy prices, when we purchase new machinery our main focus is on efficiency and low energy consumption. It is also important that the machines are simple to operate, so that they can be maintained by our own staff.
You have been using Kautex blow molding equipment since 2007. What motivated you to turn to Kautex once again?
For us, Kautex machinery means we can guarantee steady production of top-quality products. We have been operating our two existing Kautex machines for many years, and they have been extremely reliable.
How can suppliers such as Kautex help you to deal with the challenges of the market?
In the industrial packaging sector, the main challenge is constant price pressure. So I need our suppliers to provide cost-effective products with excellent after-sales service at relatively low prices. And when we are developing new machinery solutions, we want to be able to use our suppliers' expertise to help us continue with our program of innovation. We are currently working with Kautex on reducing weight and saving materials in our products.
What are your goals in the Chinese market?
If we increase our market share, the competition simply gets tougher. So at the moment our priority is to consolidate our position in the market. We ensure long-term customer loyalty by delivering first-class quality and service. The key factors here are our state-of-the-art machinery and, above all, our excellent, motivated team. In the long term, we would like to make even faster progress and be even more innovative. Kautex Maschinenbau is an important partner for us in this respect.
Siepe GmbH - KBB proves its worth
Siepe GmbH is proof positive of how traditional firms also know how to benefit from the innovative capacity of the market. Based in Kerpen, Germany, this packaging manufacturer knows the value of investing in state-of-the-art machinery, and it is one of the first Kautex customers to benefit from the energy efficiency and flexibility offered by our new, all-electric KBB
Siepe GmbH has been producing and selling premium quality metal and plastic packaging for over 135 years. 280 employees at three factories in Germany produce a wide range of packaging in all shapes and sizes, including bottles, canisters, lidded containers and barrels. They are used for all kinds of bulk materials such as chemicals, paint, varnish, glue, cleaning materials, mineral oil, foodstuffs, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. In autumn last year, the company opened its new, high-tech plastic packaging production facility next to its main factory in Kerpen. It is now manufacturing standard and customised consumer packaging for customers in Germany and abroad. As part of this expansion, the company also decided to invest in a state-of-the-art Kautex machine.
A new generation of machinery When he is selecting suppliers, Josef Siepe, the CEO of this successful family-run company, is looking to establish long-term relationships and work with firms who take a responsible approach to the use of raw materials and resources. So it is hardly surprising that his company is one of the first customers to buy the all-electric Kautex KBB machine. Electric blow molding machinery is much more energy-efficient than hydraulic solutions, and the new lightweight clamp unit means energy consumption can now be reduced even further. The all-electric KBB machines are set up to handle single or multi-layer production and container volumes of between 50 and 5,000 ml. They also offer maximum flexibility in the number of cavities.
A smooth start-up The KBB60D has now been operating at Siepe GmbH since autumn 2013. It has been configured to run 2 x 4 cavities with an output of 2,400 items per hour and is supplemented by a fully-automatic packing machine which bundles the products directly onto trays, cartons or palettes. Siepe GmbH is currently using the all-electric machine in the production of multi-coloured one-liter round bottles with handles and different neck sizes for household cleaners – at a rate of 57,000 pieces per day. It is planned to start production of 1.5 liter bottles in the near future.
Contact: info(at)siepe.net Website: www.siepe.net
Supreme Industries Ltd. - A promising future market for Composite Cylinders
First production line for LPG-composite cylinders commissioned in Halol, India.
The market for composite cylinders is currently growing at a rate of 14 percent per annum, according to the Texan management consultancy Lucintel. It predicts a total market volume of $1,223 billion in 2015. Much of this growth in the market is due to the growing demand for transportation and storage containers for alternative energy sources such as liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG). Composite cylinders offer a number of key benefits over traditional metal containers in terms of safety, corrosion and lighter weight.
This is why leading plastics processor Supreme Industries Ltd has been working with Kautex Maschinenbau to open its first full production line for composite LPG cylinders. This turnkey production facility has been designed to achieve annual production of 400,000 type IV composite cylinders in six different sizes. In an interview with K-News, the company's chairman SJ Taparia tells us more about the new facility.
Mr Taparia, what was the main reason behind your decision to become involved in the manufacture of composite gas cylinders? It's quite simple – this is a real market of the future. Liquid petroleum gas and natural gas are becoming ever more important, particularly in the household installations sector. In India alone we are looking at an increase of 15 million gas cylinders per year, and the majority of existing gas cylinders are still made from metal. The outlook for the international market is the same. There is a growing demand within the automotive sector for more environmentally friendly LPG engines as an alternative to petrol engines.
What made you choose Kautex as your turnkey supplier for the new facility? Our long-term success has always been based on an absolute commitment to quality, which is why we always work with leading suppliers in each of our different product segments. So it made sense for us to work with Kautex Maschinenbau on our first project involving blow molding technology. We also knew that Kautex have been pioneers in the development of composite cylinders.
What do you think are the other key factors for success in the market? Along with excellent quality, it is also vital to have highly efficient production processes based on the very latest in machine technology. With this new production line, we are pioneers in the manufacture of composite cylinders. Is there anything you have learnt from this project that you would like to share with our customers? When you venture into a new area of business, it is vital to work with a partner who has in-depth knowledge and substantial experience in every area, from design and commissioning through to product optimization and production start-up. It’s also essential to have constant access to experts in the field. In this respect, our partnership with Kautex has been a huge success.
MPE s.r.l. - A sustainable partnership
MPE S.r.l has been a top international supplier to the automotive industry for 30 years. One of the key factors in its success is its excellent relationship with our team at Kautex Maschinenbau, along with our blow-molding technology.
MPE are specialists in the development and production of precision components for the global automotive industry. With five production facilities in Italy, the USA, Mexico and Serbia, the company sells almost 200 million vehicle components per year to the world's leading vehicle manufacturers. “It is a very demanding market. Suppliers have to be flexible and set high standards while still offering competitive prices”, explains MPE’s President, Giorgio Battagliotti.
Foto: Giorgio (l.) and Riccardo (r.) Battagliotti, MPE srl
Focus on customer needs
In order to meet these challenges, MPE understands the importance of maintaining close relationships with its international customers. Regular visits and invitations to customer audits and the continuous development of products and strategies are all vital factors in this respect. Mr. Battagliotti describes his company’s philosophy as follows: “Good suppliers never rest on their laurels but are always striving to improve.” This is why MPE believes it is essential to work closely with customers from the very beginning. As an experienced businessman, Battagliotti is well aware that “the acquisition phase is where we can really make an impression. This is where we can set-out our stall, show the customer that meeting their needs is our number one priority and explain how we can work together to find the perfect solution.”
MPE also expects this kind of service from its own suppliers. This is where Kautex Maschinenbau has a major advantage, thanks to its tried-and-tested mix of innovation, reliability and customer focus. MPE currently operates 13 Kautex machines that have already provided many years of reliable service. But sound, reliable engineering is only part of the story. “Of course we expect to see continuous improvements in terms of performance and efficiency”, explains Battagliotti. The bar has already been set very high, because the company has to satisfy leading vehicle manufacturers such as VW, BMW and Daimler “In Kautex, we have a partner who can help us to achieve our goals – making continuous improvements to production processes and developing exciting new products.”
MPE and the Kautex team already enjoy a lively exchange of ideas, and in future this will be even more rapid and effective. MPE is growing in the Nafta region and is now concretly examining the opportunities and potential that the Asian market has to offer. Kautex-Maschinenbau will be there to accompany Giorgio Battagliotti and his team every step of the way.
Fulcrum Inc. - Tailormade packaging with Kautex quality
Started in 1988 Fulcrum Inc. is a custom blow molder in the US focusing primarily on consumer and industrial packaging. Fulcrum is an industry leader in the custom blow molding of high quality plastic containers ranging from 32 oz to 2 ½ gallons.
Increased product throughput and quality
In early 2011, Fulcrum’s management team ordered a Kautex KCC 20D to replace an ageing blow molder. Says Director of Operations Dan Gilroy, “we identified opportunities to grow our business with new and established customers that we could not make happen with our existing equipment”. The results exceeded expectations and Fulcrum realized a dramatic increase in product throughput and quality. Additionally, the significant decrease in material loss added to the overall viability of the machine purchase.
New machinery supports growth
Also a benefit of adding this highly efficient machinery is the resulting growth Fulcrum experienced. Owner Samir Mehta explains it this way: “the decision to purchase a Kautex machine has been an excellent investment for our company. Our experience with their team was smooth and the results lucrative, so much so that we recently ordered a second machine. We look forward to our continuing relationship with Kautex”.
Canature - More Growth with Kautex
Canature Environmental Products is China’s leading manufacturer of water treatment systems. In order to meet its future growth targets, the company has chosen to work with Kautex.
Clean water is a somewhat scarce commodity in China, whether for large-scale industrial usage or for supplying to people’s homes and public buildings. It is this latter area that is the main focus of Shanghai’s Canature Environmental Products Co., Ltd.
The company, which was founded in 2001, provides filter and water treatment solutions for apartments, office buildings, schools and private houses and so makes a significant contribution to supplying the Chinese population with clean drinking water. And its business is growing steadily, helped by public funding due to the fact that its work is classified as one of the governments “National Key Projects”
In 2011, Canature was the first Chinese manufacturer in this sector to be listed on the country’s stock market.
The company naturally has high expectations for the future. “We have enjoyed an annual growth rate of 30-40 percent over recent years and we obviously want to maintain this tempo”, says Qiao Huoming, Vice General Manager of the Production Department at Canature. The company is also keen to extend its range to include industrial solutions in order to fully exploit the market for water treatment systems. To achieve these ambitious goals, the company has enlisted the help of the experts at Kautex Maschinenbau. “We need to improve the efficiency of our production lines while reducing operating costs” explains Qiao Huoming, “So Kautex’s advanced technology and services make it the ideal partner for us.”
Currently, the first KBS61 machine is being installed and commissioned in Shanghai. But this is not the only reason that Qiao Huoming is feeling optimistic. “Canature’s success is built upon a constant quest for
perfection. Kautex is no different. So we look forward to continuing our fruitful exchange of ideas in order to keep improving our processes.”
Con Plax New Pac - For us, Kautex is a guarantee of success
Con Plax New Pac has experienced many high points throughout its history and today Italy‘s best-known producer of plastic containers continues to enjoy great success by concentrating on its core business. Kautex is an integral part of this success story.
„Cupac“ – with this innovative product, Con Plax New Pac set new industry standards and established its reputation only a year after the company was set up in 1961.
The futuristic-looking plastic container with its rounded corners has been a top sellers for many years and is even incorporated into the company‘s logo. But this is not the only reason why the family business from Zingonia in Italy can look back on an eventful past. At the beginning of the 1980s, the company became pioneers in the industry by starting to produce Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC) by blow molding using Kautex equipment.
Until 1988, it even produced its own blow molding machines. However, as a result of ever-growing specialization on the part of its competitors and faced with increasing cost pressures, Con Plax New Pac decided to re-focus on its core business by producing canisters
and plastic containers for a wide range of different industries. Today, much of its production relies on Kautex equipment and between 2008 and 2012 alone, the company integrated five new Kautex machines into its existing production lines. „If
we are to be leaders in our key markets, it is vital for us to ensure high availability, fast production, corresponding cost savings and the ability to change colors quickly“, explains Walter Bestetti, who runs the company with his two sons Filippo and Jacopo. „In this respect, Kautex is the best partner in the market.“ Added to this is the need for energy efficiency. Electricity is more expensive in Italy than in neighboring countries. „We’re currently planning to install a photovoltaic system that will allow us to reduce our energy consumption by around a third“, says Bestetti. „In this context, energy-efficient machines are absolutely vital. Here too, Kautex is in a league of its own.“ This is why the Italian company wants to maintain its close relationship with Kautex and in the future. The customer sums it up: „Kautex gives us a real sense of security thanks to its first-class machine technology and excellent customer service, and we want to continue having this guarantee of success. My visit to the new factory opening in Shunde strengthened this feeling of security still further.“