Friedrichshafen, Germany — German materials firm Kraiburg TPE GmbH & Co KG plans to add compounding capacity at its headquarters facility next year, and it will open a new US headquarters and manufacturing plant later this year.
The Waldkraiburg, Germany-based firm said it expects global sales to reach about €150 million euros this year, up from €138 million in 2014, with good growth in the automotive sector in particular, said CEO Franz Hinterecker in an interview at the Fakuma trade fair in Friedrichshafen.
At Fakuma the company was showcasing a new thermoplastic elastomer grade, its DW/H series, that it says can replace vinyl, polyethylene or rubber as tubing in drinking water applications.
As well, it was showing new TPE formulations that can be in conjunction with engineering plastics in food-contact applications, or new TPEs for use in automotive seals.
Hinterecker said it was too soon to release details on the German investment, but said a “medium-sized” extrusion line would be added to the existing seven lines in Waldkraiburg.
The company also plans to start production by the end of the year at a previously announced new US headquarters facility in Duluth, Ga., a $15 million (€13.1 million) investment that will expand capacity there from 6,000 metric tons to 10,000 tons, Hinterecker said.
“We have had good business in the automotive industry, especially in Mexico,” he said.
He also said the company plans to expand manufacturing capacity at its Asian headquarters, in Seri Kembangan, Malaysia, sometime in 2017.
Globally, the company said its sales have grown from 90 million euros in 2010 to 138 million euros last year, which Hinterecker attributed to the company’s international presence and new application development.
He said the company’s new DW/H series for water applications could be another growth market, with questions being raised about health effects from rubber compounds used in drinking water applications.
He said the Kraiburg materials comply with drinking water standards in Great Britain, France and Germany.
“We can really replace PVC or PE or rubber in some cases,” he said.
The company also was showing a new grade of its Thermolast V TPE, which is formulated to handle high temperatures and can be molded with nylons in applications like automotive seals. It also was showing a Thermolast K grade for seals in food packaging.