As it celebrates the big three-0 this month, Ettlinger Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH (Königsbrunn, Germany) isn't about to rest on its laurels as a maker of injection molding machines and melt filters. In fact, its customers won't let it. Growing global demand for its services means that it must continue its aggressive international expansion even as it commemorates its achievements.
Founded in 1983 by mechanical engineer Roderich Ettlinger, the firm's first project was to design two custom injection molding machines for a Swedish converter. This project laid the foundation for the company's srm series of high-performance, low-energy-consumption injection molding systems with clamping forces from 2000 to 30,000 kN. In 2004, the portfolio was extended to include the ERF series of high-performance melt filters designed to process heavily contaminated recycled plastics.
In 2010, Ettlinger transferred his shares to his son Thorsten and Volker Neuber, joint Managing Directors responsible, respectively, for technical and commercial activities. They are building on the company's legacy by investing €1.5 million to expand the Germany facility. It is also seeking a larger facility for its North American subsidiary, which it opened in 2013.
"The expansion of our German plant is needed because we have been overwhelmed by the growth of our high-performance melt filters over the past two years," Neuber told PlasticsToday. "Based on forecast demand for our existing melt filter, plus the new ECO model we introduced at K2013, we need the extra space. We will be adding some grinding machines and a pyrolysis oven but mainly we need additional assembly space. Capacity for spare parts storage also will be increased," says Neuber.