Kiefel shows pressure former | Kiefel moving to new facility with twice the space

Kiefel shows pressure former

By Roger Renstrom

Plastics News, August 18, 2003, Vol. 15, Issue 25

Dateline: CHICAGO --

At NPE 2003, Kiefel Technologies Inc. of Hampton, N.H., operated a $500,000, modular KMD 52 BFSS pressure forming machine that has a second punching station in addition to heating, forming, steel-rule cutting and stacking units. The KMD 52 is a small standard version with a maximum 520-millimeter wide forming area. The KMD line includes units with 750mm and 1,000mm forming areas.

The equipment maker started a concentrated marketing effort in North America in 2003, said Thomas Halletz, a board member with parent firm Kiefel AG of Freilassing, Germany. Halletz has responsibility for sales, marketing and service activities for Kiefel's thermoforming and plastic-part welding lines.

Previously, some Kiefel customers would place machines in North America, but the new effort markets the firm's experience in thermoforming and joining technologies, especially in automotive, stationery, medical and packaging applications.

Kiefel introduced the KMD series in 1999 in Germany, and the largest model became available in late 2001. Subsequently, the firm improved the KMD rail-cooling system, heater banks and closedloop controls. Kiefel can retrofit existing equipment with the improvements. A central system supplies lubrication to bearings, and controls are movable.

The equipment's "long-lasting parts and very fast tool-change system" result in low downtime, Halletz said. Tool changing occurs from the side of the machine in 20 minutes for a small installation and 30 minutes for a large machine.

Kiefel moving to new facility with twice the space

By Joseph Pryweller

Plastics News, October 13, 2003, Vol. 15, Issue 33

Dateline: CINCINNATI --

Continuing its growth in the U.S. market, thermoforming equipment supplier Kiefel Technologies Inc. will open a plant in New Hampshire that will double its size.

The company, headquartered in Hampton, N.H., will move to a new facility 10 miles away in Exeter late next year, Markus Zlotosch, Kiefel product and application specialist, said during the Society of Plastics Engineers' 2003 Thermoforming Conference in Cincinnati. The event was held Sept. 13-16.

Currently, Kiefel operates a 55,000-square-foot plant in Hampton that opened in 1996. The facility, largely focused on thermoforming equipment for automotive applications when it started, now has 60 people, Zlotosch said. The company is a unit of Kiefel AG of Freilassing, Germany.

The growth is needed to support new equipment and business, Zlotosch said. The company recently launched an automatic pressure forming machine with a second punching station at NPE 2003. The company's U.S. operations also have expanded to include thermoforming equipment for packaging and medical markets, Zlotosch said.

The new plant nearly will double the size of Kiefel's U.S. presence, offering more than 100,000 square feet of space. The plant will have high-speed heat-sealing equipment as well as laminating and edge-cutting operations, and will produce in-line thermoforming units.

"It will be the right size for our U.S. operations," Zlotosch said. "As we have focused on our projects and demand has increased, we found that we needed more space to deliver machines when our customers want them."

The company, a major thermoforming equipment maker in Europe, first came to the U.S. market in 1995, when it formed a joint venture with sheet producer O'Sullivan Corp. Kiefel exited that venture in 1998 and decided to move independently to produce vacuum forming equipment and other machinery in New Hampshire.

The company then set up the U.S. subsidiary to grow the business.

"We work on our own, but also have close ties to Germany," Zlotosch said.