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Summer of opportunity for Europe’s plastics processors

Leading purging compound producer, Aquapurge, says that the upcoming summer break will provide a perfect opportunity for the maintenance and reconditioning of plastics processing equipment; preparing businesses for renewed growth come September ’18.

Most factories throughout Europe, UK and Ireland will take significant time-out from the current heat wave and will operate a factory shutdown in the month of August, particularly in Italy, France and Spain.

Stock-taking, sales, marketing and office routines may continue through this period but typically machinery and production is rested – sometimes for the whole month.  This extended time period is therefore ideal for assessment, cleaning and upgrading of equipment.

John Steadman, Aquapurge Technical Director says that ‘purging and machinery maintenance activities are ordinarily under the extreme pressure of the day-to-day production schedule. If these essential activities happen at all, they usually happen at the weekend or outside of the normal shift system.

Management should therefore seize this summer shutdown period with both hands –and make their production as good as new again.’

Regular purging of equipment is known to deliver many benefits in terms of cost and savings. Purging and maintenance through the summer shutdown period can also deliver additional benefits.

Steadman notes that there are three main areas for purging opportunity:

  • Shutdown where you can ensure all heat sensitive materials, colours or additives have been removed
  • All deposits; carbon, plate-out etc. are being loosened over the shutdown
  • Effective removal of carbon – which means no need for 100% inspection – and quick machine start-up

A serious and committed approach to the purging process ‘can result in all machines back up and running before lunch time.’ More importantly,  says Steadman, ‘a summer purging session can result in having all your screws and barrels in a “just been pulled and cleaned” state – now wouldn’t that be nice for the next quarter this year?’

Sales growth for the Aquapurge purging business has averaged some 30% over the past four years. This has been almost entirely fuelled by increased sales in European markets. The Aquapurge sales force currently numbers some 6 individuals and the company intends to increase that figure to 19 by the close of 2020.

Directors John Steadman and Richard Brayne-Nicholls are tasking the new factory in Hayes, MIddx, to deliver some 40% annual sales growth over the next five years.