Plastics News - Show Daily - October 24, 2022 - 6

6 * Plastics News, October 24, 2022
SHOW DAILY
A new era
for Bekum
BEKUM
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By Joseph Pryweller
Plastics News Staff
COME SEE HOW
ENABLES:
It's a new era for German blow
mold machine producer Bekum
Maschinenfabriken GmbH, as the
family-owned company makes a
transition to fresh leadership.
Company founder and Plastics
Hall of Fame member Gottfried
Mehnert died in August at age 87,
leaving the company in the hands
of his youngest son, Michael.
While Michael Mehnert had offi -
cially taken the reins of Bekum in
2016 after shares were transferred
to him, Gottfried Mehnert's stamp
remained on the company, said
Christian Richard, Bekum corporate
communications director.
Michael Mehnert, 40, has put
a fresh imprint on Bekum that is
already apparent in new machinery
unveiled by Bekum at K 2022.
The company is launching 20 new
models under its all-electric 8-series
machines. The new equipment
is sleek, vivid in color and has a
new, smaller modular design that
is made to run faster, Richard said.
" [Michael Mehnert] has
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brought new developments into
the company, " Richard said. " We
have new thinking, new behavior.
It was necessary to make the company
more future-oriented. "
The proof is in the new machinery.
The older Bekum blow molding
unit had been likened by some
in the industry to boxy school
buses. In comparison, the 8-series
machinery is a glitzy billboard.
The equipment features a thick
yellow stripe across the top, signifying
safety and also drawing
attention to the operation, said
Gary Carr, Bekum vice president
of
sales
at Williamston,
Mich.based
Bekum America Corp. A
transparent, acrylic sheet with
doors showcases the machinery
inside and can be opened by use
of smart glasses that contain a
camera. A larger, 24-inch portrait
screen, which Carr likened to an
instrument panel on a Tesla, offers
more visibility.
While Gottfried Mehnert was
more of an engineer, his son has
a stronger sense of design and a
customer focus, Richard said. The
company is following that path
Christian Richard, corporate
communications director, left,
and Gary Carr, vice president
of sales, with a new Bekum
8-series machine.
Plastics News photo by Joseph Pryweller
with its equipment. The company
released the fi rst iteration of the
8-series at K 2019 in a concept
machine but now is launching a
large rollout of models that can
offer three different sizes on one
modular design and either single
or double clamping.
The company also is highlighting
a three-layer extrusion system
that can add post-consumer resin
in a center layer to meet sustainability
requirements. The use of
PCR in a less obtrusive middle
layer helps eliminate the effects
of the recyclate on odor, color or
black specks that can hinder its
use on products, Carr said.
Bekum's new control system is
also Industry 4.0 capable and can
use augmented reality to troubleshoot
and repair issues, Carr said.
It also is launching extruders that
use 80 percent less energy than
former models, he said.
The company is exploring new
applications for its blow molding
technology. Its 8-series machines
can make a product in a cut design
with sharper edges that work
well in household and personal
care products. It is fi nding more
interest in single-use packaging
applications, even with sustainability
issues, and the use of recycled
material can help ease those
needs, Carr said.
In the U.S. market, Bekum has
completed an expansion in Williamston,
adding 40,000 square
feet of production and 7,400
square feet of offi ces. The project
began just prior to the start
of the pandemic, and there was
talk whether the company should
continue with its expansion plans.
But ultimately, it was decided that
enlarging the facility would benefi
t the company for the longer
term, Carr said.
The new look at Bekum equipment
will help the company establish
even stronger ties with
customers, Richard said. " The
machines look amazing, " he said.
" We've worked on how to project
a stronger image. We are becoming
more modern, innovation and
forward-thinking. "
http://www.plasma-solution.com http://www.imflux.com

Plastics News - Show Daily - October 24, 2022

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Plastics News - Show Daily - October 24, 2022 - CT1
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Plastics News - Show Daily - October 24, 2022 - 1
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