Gamma Meccanica bullish on US recycling equipment market


Gamma Meccanica North America plans to add a dedicated lab line to do test work for plastic recyclers in the U.S., by the end of the year, and its future plans including manufacturing pelletizers and control panels in the U.S.

“We had a record year last year and we are exceeding our sales targets this year for recycling equipment,' said Heath Sellers, president and general manager of both Gamma Meccanica North America and Innovative Recycling Solutions LLC in Greer, S.C. “We have three projects ready to install at the beginning of the second quarter.”

Gamma Meccanica SpA in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and Innovative formed Gamma Meccanica North America in September 2007 to spearhead the marketing, sales, service and distribution effort in North America for the plastics recycling extruders made by Gamma Meccanica SpA. Prior to that, Innovative had been the company’s manufacturing representative for three years.

In September, Gamma Meccanica North America and Innovative moved their South Carolina headquarters 10 miles east into a larger facility that more than tripled their space. “We probably have three and one-half times the space,” Sellers said. “We are poised for growth as we pull out of this recession. This is the best time to expand.”

He said the Greer facility has room for more spare parts, and it will eventually make it possible for Gamma to do some small fabrication and assembly work in the United States.

“Our target date to do fabrication work and assembly here is two years, but we may do it sooner,” Sellers said in an interview at the 2010 Plastics Recycling conference, held March 2-3 in Austin.

“Our long-term plan is to manufacturer pelletizers and control panels, and to do some assembly work with some of the components that come out of Italy,” Sellers said.

He said interest in sustainability has been good for recycling equipment.

“The green movement has sustained itself and didn’t peter out during the economic downturn,” he said. “Companies now realize that recycling benefits the environment and effectively increases their bottom-line. Sustainability can save you money and make you money.”

Sellers said Gamma’s machines can process anywhere from 50 pounds to 6,000 pounds per hour. Gamma’s equipment can be used for both post-consumer and post-industrial plastics, but in-house post-industrial reprocessing is the biggest part of its target market.

“Our machines can be used by film and sheet companies, manufacturers that make flexible packaging and the fiber market,” Sellers said, just to name a few.

Sellers said Gamma focuses on fitting its machines to fit the application.

“Our hallmark is flexibility and our willingness to do customization for customers,” Sellers said. “We act more like a small engineering firm than a manufacturer of reclaim systems. We can add value to what you have on the floor, reduce the steps in your process and save you energy.”

Gamma sells both conventional recycling systems for film, ground materials and densified materials that include a grinding mill, force feeders, an extruder, filter and die face cutter as well as its COMPAC systems that include a shredder, extruder, filter and die cutter designed for materials such as fibers, fabrics, yarns and film.

It also sells water ring pelletizers for thermoplastic materials and an underwater pelletizer for materials with a high melt index.

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