Many look at compounding as a leading indicator for the plastics business overall. When big polyolefins companies buy multi-million-dollar lines, that’s a good sign for the industry. It means they are ramping up production, adding capacity as a result of debottlenecking, or even building an altogether new plant. When smaller custom compounders and formulators buy lines, that’s usually driven by demand from injection molding, extrusion and other processors. It starts with resin.
All that gives Coperion a unique perspective on just what’s going on in plastics. The compounding machinery supplier knows early on what the huge polyolefin suppliers are thinking thanks to its long-time, global footprint in furnishing post-reactor lines for these polymer producers. And its position supplying equipment down the materials pipeline—to compounders of engineering thermoplastics and other resins—gives it strong clues as to what’s unfolding not only among this particular group of Coperion customers, but by the converters who are buying materials from them to mold and extrude.