A major rigid PVC pipe extruder acquired a related specialty rigid PVC processor. A key financial justification for the acquisition included changing PVC resin from one source to another. The formulation used for the niche market application was very different than a standard PVC pipe formulation, however.
The formulation used for the niche market application was very different than a standard PVC pipe formulation
The specialty products manufactured by the acquired company were all based on a special formulation that could not easily be changed. When the merged company tried to change PVC resin, the formulation was a disaster. They attempted to substitute one PVC resin for another and severe processing problems occurred; the material no longer flowed through the die normally. When the customer tested its compounds, fusion time and melt torques were about the same, leaving them perplexed.
Using unique test methods, Rheogistics quickly identified a rheological phenomenon as the root of the problem, which one else could pinpoint. Rheogistics identified interaction between the various material present that impacted the rheology, and proposed multiple solutions to correcting the problem. There were some very complicated fusion phenomena that caused melt viscosity to skyrocket just before the material disintegrated. Oddly enough, the severe rheology problems experienced were corrected without any adjustments to the lubricant system! One common factor affecting the problem was found to be the water used in materials manufacturing upstream—from the Mississippi River basin.
Rheogistics identified and solved this convoluted and nearly impossible-to-diagnose problem in about four weeks.
Rheogistics identified and solved this convoluted and nearly impossible-to-diagnose problem in about four weeks. The customer not only benefitted by realizing the cost synergies of the PVC resin change, but also realized a major formulation cost reduction. As a result, the acquisition exceeded all expectations!