Farrel Pomini consolidates operations
Farrel Pomini, a manufacturer of compounding systems for flexible PVC, polyolefins and thermoplastic elastomers, last month marked the consolidation of its Connecticut corporate headquarters, offices and assembly operations into a new building.
The new, 60,000-square-foot steel, concrete and glass facility sits atop a hill overlooking Farrel Pomini’s previous home, a sprawling brick manufacturing complex that also has served as a foundry, mill and metalworking facility. The new building is designed to improve efficiency. “For instance, the assembly floor has been designed to minimize movements and streamline testing of machines, [which had been] a major inefficiency in our previous machine assembly,” said Paul Lloyd, business unit director.
Almon Farrel established Farrel in Ansonia in 1848 as a foundry; it produced bayonets and cannon barrels during the Civil War. The company merged with Birmingham Iron Foundry of nearby Derby, Conn., in 1927, changing its name to Farrel Corp. in 1963, at which time the company began manufacturing processing equipment for plastic plants.
Over the years, various departments within Farrel Pomini moved to different buildings owned by the company. The new facility represents the first time since the company’s founding that all employees and departments are under one roof, Lloyd said. Employees were relocated to the building last September, but the grand opening and ribbon cutting last month marked the public announcement of the move.
The new facility contains several new or upgraded departments, including a processing laboratory and customer demonstration space, where complete compounding systems can be set up.
At the grand opening, the process lab had two lines operating, including one with Farrel Pomini’s CP550 Compact Processor, which received materials from equipment perched overhead on a mezzanine. Upstream feeding equipment from Schenck Process LLC, Kansas City, Mo., underwater pelletizing equipment from Gala Industries Inc., Eagle Rock, Va., and a pellet drying device from Comet Plastic Equipment LLC, Riviera Beach, Fla., served the compounding unit. A material classifier from Witte Co. Inc., Washington, N.J., was located on the machinery level where finished pellets were collected in a gaylord.
The process lab also featured Farrel Pomini’s CPeX laboratory compounder, introduced at last year’s K show. It has a PLC-based control and can process 22 pounds to 66 pounds per hour. As part of the process lab, an R&D department offers 3-D printing equipment that can produce machinery components, such as a new rotor, for testing.
The new facility also has an automation laboratory where control equipment for all new or refurbished compounding lines can be tested. The gateway control or integration of the various drive controls from third-party products allows for remote monitoring and integrated operation of the compounding line.
The site also features stations devoted to machine assembly, where each workspace has a computer terminal for technicians to record or communicate issues with a supervisor. Farrel Pomini also created dedicated spaces to handle repair and refurbishment, polishing and grinding, and inspection of rotors and other machine components sent in by customers. The dedicated inspection and quality-control station is located close to an area for examining and repairing barrels, mixers, extruder parts and other components.
The CP line is Farrel Pomini’s flagship offering. The machines combine an independently controlled continuous mixer and an extruder to produce highly filled or highly pigmented materials. The mixer incorporates twin, non-intermeshing counter-rotating rotors, offered in a range of pairings and geometries, that discharge into a hot-feed pumping extruder that utilizes a specially designed 6:1 L:D single screw. The extruder delivers higher throughput rates with a shorter material residence time compared to a twin-screw extruder, Lloyd said.
Mikell Knights, senior staff reporter
Ansonia, Conn., 203-736-5600,