Interview with Kongskilde Industries

Kongskilde is an innovative company with a long history. We took some time to ask them a few questions about their operations, the company’s approach to sustainability, the importance of a circular economy for plastics, and what they have planned for 2022.

Kongskilde is truly a global company with long history that not everyone is aware of. Let’s say you’re at a dinner party – how would you give a brief overview of what your company is all about?

Since 1949 Kongskilde has been perfecting the science of pneumatic material handling systems and providing trusted, custom engineered conveying solutions for the paper, plastic, packaging, and recycling industries.

As a global company, you have facilities in Canada but also abroad. Can you give us an idea of where you have facilities and approx. how many people do you employ?

Kongskilde Industries is a global company headquartered in Denmark with sales offices in 9 countries around the world. We are located in the USA, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, the UK, South Africa, and Thailand, and have approximately 200 employees globally—22 of which are located in North America.

Although you have a wide range of products, plastics is certainly a focus for Kongskilde. What types of products do you produce can you highlight some of the key industries that use your products?

We recognize the need for a multitude of applications and solutions when it comes to the handling of plastic materials. As a result, we offer a range of pneumatic conveying and dedusting solutions designed to handle a variety of different plastic handling needs.

The main products we manufacture are pneumatic material handling systems, high pressure and high air volume blowers, vacuum/pressure railcar unloading systems, rotary airlocks, cyclones, inline venturi edge trim removal systems, inline trim cutters, regrind dust removal systems, and QR piping components. The key industry users of our products are blow moulders and producers of EPS packaging, blown film, flexible packaging, injection moulding, plastic converting, and thermoforming and recycling in addition to many others who benefit from our pneumatic conveying system solutions.

Speaking of products, as an industry we’re focused on designing innovative and more sustainable plastics products which will help move us toward a circular economy for plastics. Can you speak on the approach you have when designing innovative and sustainable projects? What are the biggest challenges?

The majority of Kongskilde equipment is designed to be installed directly onto production equipment, which allows it to efficiently control and remove the waste stream from the production area to ultimately be recycled. Often the waste material remains in-house and it is ground down, cleaned, and returned to the production area to be reused.

Since we were founded in 1949 there has been a huge increase in the awareness of the importance of recycling and creating sustainable plastic productions. Over the years we’ve seen the shift toward a more circular economy becoming rapidly adopted across the world and have seen our systems become an important asset to recycling systems.

The biggest challenges for Kongskilde today revolve around the redesigning and retooling of our production equipment to meet the increased demand and speed of modern production equipment. This requires our manufacturing and engineering department to become more innovative as they improve old products and design new ones.

Sustainability is important for the plastics industry especially with so much information out there. How important is sustainability for Kongskilde and what are your views on creating a circular economy for plastics in Canada and around the world?

Plastic Sustainability is important to all of us. We all use plastic products every day. We believe the plastic manufacturing industry has a duty to produce products that are easier to recycle and reduce the amount of non-recyclable plastic products that are produced globally. In Canada, and around the world, a large amount of non-recyclable plastics end up in landfills each year and it should be the unified goal of the plastic industry to reduce those numbers drastically.

From what I’ve read, your company has a particular commitment to taking part in exhibitions and industry events. This must have been a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. How did your company adapt, and do you have any events you’ll be attending in 2022 that you’d like to highlight? What is the importance of meeting people face-to-face compared to an online experience?

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit us in March of 2020 Kongskilde quickly adapted to using online meetings for sales calls and company sales meetings. We found it to be an excellent tool for communicating while staying safe at home.

Although online meetings are a great, safe, efficient way to do business, it’s not a perfect replacement for the personal touch of a face-to-face meeting with a client. The ability to physically see the application and meet the client in person is often a crucial step to begin building a relationship. However, digital communication is vital to maintain these relationships, so it is important to have the ability to blend both modes of contact.

Yes, we are looking forward to attending exhibition shows at full capacity once again! Despite the difficult circumstances, we were still able to attend 4 shows in 2021 and have 6 shows booked for 2022.

We will be at the following trade shows in 2022:

  • Plastics Technology Expo: March 29-31, Rosemont, IL
  • Converters Expo: April 26-27, Wisconsin
  • Injection Molding & Design: May 25-26, Detroit, MI
  • Plastic Waste Free World: June 8-9, Atlanta, GA
  • Label Expo: September 13-15, Chicago, IL
  • Printing United, October 19-21, Las Vegas, NV

Kongskilde is a member of the CIAC Plastics Division. Can you speak to the importance of being part of a national organization like this? What does the company get out of being a member?

As a member of CIAC Plastics Division we are able to remain current and up to date with the latest plastic news and upcoming events.  Also, as a member, we are able to receive discounts on some exhibitions and industry events.