Eriez Appoints Kohmuench as New CEO, Continues Growth in Magnetic Separations 

Succession: Jaisen Kohmuench completes 20-year path to CEO at Eriez when 2024 begins 

Industrial separations company Eriez has promoted Jaisen Kohmuench to be president & CEO, effective January 1, 2024, to succeed current president & CEO, Lukas Guenthardt, who is retiring at the end of 2023. Meanwhile, Eriez continues its growth path of product development in growing applications, a recent one involving equipment for removing tramp magnetic materials encountered in glass manufacturing. 

The appointment of Kohmuench culminates a planned succession strategy in which the new CEO has been working closely alongside Guenthardt and the company’s board of directors in advance. With more than 20 years at Eriez, he advances from the position of chief operating officer. He began at the company in research and development as a process engineer. 

Established in 1942 and formerly known as Eriez Magnetics, the company has become a global leader in separation technologies including magnetic separation, flotation, metal detection and material handling equipment. The company’s 900+ employees are dedicated to providing trusted technical solutions to the mining, food, recycling, packaging, aggregate and other processing industries. Headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, it has about 900 employees on six continents through 12 wholly owned international subsidiaries and an extensive sales network. 

Richard Merwin, chairman, conveyed his deep appreciation for the outgoing president & CEO, stating, “Lukas has played a pivotal role in driving the company’s transformative growth, fostering innovation, and achieving remarkable success during his tenure. Under his visionary leadership, Eriez achieved record revenues and strengthened its global market presence.” 

Removing 3 types of magnetic materials in glass production 

High-intensity magnetic separator from Eriez is gaining recognition among glass manufacturers for its ability to remove tramp metal particulates from the mixing and blending of raw ingredients such as silica, soda ash and limestone prior to the melting process in a furnace. 

“The glass industry needs effective magnetic separators to eliminate metallic, magnetic and non-magnetic impurities during the glass-making process,” says Tom Saccamozzone, project manager—heavy industries at Eriez. “Magnetic and metal contamination not removed from the raw material causes visual and structural defects in finished glass products.” 

The company’s magnetic separators are designed to remove or recover metals from three types of magnetic materials used to purify glass: ferromagnetic, paramagnetic, and diamagnetic, according to Saccamozzone. In the process of making silicate glass, for example, multiple Eriez magnetic separators are used to recover trapped metals mixed in with the sand along with other raw materials. 

“Unwanted tramp metals are removed using Eriez ceramic drums, different types of ceramic traps and suspended magnets,” Saccamozzone notes. “Typically, using these separators reduces the number of large pieces of ferrous, like nuts, bolts and mill scale.” 

The combination of its high-intensity rare earth roll magnetic separators, dry vibrating magnetic filters and rare earth drums are magnetic separators of choice for the paramagnetic circuit, according to Saccamozzone. “Eriez has supplied high-strength magnets to purify sand below 100 parts per million. These magnetic separators are used while making high-purity sand and other minerals used in specialty glass.” 

Eddy Current separators from the company are utilized to repel highly conductive materials such as aluminum, brass, and copper in the diamagnetic circuit. They repel the aluminum and brass out of the cullet prior to introducing the cullet into the furnace. “This not only cleans the cullet, but it also ensures the brass and other pieces from the molds do not make their way into the furnace, causing damaging results. This could lead to the destruction of the wall of the furnace and cause a costly shutdown,” Saccamozzone says. For more info, see