Magnetic Separator Manufacturer Buehler Targets Consumer Foods Business, Acquires Magnetron Equipment Company

Buoyed by strong growth in 2018 and a key acquisition, Buhler Group, the Swiss maker of process manufacturing equipment including an extensive line of industrial magnetic separators, is extending its business into the consumer foods industry and, separately, has recently acquired a leading manufacturer of magnetron equipment in the US. 

Targeting the consumer foods industry is seen by the company as adding a third pillar to its two existing business areas of equipment for grain and food processing, and for advanced materials processing. While it already serves some areas of consumer food processing, Its acquisition last year of Haas Group, a maker of wafer, cookie, and confectionary production systems, laid the groundwork for establishing the new business area. Likely, Buhler will be extending its separations business into the new markets represented. 

With zero tolerance toward contamination by metal particles, the food industry is fertile ground for Buhler’s extensive line magnetic separation equipment. Its Neodymium Magnetic Separator MMUN (pictured above), for example, generates a magnetic field strength of 10,000 to 12,000 Gauss. The combination of Gauss value (flow density) and field depth allows MMUN, which can be used as a tubular or drawer magnet, to remove metal particles from flour, semolina or flakes.

Loading up magnet bars at SCI

In a separate move, Buhler has acquired Sputtering Components, Inc., the U.S. manufacturer of magnet bars and magnetron equipment for the vacuum coating industry. Its equipment is used for physical vapor deposition of thin films. The deal was announced mid-year and has since closed. SCI has become a business unit of Buhler’s Leybold Optics. A price for the transaction was not disclosed, however, most of the company’s 40 employees will continue at its location in Owatonna, MN, adding to Buhler Group’s operations in North America. Andy Britt, formerly vice president of sales for Buhler Aeroglide, has been appointed the new general manager, replacing the former CEO, Barry Nundelman, who has resigned.

Magnetron end blocks at SCI

SCI has more than 4,00 of its cylindrical magnetron systems, which function as rotary sputtering cathodes for large-scale deposition equipment such as coaters for architectural glass, in operation at companies around the globe. As a provider of endblocks and magnet bars, it supplies many major manufacturers in the glass and display industries as well as global producers of coating systems.

Based in Uzwil, Switzerland, Buhler reported in February that it had a 22% growth in overall revenues for 2018, climbing to about $3.3 billion USD. Founded in 1860, it has more than 13,000 employees worldwide.

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