Since its beginning in 1848, Farrel Corporation has been through a lot of incarnations. It merged with a foundry, then with United Shoe Machinery. In 1986 the company was sold to a private investment group. The company went public in 1992, being listed on NASDAQ. Still today, Farrel Corporation remains steadfast, successful, and with a stronghold on the plastics and rubber processing systems markets.
Rubber to the road
Farrel’s world headquarters and Northeast manufacturing and service, engineering, and process lab is in Ansonia, Conn. It recently modernized its assembly area there to improve its storage systems for processing raw materials and spare parts. It also has facilities in Deer Park, Texas, and in the U.K.
Farrel’s rubber customers include all of the major global tire companies and tier one suppliers in the automotive industries. As the owner of the technology developed with the first Banbury(r) batch mixer, introduced in 1916, Farrel has unsurpassed experience and knowledge in all areas of rubber materials processing. The basic principles of the Banbury(r) mixer have evolved over 85 years to make it the standard in the industry for mixing rubber product; recently it was honored as the TEC 2000 Trilogy Award Winner and won an International Tire Exhibition and Conference Trilogy Award in the Process Category. The most popular Banbury(r) mixer, the F270 model, has a $1 million price tag, and is considered the ultimate “tool” – with 2000 horsepower, it has the ability to mix up to 20,000 pounds of product per hour.
“Technological advancements, innovative processing and mechanical features, and advanced control systems make the entire complement of Farrel’s rubber processing equipment the most productive, accurate, and efficient in the industry,” says Bill Flaherty, Farrel’s Director of Sales.
The company’s most recent enhancement to the Banbury(r) mixer is a rotor for the NST model. “It’s a next generation rotor that we’ve had on the market for a little over a year now,” says Flaherty.
Its F-Series Banbury(r) mixer offers large batch capacity, ST Rotors for effective, batch-to-batch uniformity. Temperature, variable speed, ram pressure and indication are controlled. Non-lubricated Eco-Glands simplify maintenance and eliminate contamination.
The Mark 5 Intermix(r), featuring intermeshing helical rotors, is ideal for a wide range of applications in mechanical goods production, and is the perfect technological counterpart to the Farrel F-Series Banbury(r) Mixers.
Farrel’s CoFlow(tm) and Interflow mixers, featuring wing-type intermeshing rotors, provide high distributive mixing, highly controllable temperature, and mix uniformity.
Farrel also offers a wide range of customized cold feed, hot feed, vented, batch, and pin barrel extrusion systems for the production of profiles, hoses, and sheathings.
“The plastics side of the business tends to cater to companies that put the color in plastic and create color master batches of concentrated color,” explains Flaherty. To accomplish this the Ultima(r) was developed, a two-stage plastics compounding machine that offers the highest dispersive mixing capability of any compounder. The new design platform is not simply evolutionary, but revolutionary. “Advantages of this product include twice the horsepower of our original machine, higher throughputs than ever before, high speed capability coupled with the ability to vary the fill factor in two stages which permits processing of still higher concentrations of low-bulk density fillers with greater mixer dispersion capabilities. It also allows for the removal of high levels of moisture and volatiles,” says Flaherty.
All Farrel compounders are characterized by high on-stream factor and flexible operation across a wide range of applications. Innovations in processing elements, mechanical features, and control systems enhance productivity, duplicability, and reliability, while modular design promotes ease of regular equipment maintenance and upgrades.
Farrel’s high-torque H-Series FTX Twin-Screw extruders have demonstrated top performance in the field, providing compounders the combination of high-torque delivery with low-speed quality.
Farrel’s Advex(r) System is a technologically advanced multi-stage polymer compounding system for the formation of high quality, uniform pellets. Four fundamental configurations have been engineered to meet a wide range of demanding polyolefin processing.
Staying viable over the long-term and during the recent economic slump has been accomplished by ” developing new applications for our products and finding niche markets,” says Flaherty.
With the acquisition of one of its major competitors, the rubber machinery division of Francis Shaw, Farrel offers the Intermix(r) internal batch mixer featuring intermeshing rotors.
The company also has its mixing product in the flooring industry. “The floor tile business has been interesting for us,” says Flaherty. Most of the major flooring manufacturers have benefited through Farrel’s advancement in metallurgical technology of new wear resistant alloys that have increased the life of the mixing equipment by a factor of two to three times over previous materials and designs.
Future plans for Farrel include continuing to expand its North American market, to keep promoting the Intermix(r) machine and its new NST rotor as well as to keep up with export demands to the Far East, Europe, and Middle East that have been on the increase for the last six months. But ultimately, the company will continue to position itself as a global research, engineering, and marketing organization serving the processing industries with quality plastics and rubber compounding solutions and services.