Leistritz Extrusionstechnik: 80 years and not a bit old

18 December 2017

On the road to becoming one of the leading extruder manufacturer: German Leistritz Extrusionstechnik GmbH celebrates its successful history.

80 years ago the ancestor of today’s ZSE MAXX twin screw extruder was built in Nuremberg. What started out as a small business unit in 1937 has come to be an internationally active company that is at home in various application fields. “In our long history we have had quite many technical highlights which form the basis of our success today,” says Anton Fürst, Managing Director at Leistritz Extrusionstechnik GmbH.
“In recent years we have consistently pursued the way from being an extruder manufacturer to becoming a system supplier. It was paved with our very high expertise in machine and process technology.” The success proves him right: Today, Leistritz Extrusionstechnik GmbH has more than 200 employees at its headquarters in Nuremberg/Germany, the subsidiaries in China, Singapore and the US, as well as in the sales offices in France and Italy. The ZSE MAXX twin screw extruders, which set a milestone when they were introduced ten years ago by combining high volume (OD/ID = 1.66) and very high torque (15 Nm/cm³), are still the company’s flagship in numerous production halls all over the globe.

Back then until today

In the beginnings in 1937, the screw pump which Leistritz had been producing since the 1920s was further developed into an extruder for the delivery of viscous masses.


Back then one could scarcely have guessed that the modern high-performance extruders would be the result. During the 1950s the first machines were further developed into the Leistritz Screw Press (LSP). This extruder with one and a half screws was created combining the advantages of the twin and single screw technologies. In the 1960s the development of those primal extruders was pushed on. The result was the so-called twin screw press.


A milestone in Leistritz history emerged in the 1970s when the extruder range was complemented by a totally new kind of machine: the LSM 30.34 (LeistritzScrewMachine) laboratory extruder which facilitated switching from single to twin screw mode.

By diversifying the product range from mostly counter- to co-rotating extruders in the 1980s, Leistritz was able to reach even more customers and application fields with its ZSE GL (German: ZweiSchneckenExtruder/GleichLauf – engl: twin screw extruder/co-rotating). Innovation and customer requirements were the driving forces which led to new extruder series throughout the decades. The ZSE HP series introduced high screw speeds of up to 1.200 rpm and increased torques. For the first time heating cartridges were used across the complete machine range and pioneered a new kind of drive concept with water-cooled AC drives, which were to become the industry standard.

In 2004 Leistritz had set a milestone in extruder technology by introducing the ZSE MAXX extruder series at the K Show with a high volume of 1.66 OD/ID ratio. Since high volume was combined with increasing high torques it allowed a significantly bigger process window. For years, this was considered to be the top technology. Further features included a special screw shaft design with an increased cooling capacity.

“Up until now the ZSE MAXX series is the only twin screw extruder series to have consistent values of high volume and high torque with screw diameters from 18 to 260 mm,” explains fellow Managing Director Sven Wolf. For almost a decade these features were unique in the market and up until today they have proven to be optimal for most compounding applications. “We are very proud of the achievements we have had in the fields of process and machine technology. Our customers benefit from our comprehensive range of products, from lab extrusion all the way to large scale compounding.”


“Our staff is a really strong team. All those years they have proved great commitment, a high level of expertise and team spirit,” adds Sven Wolf. With the 80th anniversary Leistritz not only looks back. “Having such a rich history we must also not forget to think of the future. The prominent topic of Industry 4.0, on which we have already introduced some novelties like smart sensors and smart services, will continue to be in our focus in the coming years. But also topics or megatrends like globalization or urbanization which the global population will have to deal with in the future will have an effect on our business model as machine manufacturer. To meet this development we have various strategies and approaches which we will build upon.”

In search of the oldest extruder

Within the framework of the jubilee campaign, Leistritz is looking for the oldest, still producing Leistritz extruder. Anyone who thinks to have it, should write an email to extruder@leistritz.com by March 30, 2018, at the latest, containing some pictures and a short description. A great prize awaits the winner!

Leistritz_extrusion line

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