By David Reed, UT EditorCologne, Germany-Polymere Holding GmbH, parent company of Sonderhoff GmbH a specialist supplier of dosing and gasketing equipment, opened two subsidiaries last year: Sonderhoff USA Corp. and Sonderhoff Iberica SA in Spain.These add to existing subsidiaries in Scandinavia and Italy, and the firm is now poised to add a facility in the People's Republic of China, according to a 31 March statement from Peter Fischer, the firm's marketing director.In a further development, he says the company has just won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for the use of one of its polyurethane-based systems for gasketing of lids for food packaging, and is exhibiting a prototype of a dispensing machine at the Hannover Fair in Germany.The US subsidiary, operating from a 108-m2 unit in Elgin, Illinois, offers all materials from the Sonderhoff range as well as mixing and dispensing equipment from EDF GmbH, the firm's Austrian subsidiary. The unit also provides a contract gasketing service, with spare parts and technical support for customers throughout North America, said Fischer.Sonderhoff USA has five staff, serving customers in the whole NAFTA region (the US, Canada and Mexico). The unit is just 25 minutes from Chicago O'Hare airport, Fischer added.The company is also keen to emphasise its continuing technical developments. The first of these, the new mixing/dispensing machine prototype, is designated DM 420/430. This machine will have a new CNC robot with a speed of up to 60 m/min. and acceleration of 12 m/sec2. Fischer claims it represents a major step forward with the development of a new system for operating the machine via touch screen, and with full diagnostics available via modem from any part of the world.Finally, the FDA approval of the new PU compound is also an important development, the Sonderhoff manager says. It is the world's first foam-in-place system suitable for gaskets in food-packaging containers, he claimed."