SPARTA, WIS. — Spartek Inc., a multimaterial custom job shop in Sparta, is looking for more plastics business. Along those lines, the company is boosting heavy-gauge thermoforming capacity at its 150,000-square-foot plant, adding a second vacuum former and a computer numerically controlled 5-axis router, both due later this year.
Last year Spartek installed its first vacuum former to manufacture plastic point-of-purchase displays, which it also injection molds, said sales manager Linda Dow. Lower costs and shorter lead times for thermoforming tooling, compared with injection molds, prompted the company to bring the process in-house, she said.
Spartek spent about $500,000 on the new 4-foot-by-6-foot vacuum former, CNC router and a Strippit metal press, Dow said.
Right now thermoforming makes up 5 percent of the company's sales, but it hopes to grow that business. Injection molding and vacuum metalizing each contribute about one-third to Spartek's sales, which Dow would not disclose. Metal fabricating and other operations, such as silk-screening, sonic welding, hot stamping, painting and antiquing, make up the rest. Point of purchase displays are its biggest single market, she said.
In the 1950s, Spartek started out as a vacuum metalizer, then later added injection molding. Its nine presses, with clamping forces of 150-1,500 tons, do a variety of custom work, including molded and metalized plastic cases for Big Ben and Baby Ben alarm clocks for 15-year customer General Time Corp., based in Norcross, Ga.
Privately held Spartek employs about 180.