Extruder Spartech Corp. is boosting its outsourcing program by moving into a TriEnda Division operation after purchasing a piece of that facility.
The Clayton, Mo.-based company paid $5.5 million on Sept. 30 to buy certain assets of Wilbert Inc.'s TriEnda Division, a heavy-gauge thermofomer based in Portage, Wis. The purchase includes four extrusion lines and supporting equipment in Portage.
Instead of moving the equipment out of the plant, Spartech will take over extrusion operations inside the TriEnda facility. Forty of the 300 employees at the facility have become Spartech workers.
Spartech has signed a five-year supply agreement with TriEnda to extrude sheet for that plant's production of reusable shipping and materials-handling containers, according to a Spartech news release.
The lines can produce more than 40 million pounds of material annually, officials said.
Spartech operates another sheet operation about five miles from the TriEnda plant. Company officials did not return several telephone calls seeking comment before deadline last week. But in the news release, Bradley Buechler, Spartech chairman, chief executive officer and president, said the move continues the company's outsourcing strategy.
In 2002, the company established a cross-functional outsourcing team to work with businesses that had produced their own materials but wanted to outsource them, Buechler said.
``Whether the process is sheet extrusion, compounding, profile extrusion or molded products, this team is charged with identifying, analyzing, negotiating and closing transactions with these companies,'' he said.
Spartech has outsourcing arrangements to mold wheels for lawn equipment supplier MTD Products Inc., to extrude polystyrene sheet for Whirlpool Corp. in Mexico and to extrude ABS and PS sheet for bathware maker Maax Inc. In most other cases, Spartech has not worked on-site with the company it is assisting. But the close proximity of Spartech and TriEnda made this situation different, said one source close to the company. ``TriEnda wanted to stick with its core competency in thermoforming, and Spartech is one of the largest in the world for sheet extrusion,'' the source said.
Spartech was 11th on Plastics News' recent list of North American film and sheet makers with $607.9 million in relevant sales.