Thermoformer C+K Plastics recently purchased the assets and customer list of a former rival, Speck Plastics Inc. of Nazareth, Pa., and it has consolidated Speck's operations into the C+K facility in Metuchen, N.J.
“It's actually been a friendly competition for many years,” said Bob Carrier, owner of C+K Plastics, in a phone interview.
The association between the two companies goes back to before he and the owners of Speck were born, Carrier said.
“In 1961, his grandfather and father taught my father the business. They had a shop and back then they built their own machines so my dad went there to learn about the business,” Carrier said.
Carrier's late father Emile, who was a salesman for General Tire, joined with another employee, Dan Koch, to form C+K in 1961.
He and Walter Speck III served on a Society of Plastics Engineers' thermoforming board together years ago. When Speck and his sister Suzann decided to sell, they had a familiarity to base the conversation on.
Speck Plastics, which is about 65 miles from C+K's Metuchen's facility, has a long history of thermoforming. It started in 1954 in Port Washington, on Long Island, when Walter Speck Sr. and Walter Speck Jr. joined forces.
Most recently it was owned by the Speck family's third generation — Walt III wanted to pursue a career as a pilot, but Suzann is joining C+K as one of its Mid-Atlantic sales people.
Carrier said three members of Speck's workforce will join C+K. He said the asset purchase included machinery and a customer list. He did not disclose details of the sale.
The Speck operation has been consolidated into the C+K's 80,000-square-foot facility, which has six thermoforming machines including a 3-station Maac. The 8-foot-by-12-foot rotary machine was purchased at the end of 2012. The company also recently added two computer numerically controlled CMS routers.
Carrier said C+K has a diverse market base, making components that range from telecommunications for ships to hospital carts and commercial refrigeration components. Both companies did some work for Lockheed, but Speck has more aerospace and industrial work.
C+K employs about 90, and also has sister company, Valley Extrusions LLC in Allentown, Pa.
Carrier said that “business is booming” at C+K and noted that sales were 39 percent ahead of last year and that doesn't include new business from the Speck purchase.
C+K is known for its 500 kilowatt solar system that it installed on its roof in 2011, and supplies about half of its energy needs.