Providing high density polyethylene sheets for hockey rinks, manure spreaders or even ladies' purses, DK Plastics OF Archer, Iowa, is finding a growing need for its extrusion services.
The company almost doubled its capacity in December when it added it's a fourth extrusion line, a 6-inch line made by Mega Machinery of Riverside, Calif.
“Our lead time was getting too long,” said Dave De Kok, president of Dave De Kok Inc. the parent of DK Plastics, during a telephone interview.
“We ship to 30 something states and it is used for anything from manure spreaders to ladies' purses,” he said.
De Kok said that a few months ago he watching a televised show from Central Park and noticed that the portable rink that they had set up was made using DK's sheets. He also noted that he's been told by a customer that its material will be used in South Korea hockey rinks for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang .
“A good customer is doing a deal where our sheets are going to the Olympics. We think that is cool. Our little town sign says 141 people, but we're probably 20 short of that,” he said.
De Kok said that business has grown significantly over the last 10 years, and that his family has played a big role. His sons, Steve, Jeff and Scott all work for the company. His wife, Barbara also has been involved and supportive.
DK Plastics started off as an outgrowth of a landscaping business. The company started with thermoforming and has been growing ever since. It still maintains its two thermoformers as well as two CNC machines so they can offer one-stop shopping.
DK has also built and added on to a facility which is now 40,000 square feet for its extrusion lines. It still has land to use when needed.
De Kok said that they started extruding sheets in 1998 from a refurbished machine that Mega Machinery had to teach them to use.
“We went to the show in Chicago and saw the machines running. Most of the companies didn't want to come out and show us how to use them, so we made a deal with Mega. He came out, set it up and gave us a week of training, and that's how we stumbled into the business,” said De Kok.
Since then, they've learned to work on all sorts of products and now produce sheet that ranges from 1/16th to ¾ of an inch thickness.
De Kok said that the first two extruder lines were 3 ½ and 4 ½ inch lines, but the last two have been 6 inch, and run next to each other with rolls that are interchangeable. Now, the extrusion end accounts for probably 80 percent of DK Plastics business.