ARCHER—An Archer family business known for its manufacturing work with heavy gauge sheet plastic is growing.
DK Plastics has scheduled a building expansion for later this year at its downtown location in the O’Brien County community of about 120.
“We’ve got a really good plan,” said Scott De Kok, the company’s general manager. “This whole facility is going to flow so much better than it ever has. It’s going to be great. We’re really excited about it.”
He provided more details about the plan for the business’ expansion project:
- A new 100-foot-by-80-foot steel-exterior building will be constructed on the north side of a structure that is the same size and shape.
“The new building is basically going to be cold storage for material going in and out,” De Kok said. “We’re just so out of room down there.”
- A new 50-foot-by-40-foot steel-exterior building will be constructed on the north side of a structure that is similar in size and shape.
“There will be storage of in-process raw materials inside this portion,” De Kok said. “Machinery will move in there eventually.”
The larger of the two current buildings at DK Plastics’ downtown location houses two vacuum-forming machines and inventory.
“With our vacuum-forming machines, we actually heat one of our sheets up in an oven, you pull it over a mold and a vacuum pulls it down tight and cools it,” De Kok said.
The smaller of the two current structures is home to four CNC — computer numeric control — routers.
“With our CNC routers, we take our sheets, put them on the CNC bed and it will route out various shapes — that’s become a really growing part of our business to the point where we now need to add on,” De Kok said.
The business — a division of Dave De Kok Inc., a company that bears the name of Scott De Kok’s father — was established in 1995 to help meet the growing need for heavy gauge sheet plastic.
DK Plastics’ original headquarters were situated at its downtown location, where the bigger of the two current buildings was constructed in 1997.
The high-density polyethylene sheet extrusion portion of the company started the next year. The smaller of the two structures at the business’ downtown location was built in 2003.
Extrusion is defined as a manufacturing process in which a softened piece of a metal or plastic material is forced through a shaped metal piece to produce a continuous ribbon of the formed product.
DK Plastics’ headquarters were moved in 2007 to a 40,000-square-foot building just west of Archer. The extrusion part of the business was relocated to the same structure the next year.
“Our extruders are very large, very expensive,” the younger De Kok said, noting that the company has four extruders.
“We could buy 10-plus CNC routers for the price of one extruder, so we decided to start expanding in that direction,” he said. “They don’t take up much space and they’re way less expensive.”
DK Plastics’ expansion project does not have a building contractor or an overall estimated cost yet.
The Archer City Council helped the project move forward by selling a small piece of property to the company for $1 during a special meeting on Jan. 28.
The slice of land is situated just north of the business’ downtown location right on the southeast corner of Main Street and Cherokee Avenue in Archer.
De Kok would like to see the expansion project completed by late spring or early summer.
One factor that will affect how fast the work gets done is the N’West Iowa weather.
“I’d like to be in there the sooner, the better,” De Kok said. “It all depends on the builders. The building itself should go up relatively quickly. I would hope in a couple months maybe they’d be done.”