Made in the Northwest: SmaK Products

Made in the Northwest: SmaK Products

SmaK Products is coming up on its first anniversary, but it already has ambitious plans.

“Our target is to be the most innovative company within the floor care industry,” said Vice President of Product Development Mark Baxter.

SmaK Products is a division of SmaK Plastics, based in Vancouver, Washington. It bought the assets of Xaact Products when it went bankrupt and originally planned to move the machines to Southwest Washington.

“And then we realized, ‘well, there’s a building up here, why not just expand and open up a new shop?'” said Plant Manager Justin Smalley.

Its 20 plus employees make commercial grade heated carpet extractors, hard surface cleaners, and the tools that are used with them.

Baxter says their customers include, “The professional cleaners, the janitorial supply houses, and the various other distribution networks throughout the United States and other parts of the world.”

SmaK Products uses custom rotational molding machines to make its large plastic pieces.

“It allows you to make unique geometry within the parts that you are looking to achieve,” explained Baxter. “You can have very, very unique shapes.”

The pieces start as polyethylene powder, which is then poured into each mold. Once the mold is filled, it’s placed in a giant oven.

“It heats up to about 500 degrees,” said Smalley. “And once it’s up to that hot, the powder will start to melt and turn into a liquid and it slowly coats the inside of the mold.”

It then goes to a cooling station and it’s constantly rotated until the plastic reaches the right temperature.

Then finally, “It comes out to the mold operators and they can open up the mold,” said Smalley. “And now, you have a hard piece of plastic.”

On the manufacturing side of the plant, SmaK assembles all of the pieces for its upholstery and carpet cleaning equipment. It also does all of its own electrical wiring harnesses.

And Smalley says SmaK stands behind every one of its products.

“If you use them and you take care of them correctly, they will last forever.”

Baxter says the company is now developing new products for the floor care industry and is bullish about its potential for growth.

“I think this plant here has the potential to at least double or triple in square footage in the next five years. We have some very unique opportunities in front of us.”

And they plan to take advantage.

“This company is on the verge of being a major player in the floor care division,” said Baxter.