At SPC, we will never lose sight of the importance of maintaining a strong, positive culture when it comes to serving our customers. We believe this will allow us to continue to be a leading metal finishing company in the years to come.
The Founding of Our Metal Finishing Company Dates Back to 1925
SPC began as Charles D. Snyder & Son, Inc. in 1925 in Harrisburg, PA. In those days, there was little heavy industry in the area, so the company primarily focused on providing metal finishing services for the other small, local operations and residents in the region.
Future owner Paul Sharretts joined the company in the late 1930s as a 15-year-old laborer, performing decorative work such as plating chandeliers and cutlery and polishing statues. This experience provided the foundation for what would become a long, successful career in the metal finishing industry.
World War II Leads to Significant Change in the Industry
The onset of World War II resulted in metal finishing companies evolving from decorative to industrial operations. The driving force behind the transition was the U.S. military's urgent need for metal-plated tools and other products to support the war effort. Thus, Charles D. Snyder & Son, Inc. became proficient in plating with metals such as nickel, gold, silver and chrome in order to meet the demands of defense industry manufacturers.
The post-World War II economic boom saw many larger industrial operations decide to set up shop in Pennsylvania, which created a huge demand for the metal finishing services offered by Charles D. Snyder & Son, Inc. Upon returning to PA after serving his country during the war, Paul Sharretts became one of three individuals who were offered a spot in Temple University's chemical engineering and electroplating program. He was the only one to graduate and eventually took over the reins of the Snyder operation.
The Company Experiences Tremendous Growth in the Ensuring Decades
Throughout the 1950s, Pennsylvania manufacturers became increasingly reliant on Snyder's services. With Paul at the helm, the company became captive to five major manufacturing operations in the area, including Amp, Inc. (electronics), BAE Systems (military and defense) and several steel manufacturers. This helped to fuel the company's tremendous growth, a pattern that would continue in the decades to come.
As the company continued to grow, Paul envisioned the need for a second facility to serve as a contingency in the event of fire or other disaster at the Harrisburg operation. Paul purchased a failing industrial metal finishing company in the York, PA, area and turned its operation over to sons Tim and Tom, who had joined the family business upon graduation from college. This ultimately led to the establishment of the company's current location just outside of York in Emigsville, PA. This operation was known as Charles D. Snyder & Son, Inc. of York until 1991, when it officially changed its name to Sharretts Plating Company.
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The Company Expands Beyond PA During the 1980s
Throughout the 1960s and '70s, the company continued to serve the metal finishing needs of a growing number of PA manufacturing operations. In the 1980s, with Tim and Tom in control (Paul retired in 1984, leaving his sons as partners), the company began to expand its offerings to entities located beyond the state's borders. As the industry continued to change in the late 1980s, the company was no longer captive to the five original local manufacturers, leaving it free to pursue business opportunities in New England, the Midwest and eventually other parts of the world.
The Company Becomes a Major Player in the Automotive and Electronics Industries
During the late 1980s, the company began to work with major auto manufacturers including GMC, Ford and Chrysler, which presented significant growth opportunities. Then in 1991, a milestone event occurred: IBM asked the company to provide reel-to-reel plating services for its original Pentium processor microchips. This required the precise application of copper, nickel, gold, palladium-nickel and tin-lead to a strip of material that was progressively stamped and robotically assembled to produce a computer processing chip.
SPC Doubles Its Size
Primarily as a result of our tremendous success of our electronic computer chip venture, the company, now known as Sharretts Plating Company, became a reel-to-reel plating leader. Over the next decade, SPC doubled in size, growing from a total of 100 to 200 employees between our Harrisburg and York locations. We were now able to compete on a national level in the electronic/connector industry. During this period, Tim Sharretts sold all of his stock to Tom, leaving the latter as sole owner of the company.
Recovering From the Recession and a Changing of the Guard
As with companies in just about every industry, SPC experienced challenging times during the recession of the late 2000s, which resulted in the company reducing its staff. Under the direction of Stephen Sharretts, who joined SPC in a marketing capacity in 2003 and became co-owner in 2009, the company recovered and continues to be a leader in the metal finishing industry. Under Stephen's guidance and visionary leadership, SPC has been able to diversify with tremendous success into areas such as medical, aerospace, defense and smart infrastructure networks, as well as become a pioneer in the use of exotic materials.
Our Accreditations and Awards
Over the years, SPC has been able to earn a number of important accreditations and has had the privilege of receiving a variety of prestigious awards, such as:
- First company to receive the Best Manufacturing Practices Award from the Department of the Navy
- First U.S. plating company to attain ISO 9000 certification
- QS accreditation
- Achieving the TS 16949 Tier 1 and Tier 2 Automotive Quality Management standards
The Future Looks Bright at SPC
While we're certainly proud of our long, successful history as surface treatment experts, we're also excited about what the future holds. As part of our transition from a traditional plating shop to a specialty metal solutions and surface treatment provider, we're currently investing millions of dollars in acquisitions, facility upgrades and technical updates. We're not expecting trailer loads of products for service. Instead our focus will continue to be on low frequency and smaller scale in an effort to perform higher value-add, higher caliber employee driven work that competing metal finish companies cannot match.
LEARN WHAT OUR MANY SATISFIED CUSTOMERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT Us
"I would like to thank you for the help you have provided us in developing an electroless nickel plating technique on an unusual substrate. The sample platings you provided show that we should be able to reach our goals. I especially appreciate your willingness to take on an unusual job, with the uncertainties that that entails...We are looking forward to working with you in the future on our plating needs."
– Robert K.