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Spartech Corporation Opens New Product Development Centre

02 July 2004

Spartech Corporation formally opened the Company's new Product Development Centre in Indiana.

Spartech invested more than $8 million in the 30,000 square foot facility to complement the technical capabilities of the Company's more than 5,500 customers and to accelerate the development of its new Alloy Plastics and Product Transformations.

It is anticipated that annually as many as 1,500 visitors will come to the Centre to work on process improvement initiatives, new product developments, and Product Transformations.

Bradley B. Buechler, Chairman, President and CEO, stated that ""Spartech's new Product Development Centre has been designed to serve our current and future customers by developing thermoplastic and advanced polymer products that meet the needs of a rapidly growing global marketplace. Our PDC team will work closely with our business partners to (A) provide innovative product and process solutions, (B) accelerate new products to market, (C) optimize product formulations, and (D) complement our customers' technical capabilities.

The Centre will initially consist of two large sheet extrusion lines and a smaller lab line; two profile extrusion lines; a four station rotary and one single station thermoformer; complete lab capabilities with a full range of physical and mechanical testing; and a VEC cell, which represents today's state-of-the-art closed-mould plastics processing technology, for gel coat/FRP replacement. While the PDC certainly represents a sizable investment for the Company, we believe the payback will be considerable, as more extensive customer product development, new technologies and solutions, and the acceleration of products to market, leads us to increased business and more satisfied customers.""

Mr. Buechler added, ""The Product Development Centre will also further enhance our ability to more rapidly develop new innovative Alloy Plastics. These proprietary products that combine advanced engineered compounds and additives with innovative manufacturing techniques have continued to support and drive Product Transformations, which expands business growth opportunities for both our customers and the entire plastics industry.

Finally, the PDC will centralize our knowledge base for new developments, further integrate the R&D efforts between our custom sheet and specialty compound groups, and improve the Company's production efficiencies by eliminating most of the sample and new product development time previously performed 100% at our production facilities.""






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