Steve Hamaday, Director of Engineering, reflects on his forty years with Sharp Packaging Services.
I take pride in the many years of service here at Sharp. It has been interesting to watch the business and buildings grow from a small company that housed printing, packaging and warehousing all in the same building. Then to expand every few years with additions consuming all available space until we were up against every property line. Even consuming adjacent businesses to eventually expand and separate printing and warehousing from the packaging portion. Looking at the aerial view you can see the building is shaped close to the property line using every square inch that the township would allow. I’m sure this makes our tractor-trailer drivers happy!
Add that to the new buildings in Allentown and it shows how big the company has gotten.
When I started in January of 1977 there were just the seven single-digit primary (Toggle) rooms, eight secondary carding lines (Vertical) and two Cartonetta box machine lines. Five areas called “the 20’s” and three called “the 30’s” or the Blue Room named for its blue tile walls. There was just one mechanic on first and second shift, one machinist and a machine shop with a few manual machines, an old Bridgeport and Lathe that we still use!
There was basically no technology back then yet we still made our own tooling, primitive as it was. Not having what you need when something broke taught me to find a way to fix it because people were standing around getting paid, the line was down and the product could be in jeopardy of being delayed. Now we actually have things called ‘spare parts’!
Soon Sharp grew, adding the 40’s which was a warehouse, the 70’s which was from the purchase of Quillman Industrial Supply, and the 60’s which was for a short time the parking area for Quillman. Sharp also purchased McCarrick truck repair and proceeded to build the Printing building which made room for what we now call the 50’s (16, 17, 18 and 19) MT lines. This all happened between 1977 and 1996 with only a few years in between. Sharp continued to grow squeezing in another packaging line in newly created warehouse between the two main building for a big Merck project calling it line 15 where the 1070 currently resides.
Since then we have grown in technology as well adding 3 CNC machines and continue to lead the industry in the ability to be self-sufficient and still make our own tooling but in a highly technical method.
The last 15 years have soared by and over the past 6 months I find myself reflecting back over the years. Interfacing with customers, I am proud to represent Sharp from a technical standpoint.