Sparck celebrates 100 years of innovation


This year on June 20th Sparck Technologies, the automated ‘right-size’ boxing specialist, celebrates a century of world-class engineering and innovation. The business has come a long way in a hundred years, from its origins developing the mechanised production of wooden shoes, to a leader in the design and fabrication of advanced, fit-to-size automated packaging systems for e-commerce applications.

Sparck Technologies’ power to innovate has been a constant throughout its surprising history. Established in The Netherlands as HaDeWe in 1924, the small engineering business displayed its ingenuity early on by moving from repairing windmills to developing and building machines that would revolutionise the production of wooden clogs.

And by the 1950’s it had reinvented itself again, boosting the productivity of office workers around the world with its cutting-edge mailroom solutions capable of folding and filling thousands of envelopes per hour.

Its success in developing novel concepts – rethinking mailroom products for desk-top use – went global, setting the pace for future innovation. As part of Quadient for over 30 years, the business continued to tap into its creative DNA, and deep engineering know-how, to push the limits of what’s possible in mailroom and despatch operations, culminating in 2013 with the multiple award-winning development of ‘right-size’ auto-boxing technology. Ecommerce fulfilment would never be the same again.

Using advanced 3D scanning technology to optimally size, create and label each box in one seamless process, Sparck’s CVP Impack can produce 500 boxes per hour, typically replacing up to 20 packing desks, and enabling businesses to grow and flex at peak, even when labour resources are tight. Package volumes are reduced by up to 50%, cutting cardboard usage by 30% and eliminating the need for void fill. 

The machine heralded a revolution in ecommerce packaging, with a torrent of international sales that has seen Sparck’s CVP systems supplied, installed and supported in over 15 countries across the globe.

Technological advances have continued apace and in 2019 the CVP-Everest was launched to world-wide acclaim. The machine offered businesses throughput rates of up to 1,100 boxes per hour, with dual input stations and up to three cardboard stock feeds.

Now as an independent company for the last three years, Sparck Technologies continues to innovate, leading the field with advances that deliver huge competitive advantage, including: a high-speed print-on-box facility, the capability to produce ultra-low profile boxes of just 28mm – enabling businesses to benefit from boxes that are letter rate compliant in the USA and most European countries – and most recently auto-induction, which removes the need for an operator, allowing a seamless transit of orders from picking station to packing and despatch.

One hundred years on Sparck Technologies continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in automated postal-related packaging. To date over 220 million ‘right-size’ boxes have been produced on Sparck’s revolutionary fit-to-size packaging machines worldwide.

Today, Sparck Technologies is based in Drachten, a site it has occupied since 1947. From here the business serves a fast-growing international market for highly automated, sustainable packaging solutions suited to the ecommerce sector – packaging automation that can, almost instantaneously, tailor make individual compact, right-size boxes for over 1,100 ecommerce orders an hour. No wastage of materials, no shipped air and only minimal dependency on labour.

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