Vishay Cera-Mite to close in Grafton

By LAURIE ARENDT - GM Today Correspondent

April 14, 2009


GRAFTON - Though the sign outside its doors has proclaimed a handful of different names throughout its history, the sign gracing the Vishay Cera-Mite site in Grafton by the end of the year will be the last. It will also be the simplest one: Closed.

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According to a written statement released by Vishay Intertechnology Inc. of Pennsylvania last week, the parent company of the Grafton Vishay Cera-Mite plant, the “facility will close by year’s end, moving the operation to its facilities in Germany, Czech Republic and China.” 

The closing of this particular manufacturing plant ends a chapter in Grafton’s rich history of manufacturing. In 1946, Harry W. Rubinstein and a partner co-founded Herlec Corp. in Milwaukee, a manufacturer and distributor of ceramic disc capacitors. Two years later, in 1948, the company was purchased by Sprague Electric, then the world’s leading manufacturer of capacitors, a device used for the storage and release of electric energy. In 1953, Grafton’s Sprague facility moved to its existing site on Sixth Avenue.  Additions to the facility in 1963, 1964 and 1966 more than doubled the company’s manufacturing capabilities and warehouse space on the 4.5-acre parcel. During the mid-1960s, the company employed about 325 people. The company was acquired by Cera-Mite in 1981, and Cera-Mite was subsequently acquired by Vishay on Aug. 1, 2000.

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This story appeared in The News Graphic on  April 14, 2009.