For the birds

Designers and architects with fresh sustainability challenges: how to prevent collisions with birds attracted by light and reflections from glass surfaces. In Minneapolis, Minn., deep in construction of a futuristic-looking new Vikings football stadium downtown, the public is now voicing fears that birds will suffer fatal collisions with completion of the massive glass structure in …

Specialty Fabrics Review interviews Mike Erickson, MFC, president and owner of Canvas Designers Inc.

Interview by Sigrid Tornquist What is your industry prediction? Technology is going to change the industry. We’re going to see a shrinking of the number of marine/canvas shops and an increase in the productivity in the shops that remain. What is your business philosophy? Build the highest quality product, and get more money than the …

Erickson helps launch marine-based charter high school

By Sigrid Tornquist Can learning science through the study of biological oceanic projects and learning math through marine fabrication give high school students the tools they need for life after high school? Mike Erickson, MFC, who was a founding board member of the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy, thinks so. And so do the Marine Industry …

Cutting composite materials

By Katherine Carlson They’re flexible, they’re tough as nails, and slicing through composite materials can be a real challenge. To cut complex pre-preg resins, dry fiberglass or carbon fiber to exact shapes before sending them to be cured, the Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College Composites Program, Ogden, Utah, went with Autometrix Precision Cutting Systems Inc. “We’re …

Competition analysis answers several questions

By Richard G. Ensman Jr. The secret to cost-effective competitor analysis is to identify exactly what you need to know, and zero in on that data. Some common questions you might answer through a competition analysis: What are the unique selling propositions of my competitors? What can they do that I can’t? What are my …

Distributor reuses, recycles and increases profit

The Hammock Source implemented sustainable practices long before it was fashionable to do so.Since forming in the 1970s, The Hammock Source in Greenville, N.C., has always made recycling and reuse a priority. Little did the company know that someday, its simple business practices would be en vogue. “It was the culture that the company came …

How medialized mesh works

By June Bisantz LED lights, or “profiles,” are woven into intelligent cabling and inserted into the metal mesh fabric, becoming almost invisible. Power and display data are supplied via cables connected either to control units installed near the media wall or to a remote server, allowing the screen to display a variety of programmed or …

New Fabrics Showcase 2009

Membrane envelopes propel heavy-lift aircraft

By Katherine Carlson, a writer and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. Membrane technologies can be found on land, water and in the air. Tensys Dynamics, Bath, U.K. and Melbourne, Australia, designs envelopes for a new type of aircraft, the Hybrid Air Vehicle (HAV). HAVs are heavy-lift aircraft combining a lifting body hull form with …

Brad Pitt commissions affordable housing designs for New Orleans

By Katherine Carlson, a writer and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. Can cutting-edge digital manufacture and flexible infrastructure make it on Main Street? Actor Brad Pitt, a film blockbuster in his own right, thought it could. Pitt’s longstanding interest in architecture and his attachment to New Orleans led him to commission designs from 13 …