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Canopies provide shade for apartment complex roof

November 25, 2009

Retrofitted shade structures screen rooftop views of autos at this Hawaiian luxury condominium tower—the shade itself is extra. Keola La’i condominiums has the quiet good fortune of fullfilling the prime directive of real estate: location, location, location. Occupying an entire block in the Waikiki district of Honolulu, Hawaii, the 43-story apartment complex is tucked away …

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Agfa Graphics to acquire assets of Gandi Innovations

Agfa Graphics has reached an agreement to acquire most of the assets of Gandi Innovations Holdings LLC’s North American operations and the shares of its principal foreign subsidiaries. Since May 2009, Gandi Innovations has been operating under CCAA protection in Canada and Chapter 15 in the United States. The acquisition is subject to regulatory and …

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Strategies for backyard bashes

November 24, 2009

Customers are still throwing parties in their backyards, but tent renters may need strategies to do more with less. By Jamie Swedberg Everyone’s working a little harder for their money these days, and that includes tent renters who do backyard parties. It’s not that customers aren’t throwing parties, for they certainly are. It’s just that …

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Making mass customization personal

Mass customization helps companies meet customers’ real needs—efficiently. By Janice Kleinschmidt There was a time when a fast-food burger always came with mustard and pickles, whether you liked it or not. A special order flew in the face of the whole fast-food concept. When Burger King said “Have it your way,” the burger business got …

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Good media relations can grow your business

November 23, 2009

Free publicity is available when you develop relationships with the press. by Pam Lontos As a business owner, you’ve probably heard media exposure can greatly help your company, especially during tough economic times when marketing budgets are low and competition is high. Learning to leverage the power of the media can help you stand out …

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Auto interior materials offer options for your customers

November 20, 2009

New options abound to offer customers the trendiest—or most traditional—auto interiors. By Shelby Gonzalez The interior of a car, you could argue, is more important to the overall experience of the car than the exterior. After all, the interior is where the driver and passengers spend their time. The customer’s choices in interior materials, colors …

Solar fish dryer helps Nigerian fishermen

November 19, 2009

Nigeria loses 30–50 percent of its domestic fish to spoilage from poor processing, and the National Institute of Freshwater Fisheries introduced a new method to fishermen around Kainji Lake. The solar energy tent fish dryer is a simple but effective method of dehydrating, smoking and drying fish to increase its shelf life. The method can …

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Car coats: Tyvek Transcovers

November 17, 2009

Dealers ordering new cars may receive them gift-wrapped right off the assembly line. DuPont™, makers of lightweight, versatile and recyclable Tyvek®, recently developed the Tyvek Transcover, a two- or three-piece “car coat” that protects painted surfaces during storage and transportation. Transcovers reduce defects and damage to new vehicles, reducing time-consuming and costly repairs or paint …

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Graphics One launches new website

Graphics One LLC, an international distributor of products for digital imaging professionals, launched inkjetfilmpositive.com for screen printers worldwide who need information regarding how to image color separations using inkjet printers. Making film positives using an inkjet printer is one area where screen printers can immediately make their operations more efficient and streamlined. The website aims …

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Dual-purpose printer

November 16, 2009

GO Salsa TX 64-inch printer handles both direct-to-fabric and dye sublimation printing for unmatched versatility. With a variety of applications in soft signage, flags, banners, wall murals and trade show exhibits, it prints with the densities needed for direct-to-fabric use, but can also image dye sub paper for apparel, carpets, rigid materials, POP products and …

A-Screen woven fiberglass fabric

November 13, 2009

Recommended for roller shade, roman shade and panel track applications, Mermet’s A-Screen woven fiberglass fabric features Enduris™ Glass Core technology. Intricate vertical weave pattern, offered in nine designer colors, has a 14 percent openness factor. A-Screen is GreenGuard and Oeko-Tex certified, fire-rated to NFPA 701 standards, and available in a roll width of 98.4 inches. …

Upper South Studio adds three new divisions

November 12, 2009

Upper South Studio, Winston-Salem, N.C., has announced the expansion of its company, adding three new divisions to meet the growing interior design and sourcing needs of commercial and residential designers, purchasing agents and architects. Upper South Studio companies have been known for 30 years for the custom design of fabric for the international hospitality, gaming, …

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New Roland DGA Creative Center

November 11, 2009

The Roland DGA Creative Center opened at the company’s headquarters in Irvine, Calif., joining an international network of Roland Creative Centers located in Japan, Belgium, Italy and Germany. The U.S. gallery master plan is divided into five themed sections: Roland @ Play, Roland @ Work, Roland @ the Movies, Roland @ Home and Roland on …

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Forming partnerships with lighting vendors

Even if you stock lighting equipment, a relationship with a lighting vendor will help you take advantage of everything fabric has to offer. By Jon Weingarten A continuing trend in the tent rental industry is the “one-stop shop” business model in which rental companies offer party rental products and decor services along with tents. It’s …

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NAUE: Fight is not over in anti-dumping case

November 10, 2009

In a press release dated Oct. 27, 2009, NAUE GmbH & Co. KG, a German manufacturer of geosynthetic materials, including geosynthetic clay liners, said it is appealing a recent decision by Australian Customs that imposed anti-dumping measures on NAUE products. Based in EspelkampÐFiestal, Germany, NAUE said it is an internationally active company with a long-standing …

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UFS expands and re-brands

November 6, 2009

Universal Fabric Structures (UFS) has announced the launch of its new custom architectural division, Fabritecture. UFS’s goal is for Fabritecture to set a new benchmark in fabric structure design and construction, providing solutions for developers, builders, governments and private contractors who require custom projects. Fabritecture will operate in tandem with UFS, which will remain active …

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Investing in new equipment and technology

November 1, 2009

By Pat Hayes, CPP Traveling unfamiliar roads via auto is less of a challenge with a GPS system. Think of the times you mapped out a travel plan only to find detours, making your trip different than originally planned. This disaster or excellent adventure accomplished its goal of getting you to your destination. The use …

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Giclee coating for canvas

Drytac, a manufacturer and distributor of mounting, laminating, framing and finishing materials and equipment, announced that its aqueous coating for fine art and giclee prints has been approved for use with the Tara Materials’ Fredrix inkjet canvas. EnduraCoat Giclee contains a blend of acrylic and non-yellowing urethane polymers to give coated prints flexibility. The giclee …

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Ultraflex hires new sales manager

Ultraflex Systems Inc., international supplier of diverse options of digital solvent, UV, latex and screen printing substrates, announced a new member of its sales force. Peter Allard has been appointed to Southeastern sales manager for the United States. Allard joins Ultraflex with nearly 25 years of sales experience in the printing industry. His skill set, …

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Drawing on expertise

Engineers help to ensure the practicality, safety and success of fabric structures. By Janice Kleinschmidt In May, consulting architect Nicholas Goldsmith, FAIA, received a call for help with a tent for the July 4 Coney Island Festival and Flea Market. “A client who purchased a rental tent system from China set it up not realizing …

Affordable, entry-level laser equipment alternatives

Problem: Efficient laser equipment can also be prohibitively expensive for a small fabricator. Solution: The Preco Golden Laser (PGL) line offers affordable, entry-level laser equipment alternatives for cutting and marking of signage, filtration products, promotional items, advertising specialties, apparel, photos, toys, sports equipment, and other products using composites, card stock, wood, plastic, and industrial fabrics. …

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Milestone at Firestone: 1 million hours injury-free

The employees of Firestone Textiles Co., Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, produce nylon resins and yarns for tire manufacturers in the U.S.—and they do it without the on-the-job accidents that increase production costs. The company announced that employees had reached one million man hours with no lost time injuries, which are injuries that require recuperation away from …

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Swirling Silks serves clients better by partnering with printers

By Jill C. Lafferty As fabric printing equipment has dropped in price, more and more banner and flag makers have brought some version of the technology in-house. Swirling Silks of Skippack, Pa., has taken a different path to success, offering their clients the full array of digital technologies through printing partners. “Having experience in all …

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New recyclable signage alternatives

ConVerd’s paper product line has several new FSC-certified and 100-percent recyclable alternatives to foam boards, corrugated plastic boards and vinyl signage, including Blox-Lite, Enviroboard and GreenLight. Each product can bypass the landfill and head straight to the recycling bin. Green Machines P3, for the textile market, and X3, for signage and wallpaper, utilize environmentally friendly …

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Avery Dennison launches new website

Avery Dennison Graphics & Reflective Products Division North America released the 2009 Color Selector and a redesigned website for sign shops and designers with updated product information, cross referencing tools and a section on the company’s eco friendly products and sustainability initiatives. The new website features the latest information on Avery Graphics digital media and …

Jet bridge canopy fabric that meets standards

Compiled by Juli Case We’re making a jet bridge canopy for a local airport and have been told we need to use fabric that meets NFPA 415 and FAR 25.853. I’ve never heard of those specifications. Can you tell me more? We’re familiar with FAR 25.853; it’s part of the Federal Aviation Regulation. Section 25 …

Laser die-cutting machine offers flexibility-focused design features

Problem: Traditional die cutting doesn’t offer enough flexibility, speed and efficiency for today’s market demands. Solution: With an eye to giving worldwide textile manufacturers full operational versatility, Spartanics Finecut Combination Model laser die-cutting machine has multiple flexibility-focused design features. Sheet-fed or coil-fed jobs can be quickly interchanged, with jobs loaded and setup completed in minutes. …

Argotec revamps to serve textile laminators

To better serve the textile lamination and performance apparel industries, Argotec Inc., Greenfield, Mass., will concentrate on “better matching our film extrusion capabilities, technical expertise and resources with the applications of our customers—strength to strength,” says Bruce Wilby, president and CEO of Argotec. The company’s thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) film and sheet works well with textile …

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Project data management software

Control, manage and share product design data. By Jim Cotton Project data management (PDM) software helps 3-D product development organizations control, manage and share the growing volume of diverse product design data they generate through the use of better, more automated CAD tools. PDM solutions should be easy to implement, simple to use and affordable …

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Oil-based dye-sub printer

The Seiko I Infotech ColorTextile 64DS printer features 720 dpi Seiko inkjet print heads and uses a special oil-based ink to produce fabric banners that can go directly to heat press without waiting for water to evaporate from the transfer paper. These oil-based inks deliver high print quality and vivid color without cockling or distorting …

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Fabric trade exhibit draws visitors

By Abbie Yarger The project. Craft an engaging exhibit for the EuroShop trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, to represent Fabric Images Inc., Elgin, Ill. The fair, which showcases the global retail industry, is held every three years and features more than 1,800 exhibitors from 50 countries. More than 100,000 visitors from 93 countries come to …

Fabric assembly helps muffle sound on noisy equipment

Compiled by Juli Case We have the opportunity to bid on a job at a local manufacturing plant, making a sound cover for a noisy piece of equipment. What fabric should we use? You’re probably going to need a fabric assembly rather than a single fabric. Acoustical covers are often at least three layers. The …

McKernan strives for integrity, quality and excellence

Pete McKernan makes a commitment to action for the specialty fabrics industry. By Sigrid Tornquist “Be trustworthy. Be proactive. Do right. Respect others. Conduct yourself in such a way that when those you do business with think of integrity, quality and excellence—they think of you,” says Pete McKernan, IFM, newly elected chair of the Industrial …

Teijin dissolves S.C. monofilament subsidiary

When Teijin Limited, Tokyo, Japan, purchased the monofilament business of Johns Manville in 2000, it expected the market for paper machine clothing (covers for paper-making rollers that improve machine performance) would be strong. Losses at Teijin Monofilament U.S. Inc., Spartanburg, S.C., resulted from changes in the PMC market, the lackluster economy and customers relocating production …

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Turn awnings into eye-catching signage

Use the latest digital graphics innovations to turn your awnings into eye-catching signage. By Sigrid Tornquist It used to be that an awning was an awning was an awning. And a sign was a sign was a sign. Then, in a way that rivals the meeting of peanut butter and chocolate, commercial awnings and signage …

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Novacron dyes offer economical dark shades

Responding to the constant market demands for fresh colors that provoke emotions and effects, the latest innovations in the Novacron S range of reactive dyes from Huntsman Textile Effects deliver economical dark shades with unprecedented depths. Thanks to strong chromophores and multiple and complementary reactive groups, ultimate concentrated formulations Novacron Deep Orange S-4R, Deep Cherry …

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Growing demand for floor graphics

By Tim Greene Have you ever noticed the special insignias on the court during the NCAA basketball tournament or the NBA finals? I have always liked the idea of using floor graphics as both a wayfinding tool and a promotional tool. For a reasonable price (less than $10 per square foot) retailers, museums, theatres, hospitals, …

Where to find reproductions of antique upholstery fabric

Compiled by Juli Case We used to buy reproductions of antique upholstery fabric from a company called Full Swing. They were located in Rhode Island, but the phone number we have doesn’t work. Are they still in business? We found them in Massachusetts; it appears that they had moved since you last contacted them. The …

Fabric barn offers cheaper, customized protection

[Harnois Industries] St-Thomas de Joliette, Quebec, Canada A fabric barn shelters the herd for a dairy business in Tradewell, Ontario, Canada. The 60-foot by 168-foot building includes ventilation, side curtains and a peak vent. A pre-fabricated steel structure, the MegaDome® from Harnois Industries is designed by engineers to meet building code standards and provide reliable …

Agion Technologies receives Gold environmental certification

Last year, Agion Technologies, a Wakefield, Mass., leader in silver-based antimicrobial technology, received a Silver Cradle-to-Cradle certification, which recognizes achievement in environmental design, processes and standards throughout the lifecycle of a company’s product. This year, Agion went for the Gold certification and received it. The certifications signal that companies adopt renewable energy, use energy efficiently, …

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The benefits of color management systems

Color management systems help printers achieve first-quality products quickly and with less wasted material. By Janice Kleinschmidt In 1903, Binney & Smith introduced eight Crayola crayons. While the list has grown to 120 colors, including such esoteric shades as “unmellow yellow,” “sunglow,” and “neon carrot,” there’s no “McDonald’s golden arches.” The arches (Pantone 123) set …

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New website for graphics quotes

The Fabric Graphics Association has added a business-to-business sourcing website for businesses that need fabric graphics, such as a new banner, tradeshow graphics, custom wall covering, theater curtain, promotional bags, or a company logo on a boat cover, tent panel or truck cover. The site, www.fabricgraphicsquote.com, invites customers to add value to their products with …

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Four-step sustainability from SGIA

The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) has recently updated its 4-Step Sustainability Action Plan with additional resources to help imagers develop a successful Sustainability Management System (SMS) in their printing businesses. The program—made up of Plan, Do, Check, Act—uses member-exclusive resources to provide a straightforward, effective process of incorporating sustainable initiatives based on corporate social …

How to comply with European standards for hazardous materials

Compiled by Juli Case I’m making a bag strap for a customer in Europe and am told that it has to be made of materials that are ROHS compliant and are certified as such. What does that mean? Most countries have a list of restricted substances. The European Union adopted the Restriction of Hazardous Substances …

HDPE geomembranes assist shrimp farmers in Indonesia

[GSE Lining Technology Inc.] Houston, Texas, U.S.A. Although traditional shrimp farming first practiced in small, brackish coastal ponds is still used, farmers in Indonesia have also succeeded with semi-intensive and intensive methods. A 30-million-square-meter shrimp farm in Indonesia uses high density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembranes from GSE Lining Technology to line the aquaculture ponds, providing a …

New name for Genesis Plastics Welding

Genesis Plastics Welding, the new name for the combined companies Genesis Manufacturing and Plastics Welding Technology, launched a new logo and web presence in August. The company’s proprietary radio frequency (RF) heat sealing technology helps customers reduce use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Its ecoGenesis processes can be used to engineer products from polyethylene, polypropylene and …

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Troubleshooting color management problems

A print shop encounters a spell of color management problems on a theater project and learns to troubleshoot for a solution. By Chelan David The Flag Loft, housed in a 23,000-square-foot facility in St. Louis, is a custom manufacturer of banners and flags that also distributes flags, flag poles and flag accessories. Founded in 1990 …

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New wage survey report from SGIA

SGIA.org’s Survey & Statistics study reviewed salaries for 76 specialty imaging positions based on location, product specialty, annual sales revenue, and number of employees in the company. The 2009 report includes a special section on sales compensation detailing the type of compensation scheme used, average commission percentages, average annual bonuses and average base salary. The …

Personal Protective Technology Program

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Personal Protective Technology (PPT) Program will host the 3rd Annual Stakeholders’ Meeting on March 2–3, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh Airport, Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S.A. This year’s meeting will center on user-oriented discussions structured from PPT-related information and training, guided by user input. Topic areas identified …

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Easing the squeeze

Fabric graphics manufacturers and suppliers look forward to market improvements in 2010. By Jeff Rasmussen Sales and profit margins for U.S. and Canadian fabric graphics suppliers and end product manufacturers have been severely squeezed in 2009. The anemic economy has been the driving force behind tight credit conditions and a significant lack of customer demand. …