The efficiencies and versatility of advanced and automated equipment are helping bring back the U.S. sewing industry

September 1, 2017

When U.S. textile jobs started to leave en masse for China and other cheap-labor countries in the 1990s, an entire industry scrambled to pick up the pieces. Companies that survived the upheaval frequently shared one common trait: adaptability. Some contract sewers courted niche non-apparel product makers, while others invested in equipment to become leaders in …

Eco-friendly sponge soaks up oil spills

There are many challenges to cleaning up oil spills. Consider the devastating Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. A portion of the millions of gallons of oil that escaped drifted through the ocean rather than rising to the surface. Because it did not rise to the top, the oil could not …

Awning upgrades

Herculite’s NATURA® awning fabric has new features including surface improvements that reduce crazing and make the appearance of the face and reverse of the fabric virtually identical. The new proprietary core-stabilized system reduces edge curl, inhibits seam leakage and offers excellent dimensional stability. The new NATURA now features 10 designer colors and a softer hand …

Silk fiber implant helps restore hearing

As many as 330 million people worldwide suffer from Chronic Middle Ear Disease, a debilitating condition that is the most common cause of perforated eardrums. It can cause hearing loss and great pain when there is damage to the eardrum and mastoid bone. A team of scientists at the Ear Science Institute Australia and the …

Information please: Automated reporting paves the way to productivity

In addition to reviewing in-house monthly profit and loss statements, The Dize Co., an awnings fabricator in Winston Salem, N.C., monitors information gathered by an independent, web-based company. “I can go online and see what we installed the week before and what we have in the pipeline for the next four to six weeks,” president/CEO …

Exosuit assists Lowe’s employees

Working the floor of a big-box store requires heavy lifting and moving bulky products around. Employees are at risk for muscle fatigue from repetitive motion or even injury from improper lifting techniques. The home improvement giant Lowe’s has developed technology to offer employees support. Lowe’s Innovation Labs worked in partnership with a team at Virginia …

Lumen illuminates courtyard at The Museum of Modern Art PS1

For the last 18 years, the Young Architects Program at The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 in Manhattan has sponsored a design competition for emerging architects. The challenge was to develop a creative design for a temporary outdoor installation that provides shade, seating and water. Guidelines regarding environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling, …

Go with the flow: Relocating a business opens the door to efficient shop layouts

After 85 years in a historical, four-story building, Ohio Awning & Manufacturing Co. moved to a newer, one-story building. The Cleveland-based company took advantage of the relocation to design its new floor layout with workflow in mind. The move also allowed Ohio Awning to invest in a cutting machine, which it didn’t have space for …

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Smart documentation is key to selling your business

No matter where in the world we run our businesses, we aspire to be successful, profitable and happy. We have either started the business from nothing, purchased an existing enterprise or taken the reins of the family business. Often, we begin with limited skills, have minimal formal industry training and largely “learn by our mistakes.” …

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Smart building systems with textiles

The Canadian Printable, Flexible, Wearable Electronics Symposium (CPES2017) was held on the outskirts of Toronto in May this year. Buildings, and smart buildings in particular, were a hot topic both in presentations and in the poster exhibition that accompanied the three-day event. Ronald Zimmer, president and CEO of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) set …