Modern technology helps small fabricator shops

August 1, 2008  |  Business, Features

When you walk the aisles of a trade show, it’s hard not to be dazzled by all the newest high-end equipment. There are systems available with truly remarkable capabilities: high-ply CAD-driven cutters with vacuum compression tables; room-sized fabric welders; vision-guided robotic sewing machines. …
SHOP introduced to U.S. House of Representatives

August 1, 2008  |  Management

According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), of the estimated 47 million Americans without health insurance, more than 28 million are small business owners, their employees and dependents. The Small Business Healthcare Options Program (SHOP Act, H.R. 6210) has been introduced…
Thompson uses creativity to drive business

August 1, 2008  |  Fabric Structures, Features, Management, Perspective

Cynthia Thompson leverages her creative instincts to build a flourishing tension fabric structures business. “Business owners need to be inventive and fast moving and I think we’ve gotten sluggish,” says Cynthia Thompson, founder and owner of Transformit in Gorham, Maine. “I think we’re lo…
Donating excess inventory benefits businesses

July 1, 2008  |  Marketing

Your business may be sitting on an important tax deduction—and you may not even realize it. The deduction lies in your excess, overstock inventory. By donating that nonmoving merchandise to charity, your company can earn a federal income tax deduction under Section 170 (e)(3) of the U.S. Internal …
Molecular manipulation to change the textile industry

July 1, 2008  |  Advanced Textiles, Business, Features

Would you like to have shirts that don’t get dirty? What if the milk that spilled in your minivan never smelled? Wouldn’t it be convenient if the seats in your boat couldn’t mildew? And imagine the value of a surgical mask that actually kills germs, rather than simply preventing them from bein…
PVC breeds controversy in industrial fabrics industry

July 1, 2008  |  Business, Features

Poor Waldo Semon. Today the inventor would no doubt fly his private jet to his private island, where he would entertain VIPs in just about any industry you could name. But in 1926, when the B.F. Goodrich Co. researcher devised polyvinyl chloride (PVC), his employer had a hard time marketing it. Toda…
Chism uses technology to improve business

July 1, 2008  |  Business, Features, Management, Perspective

“You’re only as fast as your slowest person or procedure,” says Roy Chism, president of The Chism Co. Inc. in San Antonio, Texas, who doesn’t seem to have a “slow” speed in his process improvement strategies. Since 1988 when he purchased an automated plotter cutter with the serial number…
Technology gives fabrics the power to act and react

July 1, 2008  |  Advanced Textiles, Business, Products

Adapting shoes to weather conditions Wet feet? Never again. German companies IQTEX and BASF have jointly developed a unique, intelligent system that adapts shoes to suit weather conditions. To make this possible, IQTEX has processed a special superabsorbing fleece from BASF into an innovative ventil…
Developing sustainable products and practices

June 1, 2008  |  Business, Features, Projects, Upholstery

From magazine articles to seminars to trade show floors, the topic of sustainability has worked its way into business consciousness. And most manufacturers and distributors are starting to realize that implementing a few green elements here and there is not enough. Is it possible for a business to b…
Composites allow creation of custom materials for unusual applications

June 1, 2008  |  Features, Management, Marketing

It sounds like science fiction: portable airport hangars supported by columns of air, paper that conducts electricity and synthetic mother-of-pearl that can be bent without breaking. We have now entered The Matrix, but don’t expect to see Keanu Reeves in a black coat defying gravity and leading a …