NECPA: A century of survival

July 1, 2020

Lessons from four member companies that have survived for a century and continue to thrive. by Cathy Broberg In January 2020, the North East Canvas Products Association (NECPA), a trade organization for the canvas and outdoor fabric industry, marked its 100th anniversary. Members celebrated at its annual conference with a gala and by touring a …

Designing functional PPE

For PPE that is both effective and comfortable—and more likely to be worn regularly and properly—consider a systems engineering approach to design. by Sigrid Tornquist Perhaps never before has the acronym “PPE” been so much a part of the common vernacular. In the days of COVID-19, few are unfamiliar with the term. However, PPE—personal protective …

Jan Kellogg’s strategy for growth at CCP Manufacturing

Jan Kellogg looks at the big picture for each job that CCP Manufacturing takes on, leading the company into new markets.  by Jill C. Lafferty I love working with someone who turns to us with a new idea, saying, ‘Hey, can you make this work?’ We love taking the time to be able to do …

Fluid markets require flexible equipment

Custom manufacturers rely on equipment that multitasks across product lines and markets, with minimal downtime. by Maura Keller Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, every custom end-product manufacturer faced some type of financial challenge. Reduced or canceled orders, customer attrition and market changes always affect manufacturers’ bottom lines. Another commonality among manufacturers is their heavy dependence …

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Automation advantages

June 1, 2020

Adding automation can prove challenging, with costs to consider, processes to change and nervous employees to reckon with. Still, fabricators who have taken the leap say there’s no other way to go.  by Pamela Mills-Senn When Darren Arthur, owner of Nautilux Custom Canvas LLC in Hazlet, N.J., purchased a single-fly Aeronaut cutter eight years ago—his …

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Protecting structures with fabric

When it comes to protecting structures  from the elements, fabric has it covered. by Jeff Moravec Fabric serves an unending variety of needs, but sometimes overlookedis its role in protecting us from the dangers of our natural world. Here’s a snapshot of several companies and their products that have been designed to protect structures from …

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Performance upholstery fabrics meet myriad consumer demands

High-performing upholstery fabrics offer more features than ever, without sacrificing style and comfort.  by Maura Keller Consumers don’t want to choose between beauty and durability, nor do they want to sacrifice performance for sustainability, according to LeAnne Flack, marketing manager for Milliken Specialty Interiors. “Just as [consumers] are more closely examining the food they eat, …

Kevin Greenwood and Stage Tops USA cover lives events around the globe

by Jill C. Lafferty “Everything is visual today,” says Kevin Greenwood, owner/CEO of Stage Tops USA, a Manchester, Tenn.-based company that manufactures and installs roof skins, wind walls, stage scrims and other fabric projects for major live events around the world. “[My clients] want to be seen. The bigger the better. They want to put …

2020 Specialty Fabrics Showcase, Part 2

May 1, 2020

Fabrics, always combining performance and style, are the natural choice for applications ranging from awnings and tents to marine fabrication, outdoor structures, indoor architecture, arts and apparel, medical and aerospace products, to name just a few. We asked our contributors to send us information about their latest high-performance materials: fabrics that weather the storm, fight …

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Metalwork and framing for fabric applications

Fabric is only half of the equation for many manufacturers in the specialty fabrics industry. The other half, metalwork and framing, requires its own set of capabilities.  by Laurie F. Junker A frame is the essential component that transforms fabric into architecture, turning a piece of cloth into some sort of protective cover or defined …