Working innovation: all successful companies innovate to grow, but each approach is unique

January 1, 2019

If there were a formula for writing a hit song, we could all do it. Efforts have certainly been made to figure out just what’s required to reach the top of the charts, but there simply isn’t a single defined path that can be taken to ensure musical success. In manufacturing, businesses that look to …

Members Only  

Growth in the inflatables market is coming from safety and protection

November 1, 2018

Everybody knows about inflatables. They’re the bouncy houses rented for kids’ birthday parties, or the big blow-up gorilla that the local car dealership uses to attract customers. The real growth in the use of inflatable technology, however, is in much more serious (and practical) applications—even if they aren’t nearly as visible to most of us. …

Members Only  

Strategies for how and when to grow your company

October 1, 2018

They’re called “growing pains” for a reason. You’ve put in the blood, sweat and tears (and a few bucks) necessary to make your business a success. You’ve made your customers happy, and they’ve told their friends. There’s never been enough time in the day, but now … it’s getting tough to manage it all. It’s …

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group invests in American manufacturing

September 1, 2018

When it became obvious to Aurora Specialty Textiles Group (ASTG) that its 132-year-old facility in Aurora, Ill., was no longer adequate, it wouldn’t have been surprising if the company had given serious consideration to moving operations overseas. But that was not the case. “There might have been a split-second mention of Mexico, but only because …

Members Only  

Recommended fabric cleaning products

It’s pretty simple. People buy boats because they want to have fun. The reality, however, is that work—the opposite of fun—is required to keep any watercraft in tip-top condition. Therein lies the rub. “A lot of boaters don’t want to do all the cleaning and maintenance,” says Marianne Iosso, vice president of Iosso® Products of …

O’Sullivan Films’ creek cleanup is the centerpiece of its community work

August 1, 2018

When employees at O’Sullivan Films work to improve the world around them, they don’t have to go any further than their headquarters in Winchester, Va. Winchester, part of the Shenandoah Valley located 75 miles west of Washington, D.C., is home to Abrams Creek, a stream that runs through O’Sullivan’s campus, which includes offices and a …

Haartz Corporation’s community involvement goes deep

July 1, 2018

Many mission statements of companies claim that part of their corporate responsibility is to support the communities where their employees work and live. Often, this means making a donation to a worthy cause.                 But at the Haartz Corporation, a world leader in convertible toppings and interior surface …

Job costing

February 1, 2018

It’s a fairly safe bet that not many fabricators started their operations because they wanted to work on spreadsheets. But like it or not, when you hang out a shingle, only part of your work will be designing a custom awning or reupholstering seats on a pontoon boat. Figuring out how to charge for those …

Members Only  

Hybrid technology: a new approach to design and production

August 1, 2017

When technology and textiles intersect, it’s not surprising that the nomenclature often has us scratching our heads. Just what do we call this stuff? Smart textiles? E-textiles? Something else? Are they all the same? If that’s not enough of a conundrum, we’ve got something else to add to the lexicon: “hybrid technology.” The term was …

Members Only  

Flying the “Paper Airplane”

January 1, 2017

Canvas Specialty, Inc. works through challenges to create a shade structure that is also art. The simplicity of the paper airplane has made it a popular toy for generations of kids (and adults), even in this age of high-tech entertainment. But while the shade structure installed recently in Los Angeles’ Grand Park was designed to resemble …