Understanding ITAR and export controls

September 28, 2017

IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference in New Orleans began Tuesday in New Orleans with presentations organized into four tracks: Medical, Military, Testing and Smart Fabrics. The Military track covered a range of topics from protective materials to the DoD budget. It also addressed a critical topic for any company that exports beyond U.S. borders, or is …

2017 IFF Innovation Award winner announced at IFAI Expo

The Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) has announced the winner of the 2017 Innovation Award: UltraTech International Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., won this year in the category of “Chemicals, Coatings and Compounds” with the EverShield® C6 water-based fabric treatment. The company was awarded a prize of $5,000. EverShield was developed under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) …

This year’s Show Stopper winners

All the best from New Orleans: Thursday morning at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year, including the most popular products on the show floor. The sixth annual Show Stopper competition was designed to showcase the best of the best in the industry, from fabrics, equipment and chemicals to services and …

2017 International Achievement Award winners announced at IFAI Expo

This year’s winners in IFAI’s global International Achievement Awards (IAA) competition, recognizing design excellence in specialty fabrics applications, were announced on Sept. 28 at the organization’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo 2017 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. For more than 70 years, IAA has acknowledged innovation and excellence in design …

Keeping employees engaged

According to Barry Adams, President of Peach Tree Awnings in Norcross, Ga., “The reason people separate from their company is because they feel their contribution is not valued and they feel what they do isn’t making a difference.” Adams’ session, “How to Keep Talented Employees Engaged,” presented at IFAI Expo 2017, focused on ways to …

Building relationships with architects can improve fabric structure businesses

September 27, 2017

Want to do more business with architects? Mary Gilmore, AIA, NCIDQ, and Mark Shellshear, Structure Fabrics, Value Vinyls Inc., have many ideas. Gilmore and Shellshear shared those ideas Sept. 26 at IFAI Expo 2017. Gilmore noted, “Architects are very busy. Cold calls don’t work. They are very visual; they need pictures.” A good website with …

Expo panel discusses diversification

A panel of three successful company leaders illuminated the keynote luncheon September 26 at IFAI Expo 2017. The theme of the panel was “Path of Diversification,” featuring Meredith Boyd, Unifi Manufacturing Inc.; Ben Cooper, IoClothes; and John Neely, Berry Global. The panelists shared ideas on how their companies leverage regionalization in the U.S. Cooper mentioned …

Cutting room automation makes sense for many

If automating your cutting room seems either too expensive or too difficult, you may want to think again. Panelists of the IFAI EXPO session on “Optimizing Your Cutting Room” gave a long list of potential benefits for why you might want to consider using an automated cutter. “Everyone’s ROI is slightly different,” says Thomas Carlson, …

Outdoor graphics: bold statements and sustainability

During their joint presentation “Outdoor Graphics—Design to Installation” at IFAI Expo 2017, Valerie Cuchna, material resource liaison at Fabric Images Inc., and Mike VonWachenfeldt, technical service manager at Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, addressed the benefits of using outdoor graphics and offered tips to keep the graphics protected from weather elements. “Outdoor graphics can create an …

Choosing the right sewing machine

Among the many sewing machines options for your shop, how do you choose? The panelists at the EXPO presentation “Selecting a Sewing Machine for Your Application,” agree that nearly any project can at least be partially fabricated using a single-needle walking foot machine. “But for wide material for tents, awnings, covers, sails and the like,” …