2019 International Achievement Award winners announced

November 1, 2019

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has awarded this year’s International Achievement Awards (IAA) for design excellence in specialty fabrics applications, announced at the awards breakfast on Thursday, Oct. 3 at IFAI Expo 2019. IFAI Expo is the largest specialty fabrics trade show in North America, held this year at the Orange County Convention Center …

Quiet Critters

2019 IAA Award of Excellence The eight 5-foot by 8-foot sound-absorbing “Acoustical FireFlys” that float above the Patten Free Library teen area allow a lively range of programming to take place, including films and maker workshops, without disturbing other library patrons. The new teen area has a distinctive high ceiling and a curved outer wall …

Cloud Ceiling

2019 IAA Outstanding Achievement Award The client wanted to create a more enclosed luxury retail space while retaining a view of the iconic domed roof of the O2 London, one of the largest tensile fabric structures in the U.K. The result was a stunning suspended ceiling system made of 256 fabric fins set 1250 mm …

Making a mark in the community

October 1, 2019

At Presco, charitable giving, community support and energy conservation are a passion. By Paul Johnson In 1942, Robert “Earl” McMackin founded Precision Specialties Company, which made specific tools for geological and oil exploration. When working in the oil fields, Earl and his son, Edwin, recognized an opportunity to design and develop better materials for roll …

Common mistakes cost more than you think

There’s a high cost to being too busy to get work done. By Randy Westlund I was consulting for the owners of a company recently. They’d worked hard last year. They did a record number of jobs. They even had to hire two installers and a welder to get it all done. But at the end …

Tactical advantages in the military market

Department of Defense contracts can be lucrative, but it takes work  to get in—and to stay in. by Jeff Moravec Any company in the specialty fabrics industry would be interested in doing business with a client that has a budget of more than $700 billion, right? You’d think so. But big numbers can come with …

Tax laws can help with startups and expansions

Tax laws can help or hurt new and expanding businesses. By Mark E. Battersby In today’s economy, it’s not unusual for an existing fabrication business to branch out, or for the owner or self-employed canvas professional to start another business in the same or a different field. Few realize, however, that Uncle Sam stands ready …

Surrounding the market—and finding (or creating) new ones

You can find and create new profit centers with existing technology, products and capabilities—and with new technology, innovation and creativity. Don’t let the details hold you back.  by Laurie F. Junker Today’s marketplace is dynamic, competitive and sometimes confusing—but still full of opportunity. Choosing a path can be both daunting and potentially expensive. Smart business …

A sustainable canopy keeps school cool and quiet

September 1, 2019

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA  The Tanmei Elementary School in Taiwan’s Neihu district is a fashionable, eco-friendly campus with the demeanor of a tranquil college quad. Unfortunately, its location is close to one of the busiest streets of Neihu, a fast-growing district of Taipei City, and the source of noise that disrupts the school’s learning environment.  Since …

Award-winning recreation center weathers the seasonal extremes

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Weather is a topic of daily conversation in Saint Louis Park, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis. Seasonal temps in the city can range from a high of 90˚F in the summer to well below 0˚F in the winter. In the transitional seasons of spring and fall, residents can experience 20-degree …