Week of July 1, 2002

Oates totes STA gavel for ’02-’03

Dan Nation (C), outgoing chairman, joins officers of the Southern Textile Association. (L-R) Russell Mims, Lee Thomas, Nation, Henry Surratt and Larry Oates.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC — Larry Oates of Carolon Company, Rural Hill, NC, was elected president of the Southern Textile Association.

His election came during the closing business session of the organization’s 94th annual meeting at the Marriott Beach & Golf Resort here. Oates succeeds Henry Surratt of Springs Industries, Inc., Lancaster, SC, who was elevated to chairman of the Board of Governors.

Lee Thomas of Parkdale America LLC, Gastonia, NC, was elected first vice president, and Russell Mims Jr. of Buhler Quality Yarns Corp., Jefferson, GA, was named second vice president.

Lillian Link of Gastonia, NC, remains secretary/treasurer. John Truesdale of Carolina Mills, Inc., Maiden, NC, was named member-at-large.

Elected to the Board of Governors for four-year terms expiring in 2006 were: Jim Booterbaugh of Harriet & Henderson Yarns; James W. Davidson of Inman Mills; William M. Gray of Murata Machinery USA, Inc.; Bill Simpson of Dan River, Inc.; and Evans Tindal of Cheraw Yarn Mills, Inc.

Elected to an unexpired term ending in 2003 was Bob Hayes of Mount Vernon Mills.

The meeting was attended by more than 250 textile operating executives, spouses and guests.

Clark Award

Week of July 1, 2002

Carolina Mills’ Dobbins presented Clark Award

Steve Dobbins (R) accepts the David Clark Award from Max Huntley of Parkdale Mills.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC — Stephen G. Dobbins Jr. of Carolina Mills, Inc. was awarded the David Clark Award for distinguished leadership and service to the Southern Textile Association.

The presentation was made during the organization’s 94th annual meeting here recently.

Recipients of the David Clark Award are selected by the Board of Governors from past presidents of the association who have continued to provide leadership and service to the organization and industry for a minimum of 10 years after their term has ended. Dobbins served as president of the Southern Textile Association in 1991-92.

A native of Elkin, NC, Dobbins graduated from North Carolina State University in 1968 with a degree in textile technology. Dobbins began his textile career with Tennessee Eastman Company as a textile engineer in the textile development lab.

In 1971, Dobbins joined Carolina Mills, Inc. as a plant manager. He has held various positions in plant, division and corporate management, including president and chief operating officer as well as member of the Board of Directors.

Dobbins currently serves as second vice president of the American Yarn Spinners Association (AYSA). He is a current member of the Foundation Board for the NC Center for Applied Textile Technology and current member and past president of the Rotary Club of Newton-Conover.

Dobbins has held various volunteer positions with the United Way, YMCA and Hickory Community Theatre. He is a current member, Sunday school teacher, and chairman of the Capital Stewardship Campaign at Viewmont Baptist Church in Hickory, NC.

Dobbins and his wife Sue reside in Hickory and have one daughter, Allison, and one son, Andrew.

Trade bill

Week of July 1, 2002

Trade bill motion ekes through

WASHINGTON — Another one-vote margin in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday kept presidential trade promotion authority (TPA) moving, but three textile-state lawmakers didn’t support the measure this time.

By a 216-215 vote, the House agreed to go to conference on a trade bill that includes TPA legislation, an Andean trade measure, requirements to aid workers displaced by trade and a renewal of duty-free status for certain non-apparel goods from Third World countries.

The floor vote automatically approved the four trade bills as the initial House negotiating position. House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) crafted an unusual rule incorporating the House position on each of the bills in order to strengthen the House position in conference, he said.

GOP members Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Robin Hayes and Cass Ballenger, both of North Carolina, voted against the rule, largely because of provisions in the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA). They contend that language in the Andean measure would increase imports of apparel made from regional fabric under trade preference agreements with Andean, Caribbean and African nations.

They were among textile-state Republicans who helped the TPA bill pass the House by one vote, 215-214, in December, after receiving promises from House leadership and the White House aimed at helping the textile industry.

DeMint argued that a rule in the Andean bill could be interpreted to create a new category of “hybrid cut” apparel made from parts cut in the U.S. and a Caribbean nation that would not have to be dyed and finished in the U.S. to get duty-free treatment.

But Thomas disagreed, saying that such apparel would require U.S. dyeing and finishing to qualify. In a colloquy with Rep. Charles “Chip” Pickering (R-MS), Thomas said that promises made by GOP leadership would be kept in this bill.

“There’s something important around here about keeping your word,” said Thomas, who had opposed the dyeing and finishing commitment made by leaders to textile-state legislators and did not sign the letter.

The House and Senate versions of the Andean bill and the displaced workers provision differ greatly. Striking a deal in conference is expected to be difficult and each chamber must again vote on a final package.

“The resolution passed today urges conferees to adopt the House version of ATPA as part of the trade package,” Hayes said. “I did not support ATPA when it came up for consideration in the House last year, and I do not support it today.

“It is my hope that House and Senate negotiators will produce a final bill that will expand markets for our goods and ultimately serve to create more jobs and opportunities here at home.”

Only 11 Democrats voted for the measure, 10 less than voted for TPA in December.

Picanol of America moves, changes name

Week of July 1, 2002

GTP Greenville expands focus

GREENVILLE, SC — In conjunction with Picanol of America’s move to a new location here last week, its name was changed to GTP Greenville.

The name was changed to reflect the parent company’s “Global Textile Partner” (GTP) concept, which it introduced in 2001 to embody its new customer-oriented organization based on business units. The purpose of the GTP business unit, which is 100 percent owned by Picanol N.V. but independently managed, is to act as a global service company by working closely with the customer at the local level throughout the entire textile industry.

“In the future we want to offer a broad range of products and solutions that respond to the textile manufacturers’ needs,” said James Thomas, president of GTP Greenville.

GTP is primarily active in the weaving segment, but the long-term objective is to open it to the entire textile industry. While in its present start-up phase GTP is mainly linked to Picanol, it plans to work with other OEMs in the future.

GTP Greenville moved to 1801 Rutherford Road here, the location of its recent acquisition, Steel Heddle, Inc.

“This move gives us the additional space we need to provide the range of services and products our customers deserve and expect for the future,” Thomas said.

The first step in GTP’s roll-out came at the beginning of the year when Picanol acquired the textile division of Steel Heddle and Verbrugge N.V. of Roesclare, Belgium, both producers of accessories for textile machinery.

At the end of April, the joint venture Frecomm (90 percent GTP, 10 percent Ferber) was established in Milan, Italy. Ferber is active in the areas of transport and logistic systems for the textile sector.

In May, for the benefit of GTP, Picanol acquired the Mexican company Articulos Metalicos Pegaso S.A., a leading local reed manufacturer.

About 160 employees are being transferred from Picanol to GTP.

In addition, Picanol’s training centers in the U.S., Belgium, Turkey, China and Indonesia will from now on be a part of GTP. Picanol’s repair centers (workshops) for printed circuit boards in the U.S., China, Turkey and Indonesia will be managed by GTP.

GTP is organized around five business lines, each adding its own value to the textile process: from spare parts, accessories and upgrade packages through consulting and training to the asset management of the production equipment.

From a geographic point of view, GTP covers the world from its six ‘gravity points’: Greenville (USA), Shanghai (China), Mexico City (Mexico), Istanbul (Turkey), Milan (Italy) and Roeselare (Belgium).

GTP employs 545 people.

GTP drivers

Koen Beckers, general manager of GTP, outlined the drivers behind GTP.

“Today the textile industry is undergoing a dramatic evolution,” he said. “This evolution is driven by factors such as changing demands in textile products, WTO, the investment climate shifting from country to country and increasing pressure for profitability. As a result the demands of the customer for more service and tailor-made solutions are escalating.”

GTP is the first company to address these demands on a global scale, he added. GTP intends to become the best, most professional and globally competitive textile service company by providing a full range of solutions, services and accessories to the textile industry, according to Beckers.

“By creating GTP as a separate company focusing on global services for the textile industry, we can offer something unique to the market that will be beneficial to other partners, as well,” Beckers said.

“Initially, we are positioning GTP in the weaving’ segment, but our goal in time is to open it up to the whole textile process, including spinning, dyeing and finishing of textiles.”

Business lines

GTP’s organizational structure demonstrates how it responds to the changing global character of textile production, Beckers said. GTP’s five business lines, each with a specific focus, have been developed worldwide. In other words, customers in Italy get the same service as customers in China, he said.

Installation, Commissioning and Troubleshooting. The Installation, Commissioning and Troubleshooting (ICTS) business line focuses on the installation and activation of all types of new and used machines for the textile sector.

In addition, ICTS offers maintenance programs for these machines and takes charge in solving technical problems with which the customer may be confronted. The business line consists of a 160-member technical service team representing 25 nationalities throughout the world.

Spare Parts, Accessories and Upgrades. This business line offers all possible spare parts, accessories and upgrade packages for the textile sector. GTP’s “gravity points” send out local sales teams that are linked to this specific business line. This means that the customer has one contact for spare parts, accessories and upgrade packages.

Steel Heddle and Verbrugge, manufacturers of harness frames, reeds, heddles and drop wires for weaving machines, are the anchor points for accessories in the U.S. and Europe.

Articulos Metalicos Pegaso, a maker of reeds, and the Italian joint venture Fercomm, active in the area of transport and logistic systems for the textile sector, strengthen this business line.

In 2001, Picanol launched Total Loom Management (TLM), which allows customers to sign a long-term maintenance contract to have GTP maintain and manage their production equipment for a pre-determined fixed price. GTP then focuses on minimizing both production interruptions and costs while optimizing end-product volumes and quality.

Since this is a new service in the textile world, GTP is currently concentrating on the test phase of this business line in Belgium and the U.S. The next step will be to offer this service worldwide, whereby GTP would focus on new and existing machinery. At a current stage, the service is limited to the weaving segment, but at a later stage GTP will include the whole textile process.

Consulting and Training. GTP offers training services for three target groups — technicians, engineers and management — for the full textile production value chain. GTP develops its machine-related training programs in cooperation with machine manufacturers and its textile-technical training programs with textile schools.

The textile-technical programs are completely OEM independent. GTP has six training centers worldwide — each equipped with the most recent technology — located in the U.S., Belgium, Italy, Turkey, China and Indonesia.

The customer can also opt for in-house training at his/her own production site.

GTP’s consulting service has been operational worldwide since the beginning of this year. The team of experts will be constantly strengthened and will operate in various areas: delivering higher quality products, optimizing available assets, designing the optimal factory and “greenfield” consulting, according to company officials.

Second-hand Machines and Workshops. This business line brokers deals in used textile machines — not only weaving machines — and offers repair and upgrade facilities. GTP operates two types of workshops: mechanical and electronic.

By early this month, GTP’s Shanghai workshop will have relocated to an improved new facility. GTP already has a workshop in Greenville. As for the workshops for printed circuit boards, GTP is building on an extensive global network taken over from Picanol.

“Our five business lines have not been generated in an ivory tower; each one is the result of a dialogue with the customer,” Becker said. “This year, we will develop GTP around the weaving segment. The other textile segments will follow at a later stage. While doing so, we will be keeping a close eye on profitability.”

Contact information

GTP Greenville

Phone number: (864) 288-5475

Fax number: (864) 297-5081

Mailing address: PO Box 1867
Greenville, SC 29602

Physical address: 1801 Rutherford Road
Greenville, SC 29609



Management: Koen Beckers

Headquarters: Roeselare, Belgium

GTP Companies: Steel Heddle (USA)
Verbrugge (Belgium)
Pegaso (Mexico)
Fercomm (Italy)

Worldwide headcount: 545

Business lines/Management

• Installation, Commissioning and Troubleshooting
Marc De Deygere• Spare Parts, Accessories and Upgrade
Jean-Pierre Fafra-Baltes
• Asset Management
Dominique Santens
• Consulting & Training
Matthias Wilhelm
• Second-hand Machines and Workshops
Noel Charles

“Gravity Points”/Management

• Greenville, USA James C. Thomas
• Mexico City, Mexico Leonardo Frixione
• Istanbul, Turkey Atilla Kara
• Milan, Italy Massimo Ortelli
• Roeselare, Belgium Koen Beckers
• Shanghai, China Pascoe Trott


Week of July 1, 2002

AATCC committee has designs on retail/merchandising future

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — The Concept to Consumer Committee (C2C) of the American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists (AATCC) met recently and announced new initiatives in member involvement and marketing, consumer focus groups and industry recognition programs.

“C2C is designed specifically to meet the needs of people in textiles, from Concept to Consumer,” said C2C Chair Keith Hoover of Target Corporation. “C2C provides a forum for textile, apparel and home fashions manufacturers to discuss topics ranging from initial product concept to final consumption.

“Our subcommittees on Communications, Design/Product Development and Test Method Relevance have made a lot of progress, and now we have formed three new subcommittees to engage other areas of business.”

A Membership/Marketing group will focus on new member involvement, attracting more merchandisers and designers to AATCC and C2C. The group will also develop student activity at universities offering retail studies.

The Focus Groups subcommittee will develop topics and locations for consumer and industry focus groups. Topics may include garment wet processing, apparel manufacturing, hands-on training, troubleshooting and digital color management. For maximum benefit, the groups meet in conjunction with key industry shows, symposia and other events.

An Awards subcommittee is developing ways to recognize individuals for contributions to the CAD, apparel, home furnishings, merchandising, creative and design fields. Some awards will be specifically geared toward students.

During a meeting recently, established subcommittees summarized their work since November. The Communications group reported on interviews it has conducted among apparel buyers regarding color quality, specifically issues such as returns due to colorfastness problems.

The Design/Product Development group reported on focus groups held in New York and North Carolina. The group is working on one-day educational programs in various regions of the U.S., newsletters, a color process handbook, Web site development, regular contributions to the monthly AATCC Review and other vehicles for professional networking.

The Test Method Relevance group is reviewing test methods for revision to support retail practice. Twelve tests are being written or simplified for use as screening tools.

These processes will be collectively published by AATCC and range in scope from bleaching and wicking to dimensional stability and skewing. Other tests for wet and dry cleaning are in the queue.

Testing program

AATCC also said it is now offering a Proficiency Testing Program. Currently, AATCC Test Methods 8, 15, 16E, 61 and 107 are included.

Other methods may be added later to include physical properties and evaluation procedures. This proficiency testing program will allow companies to determine how their laboratories perform in comparison with others around the world.

Samples were sent from the AATCC Technical Center to participating laboratories, along with instructions and report forms. Those laboratories will perform required tests on fabric samples provided by AATCC and send completed report forms to AATCC. AATCC will compile the data and send a summary report to the participating laboratories.

Each laboratory will have a specific code, and only those laboratories participating will receive the summary report. This program will be administered twice per year and a fee of $300 will be assessed to each participating laboratory. The first set of samples were sent out last month.


Week of July 1, 2002

Volunteer to shut Tennessee facility

RUTLEDGE, TN — Volunteer Knit Apparel Inc. has begun phasing out jobs as it prepares to close the doors of its plant here for good in August.

The company laid off nine people recently to bring its employee rolls here to 82.

Volunteer Knit, which makes such items as T-shirts, tank tops, athletic shorts and fleece garments, blamed the forthcoming closure on the effects of cheap overseas labor.

The company, founded in 1986, also employs about 250 people total at two plants in Claiborne County, TN, and another in Knoxville, TN.

Meyersdale Mfg. cuts work force by 44

MEYERSDALE, PA — Men’s apparel and uniforms maker Meyersdale Manufacturing Co. has laid off 44 employees, or almost a third of its work force, in the face of declining orders.

The 74-year-old company still employs about 100 people at the facility, which makes uniform shirts mainly for government contracts, including the U.S. Postal Service.

Parent Elbeco Co., of Reading, PA, said it has no intentions to close the plant.

Holloway Sportswear closes three plants

MANY, LA — Holloway Sportswear, Inc., which makes jackets and outerwear, has closed three plants in Louisiana, putting 240 people out of work.

The company shut plants here and in Olla and Ville Platte. The jobs are moving to Mexico, the Middle East and other locations, according to reports.

Kellwood completes Gerber acquisition

ST. LOUIS — Kellwood Company said it has completed an exchange offer for all outstanding shares of Gerber Childrenswear, Inc. common stock for a combination of common stock and cash.

The exchange offer expired on June 21. American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, the depositary for the offer, has advised Kellwood that 18.7 million shares of Gerber common stock were tendered and not withdrawn.

In addition, 376,091 shares were guaranteed for delivery, the companies said. Together, this represents about 96.4 percent of the total number of Gerber shares outstanding.

Kellwood will complete the acquisition of the remaining Gerber shares by merging Gerber with and into Cradle, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kellwood.


Week of July 1, 2002

New drawframe stresses productivity, quality


Drawframe productivity and sliver quality have shown significant improvements over the past several decades. Today, the production of 1,000 meters of carded cotton sliver requires only one minute, which was an unbelievable development for the generation before us.

However, there have also been major improvements made with regard to sliver quality.

In 1972 only 5 percent of all spinning mills reached a sliver evenness of 3.0 Uster CV percent. Today about 50 percent of all mills achieve this value. Also, the decreasing difference between “good” and “bad” quality is remarkable, indicating the increase of global competition.

The improvement of sliver evenness started with the use of more accurate drafting systems. Then, the application of long-term autolevelling systems on cards and drawframes followed.

But in particular, the introduction of short-term autolevelling systems on drawframes resulted in reduced sliver evenness. The “RSB autoleveller” brand was launched. More than 17,500 drawframes of the RSB generation were delivered to more than 2,000 mills in 96 countries, leaving their mark on Uster statistics.

Also with the drawframe model RSB-D30, Rieter said it is by far the largest supplier of high-performance drawframes with autolevelling. Benefits and features of the drawframes follow.

Autolevelling concept

With increasing global competition, the highest and especially constant sliver and yarn quality were the most important development targets of Rieter’s autoleveller drawframe RSB-D30.

The heart of the autoleveller is the digital levelling system. It combines digital signal processing with an improved, pneumatically loaded scanning device. Pneumatical loading guarantees constant scanning pressure independent of feed sliver weight variations — conventional spring-loaded systems show force variations of up to nearly 10 percent, the manufacturer said.

The scanning distance of only 1.5mm is unique in that it is independent of the actual machine speed. As a result, the RSB-D30 is the only drawframe reaching a CVm percent 1m value, measured by meter to meter cut-and-weight method, of 0.4 percent or lower, at maximum speed of 1000 m/min, the company said.

Rieter keeps the proven scanning principle using tongue-and-groove rollers. Compared to scanning by a lever in a fixed position, advantages exist. Due to the rotation of the tongue-and-groove rollers, there is a low fiber-to-metal friction and a self-cleaning effect, which avoids deposits. On the other hand, the low friction allows higher compression forces in order to precisely record the mass variations of the feeding slivers.

Together, these result in unmatched, long-term count stability, one of the main tasks of an autoleveller drawframe, Rieter said.

In a customer trial, the RSB-D30 showed superiority in long-term count stability, Rieter said. The drawframes were run with 100 percent carded cotton at a speed of 850 m/min. A lab responsible for count determination from this mill took 5x10m sliver samples of each drawframe about every five hours. The settings of the autolevellers were never touched during the observation period, Rieter said.

Results showed that the RSB-D30 produced a better count stability than the competitor’s machine, Rieter said. The RSB autoleveller kept the sliver count within ± 1 percent, an outstanding value with carded cotton at 850 m/min., Rieter added. In contrast, the competition produced count deviations from -5 percent up to +2.6 percent.

In this case, the targeted weight limits could only be kept with a huge effort in frequent sliver reelings and count adjustments at the drawframes.

Besides autolevelling, coiling is also of prime importance. Only a false, draft-free process keeps the sliver evenness at highest speeds. Today, coiler speeds reach up to 30 revolutions per second.

The coiler with a helix shape, Rieter noted, guarantees a compact and close sliver form without fiber deflection, utilizing a patented stainless steel plate at the bottom side of the coiler. Stainless steel also secures for critical, manmade fibers well-balanced fiber-to-metal frictions. Fiber finish accumulations and the necessary cleaning efforts are reduced, Rieter said.

In order to precisely meet the specific coiling needs of different materials, Rieter offers five coiler tube diameters for sliver weights from 1.25 up to 7 ktex.

Furthermore, the suction system shows an improved cleaning efficiency in the area of the draft system and above the coiler. When resetting cylinder distances, no adjustments of suction inlets are necessary, the company said. Additional suction points in the feeding area result in extra de-dusting capability.

Operation, maintenance

In comfort of operation the RSB-D30 surpasses the preceding Rieter drawframes, which were already well known for their user-friendliness, the company noted. The external appearance shows a new design with three wide opening hoods to give total access to all components.

In addition, the asymmetrical arrangement of the sliver course enables the best ergonomic working place with the shortest distance from the operator to the drafting area.

The operational effort is further reduced by several features:
• automated sliver insertion into the coiler tube with pneumatic aid;
• automatic wiper for filter screen;
• central setting of the drafting system without gauges and without disconnection of drives;
• optional pneumatic top roller loading;
• quick tension devices for belts;
• only one tool for most of the mechanical adjustments; and
• quick and easy configuring of autoleveller at the display panel, etc.

These combined benefits reduce the conversion time to make lot changes by up to 50 percent, compared to previous RSB machines, Rieter added.

Ease of operation is mainly attained by trouble-free running conditions. The 4-over-3 drafting system sets new standards in the avoidance of lappings due to a new fiber guiding and a short delivery section, Rieter noted. Additionally, it is equipped with a unique feature — the rapid top roller release in case of lapping. If a roller lapping is detected, the drawframe stops and, at the same moment, the top rollers are released immediately. This assures only small, soft and easy extractable lappings. Damage to the top rollers by the operator is avoided and trouble-free running conditions are saved.

Maintenance staff is supported by:
• the easy access to all components through the three-hood-concept;
• use of elements requiring low maintenance efforts, e.g. scanning device without bevel gear; and
• a centralized lubrication system.

Monitoring system

The importance of on-line quality monitoring on a high-speed drawframe becomes obvious with the following example: A drawframe operating at 900 m/min in one minute produces about 4,500 gram sliver or the equivalent of 30 men’s dress shirts.

The Rieter Quality Monitor scans the mass of the output sliver by a calendar unit, not by a special sliver trumpet. Therefore, the RSB sliver quality is saved through more gentle fiber guiding in the sliver trumpet, Rieter said. Additionally, the rotating calendar unit is more durable, the company added.

The Rieter Quality Monitor supplies on-line quality data, e.g. sliver weight variation A percent, sliver evenness CVm percent, CVm percent 1, 3, 5m and the spectrogram. Limits for the quality values and the spectrogram can be set. These are monitored and the machine stops automatically whenever limits are exceeded.

Relevant production data are also indicated on the machine panel.

Automation systems

Rieter offers different handling and transportation systems. The CANlink can transport system connects two drawframe passages in a closed circuit and offers the following benefits, according to Rieter: CANlink eliminates manual can transport between two drawframe passages, guarantees the correct can position to the sliver guide of the creel, reduces down time for change of feed cans, increases the efficiency of the drawframe set and avoids mix-up of raw material.

Even the application of two CANlink systems connecting a three-process-drawing in Murata Vortex Spinning (MVS) are also a reality today, Rieter said. CANlog is a handling system for round cans on trolleys at the delivery side of the drawframe. It supports can transport between the finisher drawframe and roving frame or spinning machine.

CANlog offers the following benefits, Rieter said:
• no manual can transfer from can trolley onto empty can magazine;
• higher drawframe efficiency by enlargement of the time window for necessary operator actions;
• systematic can buffer directly at drawframe;
• further reduction of work load through common transport of four cans on a trolley; and
• gentle transport of material


In a couple of head-to-head comparisons with new machines of other manufacturers, the RSB-D30 proved its superiority in both quality values and running behavior, according to Rieter.

Improved sliver and yarn quality also shows its effect in the downstream process, the company added. In a U.S. mill, the comparison of the running behavior of rotor yarn on weaving looms demonstrated an overall 1.34 less warp and filling stops per 100,000 picks. This emphasizes the fact that the purchase of an RSB-D30 can pay for itself in a short time, Rieter said.

That means about 2,000 loom stops less per year or cost reduction in excess of $1,000 per loom and year in the U.S., the company added. Since the production of one RSB-D30 feeds 40 looms, the annual savings per RSB-D30 and year add up to more than $40,000, Rieter said.


Week of July 1, 2002

SYMTECH picks up three new clients

SPARTANBURG, SC — SYMTECH, Inc. has added several clients to its fold.

Blue Reed SL, a manufacturer of reeds and combs for weaving, warping and sizing applications, has named SYMTECH as exclusive distributor for its products in the United States. Blue Reed, located in Barcelona, Spain, is well known for its line of profile reeds for air jet weaving and is established as a standard vendor for all major manufacturers of weaving machinery.

Blue Reed provides reeds for all types of weaving machinery. In addition, it manufactures reeds and combs for warping and sizing operations. Profile reeds, manufactured for air jet weaving, are engineered for maximum filling insertion efficiency with lowest air consumption possible.

SYMTECH will market these products from its offices here. George Nydegger has been named product manager for Blue Reed.

Also, Manifattura CINCLA, a Radici Company, has selected SYMTECH to represent its program of weaving machine components in the U.S. and Canada. Located in Brugherio, near Milan, Italy, CINCLA is a major supplier of machine components to weaving machine manufacturers.

Products included in the program are leno selvedge motions, grippers, tapes (ribbons), compensators, roll coverings, carbon protrusions and sprockets.

With the inclusion of three weaving machine manufacturers to the Radici Group, the product offerings are expanding.

SYMTECH serves the products from its office here and in Montreal. George Nydegger will serve as product manager for the CINCLA products.

Additionally, Willy Grob, Ltd. of Eschenbach, Switzerland, has awarded representation of its weaving accessories products to SYMTECH, which will market its products in the U.S. and Canada.

Willy GROB, Ltd. products include fabric take-up (batching) units, warp let-offs, selvedge draw off devices, warp delivery units, on-loom inspection stands and warp creels. Products are available for both broad and narrow fabric weaving. These electronic devices provide for precise control of tension (warp and fabric) during the weaving process.

George Nydegger will be the product manager for the Willy GROB products, which will be sold through SYMTECH, Inc. here and SYMTECH Canada Textile Machinery in Montreal.

Lang Ligon & Co. sells LGL feeders to Quaker

GREENVILLE, SC — Lang Ligon & Co. announced the purchase of 360 LGL Progress filling feeders by Quaker Fabrics of Fall River, MA, for its Dornier weaving machines.

“We are very proud to continue our long working relationship with this top-name producer of upholstery fabrics,” said Harrell Ligon, vice president of Lang Ligon & Co. “We have supplied feeders to Quaker for 19 years and this latest upholstery version of the LGL Progress feeder was very well-suited to their present requirements.”


Week of July 1, 2002

Groome served Birch Brothers

PIEDMONT, SC — James “Jim” Riley Groome, vice president of sales and marketing for Birch Brothers Southern, Inc. for 10 years, died May 17 at his home here after an extended illness.

Groome was employed with Birch Brothers Southern, based in Waxhaw, NC, for the 18 years.

He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in textile technology.

Johnston Industries

Week of July 1, 2002

Johnston Industries taps excellent employees

Johnston Industries Award of Excellence recipients include (L-R) William A. Turner, Tommy Romaine, Michael Hudson, Charles E. McCutchen, Ricky D. Moore, Judith A. Hartcorn, Christopher G. Allen, Morgan Marlowe, Tamir Levy and James W. Thomas.

COLUMBUS, GA — Johnston Industries, Inc. announced the induction of 10 employees into its Award of Excellence Program during ceremonies at The Estate here recently.

Induction into this prestigious company program recognizes individuals whose innovative endeavors, creativity and leadership have made a meaningful difference in the success of the company. Individuals were nominated by co-employees, immediate supervisors or another member of management.

The nominations were then reviewed by the divisional president and his committee to ensure the nominee satisfied the program’s nomination criteria before winners were selected.

In order to be nominated for this honor, nominees must have shown:

• innovating to the point of creating or improving a process or procedure that positively affects quality production or customer satisfaction while positively impacting the profitability of the corporation;

• responding to customer needs, either internally within the corporation or externally in the marketplace;

• fostering either self-development or that of fellow employees;

• accomplishing work assignments while creating and maintaining; and

• maintaining regular job attendance and a positive attitude that shows he or she is thinking and acting like an owner.

“This evening we come together to celebrate the accomplishments of 10 men and women who represent the best of the best at Johnston Industries,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Gene Cone in making the presentations to the 10 winners. “The recipients of this year’s Award of Excellence represent all of the employees of Johnston Industries because this is a company that is composed of men and women who are dedicated to making our company the best in the industry.

“We are a better company today than we were last year and that is due entirely to the people who make up this company. When I look at Johnston Industries I see great products, great plants and great people. The greatest strength we have at Johnston industries is the people who make up this company. It takes a team effort to make a great product and it is this team effort and the innovations at our company that make this company great. I congratulate these 10 ‘stars’ of JII and thank them for the part they have played in making our company succeed.”

The 10 award winners are:

• Christopher G. Allen, shipping coordinator at Shawmut Complex;

• Judith A. Hartcorn, manager of Sampleworks;

• Michael Hudson, machinist first grade at Utilization;

• Tamir Levy, Southeast sales manager at JI Composite Reinforcements;

• Morgan Marlowe, assistant department manager of inspection at Southern Phenix;

• Charles E. McCutchen, help desk coordinator at the corporate office;

• Ricky D. Moore, draw-in machine specialist at Micolas Mill;

• Tommy Romaine, production re-engineering manager at Southern Phenix Textiles;

• James W. Thomas, tenter operator at Southern Phenix Textiles; and

• William A. Turner, construction leadman at Opp & Micolas Mills.

The winners received a cash award and a personalized plaque, in addition to a framed proclamation from the Johnston Industries Board of Directors commending them on their accomplishment.

Johnston Industries is a privately held textile manufacturer headquartered here.


Week of July 1, 2002

Industry hittin’ ’em straight these days

IF 2002 WERE a golf game, we’d be making the turn about even par, at least compared to the last round. The U.S. textile industry, which once again found itself matched up against the Asians, spent much of last year hooking, slicing, digging up divots, wrapping clubs around trees, driving the cart into the drink, et al, while battling the elements. In short, we posted one of our worst scores in decades. Throw in the events of September 11, and 2001 was one to forget. And remember.

In contrast, during the first half of this year, the industry has at least straightened up its drive, made better club selection, reached the green easier and improved its short game. Aces and eagles have been few and far between, but we’ll settle for the few birdies and bogies tossed in among all the pars.

Sure, consolidations, plant closings, job losses, bankruptcies, etc. have continued this year, but the pace has slowed considerably. A year ago, we were wondering if textile manufacturing would still exist in this country at this time. Well, it’s still plugging along, though playing it safe and hoping for fewer traps, minimal rough and limited dog-legs.

Indeed, external forces are still around. Trade winds continue to blow, threatening to wreak havoc with your game. Legislation that would restore presidential trade negotiating authority, an Andean trade bill and the much-ballyhooed dyeing and finishing issue are moving forward on Capitol Hill. Each of these measures could affect the direction this wobbly domestic industry takes.

Other background conditions the industry is or could be playing against include a new WTO round, the whining of developing countries, China and others circumventing the rules of global trade, the whim of retailers, and, heaven forbid, another terrorist attack.

But, right now, we appear to be keeping it between the lines of the road to recovery.

AS WE BEGIN to turn home in 2002, let’s take a peek at a few positive highlights of the “front six” months:

• Synthetics Finishing, Hickory, NC, completes the largest expansion in its 100-year history, a 78,000-square foot warehousing, shipping and distribution center;

• the American Textile Machinery Association (ATMA) announces its intention to align the American Textile Machinery Exhibition-International (ATME-I) trade show with the IFAI Expo and perhaps other exhibitions in 2006;

• athletic apparel maker Russell Corporation and the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance each mark their 100th year of existence;

• textile giant WestPoint Stevens reverses a trend by turning a first-quarter profit and exceeding consensus estimates;

• fabric maker Cone Mills turns its first quarterly profit in four years;

• Pillowtex Corp. emerges from Chapter 11 bankrupcty; and

• the Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center’s Partner’s Lab is opened at NC State.

Yeah, a few bad shots were made, too, but what good would rehashing those do? We’re trying to provoke positive thinking as you begin your journey back to the clubhouse.

THIS MID-SUMMER holiday week traditionally is the industry’s time to rest and recharge, so do just that — and take those good thoughts with you on vacation. Catch your break, clear your head and hope for even brighter days. Don’t let complacency set in or it may come back to bite you.

Oh, and on this Fourth of July — especially this Fourth of July — be sure to give thanks to this great nation. As you celebrate our independence and freedom, take a moment to cover your heart and pledge allegiance to the flag — perhaps the most precious and glorious piece of textiles ever created.

And, if you have the time and desire, maybe even hit the links.

Textile News Index