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Partners in parallel…
Traditional values, innovative spirit: Inman Mills and USTER share a vision of progress
Textile manufacturers and their technology suppliers face many challenges in common, in an increasingly competitive and quality-conscious business. That’s why it’s important that they share a vision of excellence, which fosters both individual success and technological progress. Well-known North American textile producer Inman Mills is a prime example, in its relationship with USTER. Both companies have a proud heritage, founded on ‘traditional’ values – and a strong commitment to innovation.
Inman Mills produces some of the world’s most advanced fabrics for a wide range of applications. Its spinning and weaving plants are well established throughout the Southeast portion of the United States. The mill founded in 1901 near Spartanburg, South Carolina, is one of the oldest and most traditional in the world. “If there’s one thing that we as humans can always count on it’s change. Inman Mills has a long history of change and adaptation in an attempt to stay ahead of the game,” says Bill Bowen, Vice President of Inman Mills. The company’s tradition relies on the core values and principles that have maintained its position as a key player in an ever-changing industry, constantly adapting and improving to suit the demands of an expanding global market.
The road to quality
USTER’s `Think Quality´ approach is an invitation to spinners to follow the USTER route to developing their yarn production towards higher customer satisfaction and business success. Aiming to help customers succeed in today’s harsh and competitive market conditions, USTER has evolved this support into a quality-focused mill management approach. This means that producing the required yarn quality is matched with the most efficient use of raw material. The target is to avoid waste and increase production speed as much as possible, without interfering with the other manufacturing goals. USTER’s mission is to utilize innovative technology to equip spinners for mill optimization at the highest level – without risking claims.
USTER is proud that its customers participate in this philosophy, by continuously raising their awareness of quality – constant quality – in yarn production, embracing both technology and structures for mill quality management. Inman Mills is an ideal example of a mill driving its quality development in parallel with USTER. (See video.) The US company makes yarns from expensive raw materials. Therefore Inman uses the USTER® AFIS to carry out checks machine-to-machine, as well as process-by-process, to get the best value out of the raw materials. More USTER® technology is installed to test at different stages throughout the mill. “USTER® laboratory equipment allows us to optimize our raw materials but it also allow us to optimize our processing machinery and run it at the highest speed possible – but still produce the right quality,” says Bowen.
Screen shot of a scene from the video
Shaping the future together
USTER is appreciative of the role its customers play in bringing innovative technology to fruition in their mills. The Inman Mills approach shows how this works in practice: “We’re really having to push the envelope to meet the high quality standards our customers expect,” says Bowen. “In order to do that, we invest in the best machinery we can – as well as the best testing equipment that’s available – to allow us to make products meeting customers’ requirements.”
Past, present and future developments by USTER are supporting mill management. The focus is on meeting the needs of management through instruments and systems which provide answers to enable informed decisions. This is a cumulative process, starting with individual instruments and expanding in line with a mill’s commitment to manage yarn production with quality in mind. “We recognize USTER as a leader in defining the future of the textile industry. We trust USTER and follow its development. The past proved that we are right in doing so,” says Bowen.