Maine company leads industry in extreme-temperature textile manufacturing
I’m Garrett VanAtta. The company is Auburn Manufacturing, we’re located in Mechanic Falls.
We manufacture high temperature textiles. Primarily we purchase fiberglass yarns, weave the fabrics and coat them to make them higher temperature, or actually add different characteristics to the fabrics. A lot of our products get sold into the welding market, high temperature insulation markets, things like that.
Our current intern actually is a mechanical engineering student at UMaine and he worked on some very similar projects to develop a CAD system that would take measurements of certain components and allow us to figure out a way to cover them.
The project in UMaine was a little bit different, with a headgear project, but we were able to translate that information, the learning that he got from that program, into some of our own projects, so it’s worked out very well. It’s a great program, the Blackstone Innovation Program. The last 3 years we’ve had interns in place. I think the students certainly learn a lot and the company also gets quite a bit out of it.
We also work with the Advanced Manufacturing team up there to help us develop some products ‑‑ work with some pieces of equipment that we had, that were available up there, that we certainly couldn’t afford to have in our own smaller labs.
We know over the years that things become more and more commoditized and we need to have new advanced products and things that aren’t in the market today. That’s why we start to develop some of these new products, to get them out there.