The Emerging US Textile Market

Textile manufacturing is one of the largest manufacturing industries in the world, and it has been for centuries. Wars have been fought over it, wars have been won and lost because of it, and fortunes have been made many times over. The United States of America was once a world leader in the textile manufacturing sector. While it’s no longer as big as it once was, it remains one of the most complex and innovate countries for textile manufacturing in the world.

By The Numbers

  • While textile capital expenditures dropped to a low in 2009, with only $1.3 billion dollars invested, it has rebounded since, at a rate of around $150 million more per year.
  • The shipments and inventories of U.S. textile has also rebounded, at a rate of nearly 4% annually since 2009.
  • The textile and apparel industries directly employed 373,000 Americans as of 2013, with over 100,000 more employed in direct support, such as supplying natural fibers and machinery.
  • The U.S. textile industry is the fourth largest textile exporter in the world, exporting nearly $18 billion dollars in 2013, mostly as raw materials
  • The rebounding industry has seen growth mainly in the south – South Carolina (home of Kellett Enterprises), North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee have seen the greatest growth in textile jobs since 2009.

Emergence of Innovation

The end game of the U.S. textile sector is no longer simple products such as upholstery and clothing. Textile products of today that are coming out of the sector include:

  • Heart valve and stents
  • Aircraft bodies
  • Advanced body armor
  • Antimicrobial fibers
  • Textiles incorporating electronics

There is much more innovation possible, and the American government has recognized this – in March of 2015, they provided a $75 million private investment in researching, prototyping, and commercializing technical textiles. These textiles are similar to the last two examples above – textiles with extraordinary, sometimes novel properties. This investment is being made in American companies, and American jobs.

As part of the U.S. textile sector for 55 years, Kellett Enterprises has always been on the innovating and emerging side of the industry – in fact, our early success was built on the innovation of the first three-layer shake absorber in the LP-13 Shake Absorber Vibration and Isolation Pad. We will continue to innovate, and provide the people of South Carolina and the United States as a whole with quality products and quality job opportunities.

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Manufacturing in South Carolina

Manufacturing has always been very important to South Carolina, its people and its economy. It is an industrial sector that has always been here, and always provided our state’s citizens with reliable, well-paying jobs. So just how important is it?

  • Manufacturing output in South Carolina came to $31.76 billion in 2013, or 17.3% of our state’s total gross product. This was the largest share from any single sector.
  • South Carolina’s manufacturing output alone was greater than the total gross output of nearly half of the countries in the world.
  • In 2012, there were 3,468 firms in South Carolina engaged in manufacturing – this includes companies such as Boeing, Domtar, SCANA, and Sonoco Products, along with smaller companies like us here at Kellett Enterprises.
  • Boeing’s South Carolina manufacturing facility is the final assembly site for the ultra-modern 787 Dreamliner. It shouldn’t be surprising that this helps make Transportation Equipment the largest export of our manufacturing sector.
  • Our largest overall manufacturing sector is chemical products, followed by motor vehicles and parts. This helped South Carolina to be named the 2nd strongest state for automotive manufacturing growth by Business Facilities magazine in 2011.
  • Nearly 237,000 citizens of South Carolina were employed in the manufacturing sector in 2014, or one in every 8 nonfarm workers.
  • The average annual compensation of a manufacturing worker in 2013 was $66,556, which was $25,300 more than the average South Carolina worker overall.
  • Between July 2009 and the end of 2011, South Carolina added 11,500 manufacturing jobs; every other state in our region experienced manufacturing job loss over that period of time.
  • CNBC ranked South Carolina’s workforce as the 6th best of any state in the nation. This is due to the quality and availability of skilled workers in the state, along with success of training programs.

No matter the size of the role, all of us manufacturers in South Carolina play a part in the success of the sector. At Kellett Enterprise, we know the success of South Carolina, building a base for the future of our state and country, comes from a solid manufacturing industry. We are committed to continuing to produce our vibration isolation and noise control solutions right here in Greenville, using South Carolina muscle and know-how, just as we have for the past five decades.

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US Manufacturing

While it may seem like manufacturing is no longer a big piece of the American economy, the fact is that our country continues to be responsible for the most manufacturing of any country in the world, and one of the most efficient as well. The perception that the American manufacturing sector is weakening merely comes from the fact that, unlike many other leading nations, the American economy is not as dependent on manufacturing. So what other facts might surprise you about the manufacturing sector in the United States?

  • In 2012, the manufacturing sector produce $2.03 trillion worth of gross product. If it was its own economy, it would have ranked eighth in world for output.
  • Manufacturing is the most efficient when it comes to generating extra money from connected sectors. For every dollar of sales in the manufacturing sector, $1.33 worth of output is created from other sectors, meaning manufacturing jobs help to create non-manufacturing jobs.
  • The manufacturing sector provides the most reliable job growth. Since the beginning of 2010, the manufacturing industry has added nearly 600,000 American jobs, or almost 150,000 new jobs every year.
  • The overwhelming majority of manufacturing firms are small companies like Kellett Enterprises – in 2011, companies with less than 100 employees accounted for 94% of the manufacturing firms in the United States.
  • As of April of 2014, there were over 12 million American employed in a manufacturing job.
  • The average yearly compensation for a manufacturing worker in 2012 was $79,662, as compared to the average non-manufacturing yearly compensation of $62,117.
  • A major part of this higher compensation is healthcare costs – employer-provided healthcare payments have a high rate of growth, and contributions by employers have increased 43% over the last decade, as opposed to a wage increase of only 24.5%.
  • The average manufacturing worker in 2012 as 44.7 years in age, versus 42.3 years of age for the workforce as a whole. This indicates that manufacturing needs an injection of younger workers, which many firms are working to do through STEM-centered initiatives.

As part of the United States’ manufacturing sector for over 50 years, Kellett Enterprises has seen the ups and downs of the American manufacturing sector. One thing we can be sure of is that manufacturing will continue to be a major part of America’s economy for years to come. Regardless of the ups and downs, we expect manufacturing to continue to be a strong, successful backbone that helps the country move into the future.

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Energy Conservation Initiatives Call For HVAC Regulation: A Kellett Enterprises Report

The conservation of nature is quickly emerging as the most pressing issue for industries and individuals alike. Prophetic predictions of sea level rise as a result of global warming have forced countries to invest in reduction of energy consumption and do so with urgency.

Energy is largely derived from fossil fuels and the end result of this luxury is carbon emissions. These emissions not only pollute the air, rendering it noxious and unfit to support human life; they are also a rich source of greenhouse gases which in turn help trap the heat from sunlight. Under such circumstances it is imperative that the commercial and private sectors brainstorm to come up with innovative strategies that can not only reduce the volume of fossil fuel (and thus electric energy) consumed but also regulate and optimize the functioning of machines and lighting to ensure best use of the available power.

CALIFORNIA: A SHINING EXAMPLE

California’s Clean Job Act is a step in the right direction. The Energy Commission attributes the incentives it provides in terms of regulating energy use of non-residential buildings and research based programs to better enable this reduction as one of the primary reasons behind the state’s low per capita energy consumption.

BMS SOLUTIONS FOR THE COMMERCIAL SECTOR:

It is estimated that 40% of the total energy expenses shouldered by the commercial sector can be tracked to lighting needs. The rest is attributed to temperature regulation and ventilation. A small fraction is used by heavy duty equipment and motors.

From Honeywell to Daikin, all leading vendors have turned their attention to Building Management Systems (BMS). These are integrated platforms responsible for rationing out energy to the main structure based on the percentage occupancy. They also work to monitor and tweak the individual energy consumption of lights and HVAC installations leveraging demand requests (DR) from the central utility panel.

  • BMS solutions take into consideration the quality of lighting required, the location of the building and the energy efficiency of equipment to set up a regulated system that doesn’t allow electricity misuse.
  • HVAC and refrigeration systems are also controlled by BMS platforms. These components cumulatively account for 30% of energy consumption.
  • Compressed air equipment efficiency is an action item for BMS platforms and regulation of energy can lead to significant savings.

Only when sustained and synchronized efforts are made by industries and the private sector can the eminent threat to the global environment be successfully averted. BMS platforms are a revolutionary concept accelerating the journey to ‘eco-friendly’ houses and intelligent buildings.

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Why Manufacturing Day is Important to Our Industry’s Future

It’s almost here! On October 3, join us for Manufacturing Day (MFG Day), an all-day event designed to educate the community and future generations about what manufacturing is. Let’s put aside misconceptions about the industry and get the word out to increase STEM education and close the skills gap!

The nationally recognized MFG Day provides us with an excellent opportunity to dispel public misconceptions about manufacturing as manufacturers across the country open their doors to youths and adults. What a great opportunity to directly communicate with the community about the state of our industry.

One goal for MFG Day is to build interest in young people in manufacturing, encouraging them to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). 2014 Mfg Day Graphic

Increasing the number of STEM education graduates is a viable way to lessen the skills gap and strengthen a positive future for the manufacturing industry. This valuable education will provide youths with new possibilities for careers to enter, as well as informing up-and-coming manufacturers about innovation and technologies that they will put to use in the field later.

Recently, online news websites have been discussing the possibility of changing STEM to STEAM, incorporating an “A” that refers to Arts. The reasoning is that an artistic background benefits many careers in the manufacturing industry, particularly in design and packaging areas.

In efforts to do our part to protect the future of the manufacturing industry by reducing the skills gap and increasing focus on STEM or STEAM education, we are excited to celebrate Manufacturing Day!

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Keeping Vibration OFF THE WALL with Mini Split HVAC

The advent of ‘Mini-Split’ HVAC components in the heating & cooling of residential spaces has heightened the need for vibration isolation once again.  The economy of scale of these newer CAD designed units has given rise to a request from KELLETT to remove the vibration from these wall mounted ‘split’ units, wherein the internal component of the split unit is mounted directly to an interior wall section.

graphic for keeping vibration off the wall

Photo courtesy of Russ Hellem

Normally, these fan coupled units exhibit considerable vibration.  If left untreated when mounted to the wall, this machine unit vibration can easily be transferred to structural components, thus proffering structure borne noise.  In an effort to alleviate this encumbrance, KELLETT has been working with various manufacturers to implement a simple straightforward program of vibration isolation for both components of the Mini-Split System.

There are normally two components; the indoor fan coupled wall unit, and the outdoor ground set compressor unit.  These two typically produce both machine unit vibration & airborne sound.  Location of the outdoor component should be away from a ‘non sensitive’ wall of the structure, to minimize noise from fans to wall & windows.  Additionally, the outdoor component should be set on a level base, providing correct deflection rated vibration isolation pads.

KELLETT pads placed between the machine & the concrete base will minimize noise from normal operation  (published sound power data), as well as providing bi-directional constrained layer vibration damping, to increase machine unit reliability by reducing potentially damaging vibrations.

All piping penetrations through the outside wall should be overcut, to prevent piping from making hard contact with the wall framing & sheetrock.  Any gaps should then be sealed with a non-hardening sealant.  Air gaps may allow sound from the outdoor unit to more readily penetrate the existing wall structure.   It then becomes a straightforward matter to isolate the brackets of the interior ‘split’ wall unit from the wall, utilizing KELLET pads & KELLETT Bolt Isolator Kits, to minimize the transfer of vibration to the framing and sheetrock.  This simple two step process will reduce the Noise!

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Historical Renovation of Missoula County Court House by A&E Arch.

When a 100+ year old building has the first major Historical Renovation, Kellett is there to help insure it will be there for the next 100 years, free of harmful vibrations!

A new Daikin 5,000 pound 15 ton AHU was recently installed over a 3” thick concrete floor in the Missoula County Court House, as specified by the principal mechanical engineer on the project.  Due to the arcane nature of the structure, and the floor upon which it is sitting, traditional spring isolators were not an option.  Traditional spring isolators function in a narrow range of deflection, effectively dealing with one frequency, while multiple bandwidths of vibration go unabated.  The traditional thin neoprene coating on the base of the spring isolator provides minimal damping, which is necessary to provide increased isolation from the arcane fragile load bearing surface on which the 5,000 pound unit is located.   Kellett has proven vibration & deflection capabilities, that made it the logical choice for use as a strip isolator, easily able to support & deflect the weight of the Daikin Unit when utilized in multiple strips across the bottom of the unit , on support rails.  Even with maximum loading @ 400 pounds per square inch, the ¾” Kellett Vibration Isolation Pad (in correct shore A durometer) is easily able to provide damping coefficients down to 10 Hz, as well as abating 100% of Vibration well below 100 Hz.  (Test supplied on request.)

How the Kellett Vibration Isolator Pad works.

The unique 3 layer construction of the Kellett Pad Vibration Isolator provides true isolation via a new approach employing the damping properties of the specialized neoprene pad layers in concert with the acoustic impedance & attenuation properties of the specially manufactured ABS core layer.  Together, these components function synergistically to provide double damping coefficients (down to 10 Hz) & true vibration isolation to well below 100Hz! 

Kellett Pic for Historical Reno Court House

Strip Isolator under Rail support system, attached with BOLT ISOLATION KIT.

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Warm Springs Productions employs Kellett Vibration Isolation Pads

Warm Springs Productions, located in Missoula, Montana is known for many new reality shows presently airing on several Cable Networks nationwide.  As the producer of Mountain Men, Gun Gurus, Duck Commander, Buck Commander, Surviving Zombies and many more shows currently in production & airing nationwide, sound quality is a priority to Warm Springs Productions. During the course of constructing their new offices, the Architect was instructed to minimize all noise & vibration from HVAC components that serviced the air handling to each of the 10 edit suites, and to the rest of the facility.  Because audio tracks are mixed in these edit suites, noise & vibration  from HVAC can impede the ability of the mix editors to accurately hear the accompanying audio tracks.  Kellett pads were specified to the HVAC contractor throughout the system, to reduce such noise from vibration to an inaudible level.  But that is not the ‘rest of the story’.

After construction was completed,  the new edit suites were put into use.  Each had a full compliment of editing equipment (Computer, M-Audio Speakers, M-Box allied digital recording components) located on the desk top workstations utilized by each editor.  It was found that the monitor speakers used for accurate reproduction of the editable sound tracks were noted to be affected by coloration.  An audio engineer from JSM Pro was brought in to examine the setup of the edit suites, to find out the best course of action to take to clean up ‘reference standard’ audio reproduction for broadcast quality.   It was determined that vibration from the desk top workstations upon which both monitors were sitting was impeding the ability of the speakers to provide accurate sound reproduction, so critical in the edit mixing of these audio tracks.  Kellett Vibration Isolation pads (in the correct durometer) have the ability to deflect Vibration down to 10Hz, effectively isolating the speakers from the desk top ‘workstations’ in each of these suites.  Pads were placed under the M-Audio Monitor speakers in each edit suite, effectively de-coupling the speakers from the desktops, allowing pristine audio to be reproduced accurately to the ears of the editors.  Problem solved, and editors happy.  MOUNTAIN MEN & SURVIVING ZOMBIES are now getting along with each other, without being ‘all shook up!’

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Top Hat Lounge-Iconic Music Venue utilizes Kellett Vibration Isolation Pads!

Kellett has long been recognized as world leader in Vibration.  When the Top Hat Lounge in Missoula, Montana initiated a remodeling of the iconic Music Venue, it demanded that excellence in Acoustics be at the forefront of considerations during the remodel.  This owner of this treasured Venue (Nick Checota) planned to present notable music acts from around the  world, and requested a performance Venue which might be utilized for live recordings as well.  A demanding NC (Noise Criteria) rating was specified  to enable high quality performances and recordings.  The HVAC equipment installer utilized Kellett Vibration Isolation Pads throughout the machinery sets, in conjunction with a fabric Duct Sock, to produce an NC rating of 30 in the space, which is now suitable for recording, as well as live performance.  Read on to find out how Kellett put the boom (back) in the room of this iconic Pacific Northwest music venue!

During the audio system set up, it was noted by the house audio engineer Michael Jones, that the large SUB woofer speakers on the floor in front of the stage just “didn’t sound right”. The problem (as diagnosed via Site Dosimetry) was found to be that the SUB woofers were sitting directly on the floor, causing low frequency coupling to the building, decreasing low frequency performance.  Standard ¾” 50 Durometer Kellett Vibration Isolation pads were matched to the bearing load of the hefty DB SUBS.   4” square pads were placed at all four corners of the 4 enclosures, with a pad in the center as well.  This effectively decoupled this critical portion of the Sound System Array from the facility floor, eliminating the 1st through 4th order coupling that was muddying the reproduction of these low frequencies.  After recalibrating the sound system for the now decoupled SUB woofers, Michael Jones exclaimed, “We can now hear the SUBS clear & powerful, as they should be!”

From the noise & vibration of the HVAC system components, to the correct vibration isolation of massive SUB woofers, Kellett Vibration Isolation Pads provided the solutions that realized the owner’s vision of a high quality performance venue suitable for both live performances, and live recordings.

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Happy Holidays from the Kellett Family to Yours

Heading into the holiday season and directly into the new year, we here at Kellett know how fortunate we are to have loyal clients and we want to be sure to take the time to say “thank you”! With your support, we have had a great year and are so excited to move into 2014 knowing that we have you behind us!

It is also very important to us that our employees stay happy, so again this year (as every year since 1960) we will be gathering everyone together for a Kellett family dinner in which we can look back on the year and talk about all we have done well, and anything we can do to improve.

Additionally, so that we can also spend some time with our loved ones, our facilities will be closed the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s (Dec. 24 through Jan. 2).  If you have any questions for us during that time, please feel free to send us an email or leave us a message and we will get back to you upon our return to the office.

We look forward to working with you all again in 2014 and until then, have a happy holidays!!

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