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Archive for the ‘Industry’ Category

MMI Textiles – Come See Us At IFAI Expo 2018

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

Every year, the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) hosts thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors at their premier industrial fabrics expo. IFAI Expo 2018 is the place to see new and innovative products, learn from the experts, meet influential industry leaders and so much more.

This year’s expo will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, TX Oct. 15 – 18, 2018.

Last year, MMI Textiles continued the yearly tradition of attending this expo and traveled to New Orleans, LA to exhibit in the show. This year it’s all happening in Dallas, TX and once again, the MMI team will be there!

Why do we attend?

The IFAI Expo offers so much more than a chance for our team to share MMI’s products and new innovations – it gives us opportunities to connect with other industry professionals and attend amazing keynote speeches, seminars, and more.

Here are a few of the opportunities at this year’s IFAI Expo:

IFF IFAI Expo kick-off event – Casino Night

• See and demo new products and services

20 minute education sessions (Campfires)

Mentor Meetings

• Keynote Speakers

Manufacturing for Good

Fabric Sourcing Center (some of our fabrics will be featured here!)

And of course, access to the 800-exhibitor show floor – where you can visit the MMI Team at Booth A2617!

We’ll be bringing samples of our latest and featured products. Most you can find here on our site under the title “Featured Products” on our Industries We Serve pages (Military & Tactical, Medical, Commercial).

Here are a few examples:

SOLUTION-DYED WOLF GRAY

Available in: 500D/1000D Mil-Spec CORDURA® Brand Nylon | Mil-Spec Webbing & Binding Tape

COMMERCIAL 1000D CORDURA® NYLON

Available in: Red or Orange, Urethane Coated/DWR (Water Repellent)

STOCK SOLUTION-DYED WEBBING

Now Offering: Mil-Spec Solution-dyed webbing and binding tape in solid military colors in various widths.

The IFAI Expo is a great opportunity to connect with industry experts and have an amazing time doing so! We want to see YOU in Dallas this year – so, we are offering a VIP code which gives you FREE show floor admission:

EP284

To use the code:

Go to the attendee-specific registration link here.

• Enter the VIP Code (EP284) on the contact information page. The VIP code should be entered for each group member that plans to attend.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us or give us a call at 440-899-8050. Want to schedule a meeting with us at our booth? Email our Marketing Dept. at marketing@mmitextiles.com.

We hope to see you in Dallas!

Continuous Precision LLC Launches New Era, Company & Website

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

September 12th, 2018: Continuous Precision; a quality American purveyor of pistol modifications and accessories is happy to announce the launching of their new website, Glock/ M&P slide packages & product lines. Continuous Precision (formerly known as Innovative GunFighter Solutions) is officially announcing the launch of their new website which features their newest pistol packages, the Duty and Hybrid series, along with their EDT V.2 triggers for the Glock (M&P coming soon) platforms.

Continuous Precision’s new Duty Series slide package is geared towards the individual that has a direct need for a firearm that can deliver traction, performance, and provisions for an RDS on demand. This package is also moderate enough to deliver all the benefits of a modified platform while still maintaining a Duty level appearance needed for Patrol work, Discreet carry, or Close Protection operations. We have also geared this package to be entry level to give the concealed permit holder of Law Enforcement Officer a budget friendly contingency.

Our Hybrid Series package is designed to be the ultimate expression of performance-based tuning on a handgun platform. We have factored in options that have been requested in the past by LE/MIL, Competitive shooters, and Training Instructors alike for a modified pistol platform. The Hybrid package highlights slide lightening for improved cyclic times, aggressive traction slide cuts, appropriately measured slide porting, and multiple RDS/Rear sight options. We have created this package to give the end user the highest amount of control in designing a performance driven machine. The Hybrid series is the best example of a platform that showcases a function driven design where form follows beautifully.

The EDT V.2 trigger is a drop-in aftermarket enhancement for your OEM pistol which is designed to deliver improved performance and ergonomics. We start off with an OEM trigger bar which is precision polished, deburred, and modified to guarantee a smooth & consistent trigger pull every time. The trigger shoe is machined from solid T6061 aluminum and designed with internal pre-travel reduction and over-travel stops. The goal is to deliver a clean breaking ergonomically correct trigger which will give the shooter clean, repeatable trigger pulls every time. To sweeten the pot, we added a Ghost Triggers 4.5lb disconnector to ease the weight of the factory trigger weight without sacrificing reliability.

To see the Continuous Precision’s products in action follow them on Instagram, or Facebook. For more information on Continuous Precision and their products go to www.CPCustomGuns.com

Army Marksmanship Unit Bids Farewell To SFC Daniel Horner

Saturday, September 15th, 2018

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) said farewell yesterday to Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Horner, a member of the Action Shooting Team. He is one of the most decorated Soldiers to ever don the Black Hat within the USAMU.

Sgt. 1st Class Horner will be greatly missed but his professionalism, dedication, and expert marksmanship abilities will leave a lasting legacy at the USAMU, the “Home of Champions”.

Daniel is a fantastic shooter and we can’t wait to see where he turns up in industry.

Tactical Products Group Issues Statement In Response To DoJ Indictment

Friday, September 14th, 2018

We received this statement from Tactical Products Group, LLC in response to our recent story regarding the indictment by the Department of Justice of two of their executives for fraud.

“On August 14, 2018, Company executives, Dan Lounsbury and Andres Lopez-Munoz, were charged by federal authorities in Virginia alleging wire fraud and filing false claims.  Both Dan and Andres strongly deny the allegations and have retained counsel to help them fight these false charges, all of which stem from a 2012 sale of $3,500 worth of merchandise.  Dan is a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy and has run TPG with the highest integrity since 1998.  Dan and Andres understand that taking on the Justice Department can be a tough challenge, but they are prepared to defend their good names and expect full exoneration.”

Tactical Products Group Executives Indicted by Department of Justice for Providing Faulty Armor, Swapping Tags

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

Last week, Tactical Products Group, LLC (TPG) CEO Dan Thomas Lounsbury, Jr and Vice President for Sales and Federal Contracting Andres Lopez-Munoz, were in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Virginia due to charges of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims and wire fraud. Lounsbury is additionally charged with false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims.

TPG is a Florida-based manufacturer and re-seller of various products to military, law enforcement, and private security clients. According to the United States Attorney’s Office, in 2012, TPG was selected as a sub-contractor on a contract to provide certain goods, including ten sets of hard body armor plates, to the United States government. The government had requested a specific type of plate, and Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz both knew that no substitutions were allowed. Furthermore, Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz both knew that these plates would be used to protect government personnel. The consequence of a failure of body armor is death or serious bodily injury. Nevertheless, Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz worked together to procure cheaper substitute plates, and then to put fraudulent labels on these substitute plates falsely stating that they were the type of plates that the government had required. Some of these cheaper substitute plates were far outside their warranty period, and were not as protective as the false labels claimed.

The supplied plates were provided to Triple Canopy to fulfill a contract. Reportedly, the plates supplied were known to delaminate. Furthermore, four of the 10 plates supplied were six years out of warranty. Amazingly, the value of the contract is said to be just $3,500.

If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Ballard Signs Agreement to Divest Non-Core Power Manager Business

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA and SOUTHBOROUGH, MA, USA – Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to divest certain non-core assets of its subsidiary, Protonex, related to the Power Manager business to Revision Military Ltd.), a private U.S.-based company, for up to $16.0 million in cash. Ballard will retain certain assets related to fuel cell propulsion systems for military and commercial unmanned vehicles.

Terms of the transaction include upfront consideration of $4.75 million to Ballard, subject to a customary working capital adjustment, and up to a further $11.25 million, based on achievement of specific sales objectives during a 12-month earn-out period. The transaction is expected to close within the next 60 days, subject to customary closing conditions.

Randy MacEwen, Ballard President and CEO said, “This divestiture is consistent with our strategy of continuous portfolio optimization. We decided to divest Protonex assets that are no longer aligned with Ballard’s strategic fuel cell focus, while retaining assets related to the unmanned vehicle market, under the Ballard brand. The divestiture reduces complexity while allowing us to further invest in our core fuel cell business.”

Mr. MacEwen continued, “We originally acquired Protonex to provide strategic diversification and to engage the U.S. military complex as a potential customer for portable fuel cell products. With the developing value proposition and attractive market opportunities for fuel cell electric vehicles or FCEVs in Heavy- and Medium-Duty Motive markets, including bus, truck, rail, marine and other applications, we are divesting the Power Manager business to focus on core fuel cell market opportunities. The Power Manager business is a good long-term business that better complements the Revision strategy.”

Jonathan Blanshay, CEO of Revision Military Ltd. commented, “Revision is in the business of developing and supplying leading-edge protective equipment, along with innovations in power management and integrated systems, for mission critical military and tactical use. We are confident that our corporate platform, along with planned increases in U.S. defense spending and achievement of Milestone C, create a compelling growth opportunity for the Protonex Power Manager business.”

In 2015 Ballard paid approximately $17.5 million in shares and cash to acquire Protonex, which included the Power Manager business, a Solid Oxide Fuel Cells business which was divested in January 2018, and the unmanned vehicle business.

For additional information regarding unmanned vehicles, please visit www.ballard.com/markets/uav.

5.11 Names Francisco Morales As CEO

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Earlier this week, 5.11 Tactical’s longtime CEO, Tom Davin, stepped down from his position to assume an advisory role. I’ve known former Marine Recon Officer Tom Davin since he came to 5.11 in 2010 after propelling Panda Express to a billion Dollar enterprise. He’s a great guy who will continue to serve 5.11 in advisory role.

In his place, they’ve named Francisco Morales, who cofounded the brand with Dan Costa, back in 2003. Although Compass Diversified Holdings purchased 5.11 in 2016, Morales has continued to serve as President. He’ll be right at home in his new role as CEO.

5.11 also named Matt Hyde as Executive Chairman. Previously, Hyde served as CEO of Western Marine.

Operating a 2A Business Online – Options

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

“My Facebook Page/Group was shut down.”

“My credit card processor shut me off.”

“Google won’t accept my AdWords budget.”

“Shopify modified their Acceptable Use Policy and turned off my website.”

All of these are common complaints we see online every day from businesses operating in and around the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor, and Tactical (SHOT) market – particularly when there’s tools like firearms, knives, and accessories involved. What was once a wide open ‘Wild Wild West’ of the market, is now an increasingly controlled World Wide Web of regulations, rules, and policies. Not many of which are designed to support the SHOT market. Most of them are designed to mitigate liability and risk for the partners and vendors involved. And now that risk mitigation is being wielded to target the SHOT Market.

Shopify’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) update last week is not the first shot of the war. It is one more shot in another battle in a long series of battles. Since the beginning of commerce on the internet we’ve seen this. If it’s not the SHOT market, it’s drug-related content, 3D CAD files (Defense Distributed), the adult industry (watch the movie ‘Middle Men’), and a myriad of other targets.

Doing business online in the SHOT is achievable, but owners/operators need to be realistic and take an approach to mitigate our risk. In the chain of vendors and service providers needed to successfully operate a 2A business, all of them carry inherent risk. Hosts, credit card processors, software licenses, service providers: all of them can change their policy at any time and have a negative effect on your ability to do online business. These policy changes may not be because they dislike us, our products, or our customers. Rather, it may be a requirement of their financial institutions – banks, lenders, processors, investors, their insurance providers – many of whom dislike the inherent risk associated with commerce in 2A, or their leadership or board members – some of whom may push personal agendas in the course of their role, amongst many other factors.

For that reason, it’s important to have these conversations with our providers. Be upfront about our business with our online resources. Let them know what our businesses do, with whom, and what steps we’ve taken to mitigate their risk (your resources, your customers), and our risk – as a business owner/operator. And, ask them the tough questions: “Do you support my business – the legal sale of products in the 2A space?” If the answer is no – move on. If the answer is yes, ask them how they plan to deal with external pressure to exit the space. Ask them how they plan to notify us in the event they are ‘required’ to change their policies/terms that may negatively affect our business’ ability to conduct commerce online.

These questions and relationships can happen at many different levels in the spectrum of online business, depending on our approach to doing SHOT business online. For most of our businesses, this falls into one of three solutions:

Full Custom Development

Working with your team and that of a developer, payment and processor solutions, hosting, homegrown or licensed cart and other software, and likely a suite of marketing and management tools. This option provides the most flexibility for a SHOT business that has the business to support the diverse group of resources required to make it work.

Full Custom is often the most expensive and time intensive but allows for an environment where overall risk is greatly reduced by spreading it across multiple vendors and resources: if one fails, it can often be replaced with another that supports our industry. Solutions like this are perfect for companies looking to both mitigate risk, as well as having a diverse set of business rules and requirements.

Hosted Solutions

Yes: there are hosted solutions alternatives to Shopify that ARE SHOT and 2A friendly, including huge companies with stronger platforms and capabilities than Shopify has ever had. These SaaS (Software as a Service) companies provide nearly a one-stop-shop environment: pay the fee, plug-in your products, start doing business. Yes, that’s a generalization, but time-to-commerce is reduced significantly working with one of these providers.

With Hosted Solutions we operate in their environment, they maintain the hosting, software, and vendors required for us to do business. Using their services or outside resources, you skin the look and feel of the site and add your content and you’re off! From a risk perspective, like Shopify, some of these services can be an all-or-nothing endeavor: if they change a policy your business could be shut down.

It’s imperative, therefore, to have the discussion about policy changes up front with a Hosted Solution provider – will they work with you in the event of a policy change? Can they or will they explore other resource options to support you if, for example, their credit card processor was the weak link and opted out of 2A business? Again – there are some fantastic options out there but approach any relationship with a Hosted Solution provider with your eyes wide open and have a plan for contingencies. These solutions are optimal for brands looking for near-turn-key ecommerce solutions, preferably for brands not selling firearms, weapons, or accessories – soft goods and non-gun parts are a good fit.

DIY Solutions

If you’re good with rolling up your sleeves and terms like ‘CSS’ and ‘API’ don’t scare you, then a DIY solution might be for you. Or, if you can figure out how to navigate some of the online basics of buying a domain, finding a host, and installing plugins, it’s not hard to roll-your-own with little to no help. There’s a number of free shopping carts available. Some requiring little configuration, the others a degree in computer sciences. Depending on your skill and risk level, these could be a good fit for you, but often would be better suited to engaging a developer for a custom project.

Other options may be simpler and easier. One of the most expedient methods is to use WordPress – a widely adopted blog software – in combination with a cart plugin. WordPress powers a claimed 31% of the internet – and it’s a believable claim: their software is everywhere. Over time, companies have built a significant number of plugins to extend the capability of WordPress, including shopping cart software. These shopping cart plugins are available as free, licensed, and hosted options – all ‘plugging into’ the WordPress environment to allow you to operate an online store. Using the easy WordPress interface and finding a place to host your website are relatively straightforward processes. Adding in payment processors, fulfillment providers and other plugins can be a bit trickier, but generally achievable for most.

Building one of these sites takes some time and it opens us to some risk: If your cart plugin is dependent on a specific payment gateway, or any other service/capability, plugin or extension and that provider changes their policy, your business could be at risk. Therefore, a shopping cart plugin with a wide array of options to fulfill these roles and needs is advisable and will help mitigate your risk. Additionally, there’s the possibility of WordPress changing their policies and terms, and though that could be difficult to enforce with the broad proliferation of their software, it could happen. These solutions may allow you to diversify risk across more components and may cost less than a full custom solution or hosted solution, but they add time and resource requirements.

There is a solution for everyone. The options above can and do work. We work with iterations of them every day. Because we, as an industry, are not done or going away. They can’t push us out or shut us down. Using one of the solutions above, or a combination of them, can help mitigate our risk. Having a plan, however, will help further reduce our risk and ensure we’re ready for contingencies. Managing our risk with a plan isn’t a suggestion, it’s a requirement for a smart business owner. They have and will continue to make it harder and more difficult for us. More policies will change, likely not in our favor. More providers will fail us. But we’ve got a plan.

By N Hoffman.