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Archive for the ‘Industry’ Category

Proforce Equipment, Inc. Welcomes New National Sales Manager

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Scott Collins brings over 22 years of sales and operations management experience to Proforce Equipment, Inc. and its multiple brands, including Tasmanian Tiger®.

Miramar, Fla. (June 2019) – Proforce Equipment, Inc., the exclusive distributor and representative for Tasmanian Tiger® and Snugpak® in the United States, has brought on sales executive, Scott Collins, as their new National Sales Manager.

“Scott comes to Proforce Equipment with an incredible background in sales and operational management,” Richard Lewis, President and CEO of Proforce Equipment, Inc., commented. “Utilizing his relationships within the outdoor and tactical markets, he will be responsible for developing new dealer and distributor partnerships, as well as, working with law enforcement and military units.”

“I welcome the amazing opportunity to take the high-quality Tasmanian Tiger brand, which has performed so well in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and pioneer the brand here in the US while continuing to grow Snugpak in the US market,” Collins added.

In Collins’ previous position as sales manager,  he was responsible for tactical nylon sales to law enforcement, military, first responders and government contractors. Prior positions also include outside territory sales of security and industrial uniforms and operations manager for the law enforcement, military, first responder, government contractor sector.

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Milliken & Co To Acquire Polartec From Versa Capital Management

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Brand acquisition bolsters Milliken’s capabilities to include fleece, performance textiles for consumer, workwear and military outdoor apparel

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Milliken & Company (“Milliken”), a global diversified manufacturer with more than a century and a half of textile expertise, today announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Polartec, LLC (“Polartec”), a strong global brand known for its innovative performance textiles for outdoor and military apparel, from Versa Capital Management, LLC (“Versa”). The acquisition is expected to close in June. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts, the Polartec brand carries a respected portfolio of fabric technologies for outdoor apparel, from performance-driven and consumer-focused textiles, to flame-resistant, workwear and military-grade fabrics. The addition of the Polartec brand—particularly its outdoor and fleece textiles—rounds out Milliken’s comprehensive portfolio, allowing the company to deliver unprecedented access to a range of performance textiles for consumers, industrial workers and military personnel around the world.

“Polartec brings a wealth of new and respected outdoor textile expertise to complement Milliken’s strengths,” shared Halsey Cook, president and CEO of Milliken & Company. “The strategic acquisition broadens our textile capabilities with a product offering to now include fleece and soft-shell outerwear, among others, allowing us to grow in new and exciting spaces.”

“With more than 150 years of textile innovation, Milliken is the best possible ‘natural owner’ of a brand with Polartec’s pedigree. I look forward to supporting the integration,” said Polartec CEO Gary Smith. “I’m grateful to Versa Capital Management for their support in realizing Polartec’s full potential, and I’m extremely proud of the global Polartec team for their dedication and hard work that put the company in the position it is in today.”

“We look forward to growing Polartec’s strong brand at Milliken,” said Jeff Price, president of Milliken’s Performance and Protective Textiles Division. “Polartec expands our regional manufacturing reach and grows our technological expertise, enabling us to further deliver innovative performance textiles to the global market.”

“Milliken provides the perfect platform to ensure the continuation and acceleration of the success of the Polartec brand after years of complex and transformative business repositioning by Gary Smith and his team,” said Greg Segall, CEO of Versa and chairman of Polartec. “It has been a great collaboration with Gary and all of Polartec’s valued employees, and we are proud of all that has been accomplished during Versa’s ownership—notably the feat of reviving an American textile icon and powerful global brand into an enterprise equipped to succeed in today’s highly competitive markets. Milliken is the ideal long-term owner for Polartec, and we look forward to seeing the two companies achieve big things together.”

Versa acquired the assets of the former Malden Mills in 2007 through the then 101-year-old textile manufacturer’s third reorganization. Working with management, the business was transformed, renaming the company Polartec, reorienting it toward a technology- and innovation-led growth strategy, and revamping the company’s leadership, operations, manufacturing footprint and customer relationships.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

Versa and Polartec were advised by Lazard Middle Market and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Milliken & Company was represented by Jones Day LLP.

To learn more about Milliken’s Performance and Protective Textiles Division, visit

Outdoor Research Factory Grand Opening In El Monte, California

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

There’s not much I love more than visiting factories, but it’s a rare occasion to be invited to a grand opening of a brand new factory, particularly in the textile industry.

Considering the long history of garment sewing in Southern California, I fully expected to see a refurbished factory. Instead, I was greeted with a brand new building, filled with completely new machines. Just nine months ago, OR’s patent company, Youngone, started their quest to open a new factory here in the States. After surveying several locations across the country, they initially settled on a different location. Unfortunately, inspection of the local area revealed it was unsuitable and they quickly selected El Monte, California, as their newest location. In just three months, the 32,000-square-foot factory was outfitted and the work force hired and trained.

Once inside, visitors are immediately greeted by a show room, outfitted with the full breadth of OR’s tactical offerings.

Just beyond, the production floor is laid out in multiple lines with new equipment and room for expansion. Supervisors and the factory director are situated at the front of the floor.

When OR’s latest employees came onboard, they were already quite adept at the cut and sew business, but there was still a learning curve. They all had to learn how to manufacture handwear with the Gore-Tex membrane. In particular, a great deal of investment was placed in training those who apply seam tape to the gear. Below, you can see a positive pressure test device which detects holes in the Gore-Tex membrane or seam tape. Any pinholes are immediately patched and put back through Quality Control inspection.

There are about 1000 displaced textile workers in El Monte due to factory after factory moving overseas in recent years. In particular, the jeans industry is almost entirely offshore. Outdoor Research was able to leverage that work force and put 115 of these skilled workers back to work.

The city of El Monte is very proud of this new factory and I can see why. The building is new construction, built to the latest code, and the work is vital to our nation’s defense. These textiles worlers are family members who will bring home a living wage and generous benefits package.

The celebration of the opening spanned two days, due to pressing schedules. First, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32) toured the new facility, along with Michelle Wardian, President of Outdoor Research as well as El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero; Jason Duncan, VP of Tactical, Innovation, CSR – Outdoor Research; and TJ Laynor, Tactical Sales Director, Outdoor Research. They conducted a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at the end of the tour.

The next day’s grand opening ceremony was quite an event. El Monte is 65.2% Hispanic and 30% Asian. The work force closely mirrors its community and the gathering was addressed in English, Spanish and Cantonese. Presiding were representatives from the the El Monte city council and city departments as well as LA County. These dignitaries also wished the factory well.

The economic impact of this new factory will be felt all throughout El Monte and it’s neighboring communities in the San Gabriel Valley, as some workers commute from as far away as Pasadena.

What’s more, Outdoor Research boasts a new, state of the art factory which specializes in manufacturing protective clothing for the US military. Already, it’s hard at work producing equipment for our men and women in uniform.

Rheinmetall and FRAEN Corporation Announce Joint Venture to Serve US Defense Market

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

By setting up a joint venture in the military fuze sector, the Rheinmetall Group continues to expand its presence in the growing US defense technology market.

Rheinmetall and the FRAEN Corporation have joined forces to establish a joint venture in the United States called Rheinmetall Fraen Fuzes LLC (RFF) which, headed by Rheinmetall, will develop and produce military fuzes. The Düsseldorf, Germany-based technology group will hold a 51 percent share in the new company, with the remaining 49 percent held by FRAEN Corporation. The joint venture will be collocated with FRAEN Corporation headquarters in Reading, Massachusetts.

The combined capabilities of the Rheinmetall Fraen Fuzes joint venture lay the groundwork for establishing a new benchmark in the world of military fuze technology, with intensive research and development poised to create new technical and tactical capabilities.

Rheinmetall brings to the joint venture state-of-the-art technology, innovative drive, unsurpassed quality, and nearly 130 years of experience in developing and producing defense technology systems and products, especially weapon systems, ammunition, and related components. FRAEN Corporation is synonymous with precision fabrication of mechanical and electrical elements, automated production sequences with integrated quality control, and comprehensive production expertise.

In particular, America stands to benefit from the synergy effects arising from the new joint venture, coupled with access to cutting-edge fuze technology – a key component in the production of ammunition – together with an assured source of supply and excellent quality. Based on advanced Rheinmetall technologies and know-how, the creation of research and development capacity in America will be a boon for the US defense industry.

The new company constitutes a key element in the ongoing expansion of Rheinmetall’s Weapon and Ammunition division in the United States, and is an integral part of its strategy of securing existing and future US procurement orders in the weapon and ammunition domain.

As Werner Kraemer, managing director of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH, put it, “We’re very upbeat about the potential the new company opens up for our customers as well for ourselves. The combined capabilities of FRAEN Corporation and Rheinmetall mean that we’ll be able to offer our American customers the latest fuze technology and highly innovative products: Made in USA.”

“Our goal is to tap into the market for ammunition and grow the company to meet the needs of our customers in the best way possible”, states Nic Scarfo, CEO of FRAEN Corporation. “Combining our capabilities with technologies from Rheinmetall in the United States takes our business to a whole new level. We’ll be able to offer technologies and products that help our armed forces perform their important tasks. We look forward to working together with Rheinmetall!”

Darren Klein, who will lead the joint venture as CEO, stresses that “Rheinmetall Fraen Fuzes is fortunate to be able to build on the robust capabilities, experience, and product portfolios of its parent companies. Thanks to this joint endeavor, we’ll be able to offer our customers the kind of innovative and effective high-quality products they need to carry out their vital mission.”

Rheinmetall Defence is a leading maker of military vehicles and systems. In the USA, the Group is represented by American Rheinmetall Munition and American Rheinmetall Systems. Both subsidiaries are experienced suppliers of the US Department of Defense.

FRAEN Corporation is an innovative, large-volume producer of high-quality, precision metal components and assemblies, specializing in injection casting, punching, and turning.

Millbrook Tactical Introduces Liberty Dynamic Flashbangs To Canadian Market

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Ottawa, Canada – We are proud to announce that Millbrook will bring Liberty Dynamic technology to the Canadian market as the exclusive Canadian distributor. The Liberty Dynamic flashbang is a technological leap forward in the industry and will greatly enhance operator safety and effectiveness. Visit us at CANSEC 2019 booth 421 for more information or contact us at for a live demonstration.

Outdoor Research Doubles US Manufacturing to More Than 200 jobs with Second Onshore Factory

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

New facility in El Monte, Calif., joins existing Seattle factory to drive apparel, gear innovation in the military/tactical, outdoor markets.

SEATTLE, Wash. (May 29, 2019) – Outdoor Research, the Seattle-based leader in performance apparel and outdoor gear, has expanded its decades-long commitment to making products in the U.S. by investing in a new manufacturing facility that opened in April, doubling the number of OR staff building apparel and gear onshore.

The new, wholly owned factory is located in El Monte, Calif. It joins the manufacturing enterprise that Outdoor Research has operated for decades at its Seattle headquarters, helping the brand continue to raise the bar for apparel and equipment innovation.

Thanks to its U.S. manufacturing capabilities, which are unique in the outdoor market, Outdoor Research has created purpose-built products for the U.S. military and tactical markets for 25 years.

Highly respected in the outdoor industry for developing functional solutions for extreme environments, Outdoor Research has a long history of successfully leveraging the best commercial market technologies to serve the needs of the U.S. armed forces. OR tactical products have been improved through cross-pollination from user groups, including the elite communities of military, law enforcement, and government agencies.

Innovations developed for the military and tactical markets have, in turn, driven innovations in products for outdoor consumers. Having highly skilled manufacturing located in the U.S. gives Outdoor Research the ability to prototype products on-site, allowing new products to be developed more quickly and to go through more rounds of improvement. In addition, innovations pioneered for the military and tactical markets have been incorporated into outdoor products.

“Developing cutting-edge military and tactical products has been a key part of our business since 1994, and it’s been an integral part of what has allowed us to maintain and build upon the domestic manufacturing capabilities that Outdoor Research has always had,” said Michelle Wardian, President of Outdoor Research.

“This new investment will allow us to continue to accelerate our product-development cycle so we can more rapidly field the latest innovations to the end-user, helping increase the mobility and protection of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and law-enforcement officers, and also driving innovation company wide in the process. We’re proud that we’ve been able to bring American manufacturing to the table to accomplish this.”

Over the past two years, Outdoor Research conducted a comprehensive review of the U.S. supply chain and is in active development with textile mills and materials providers to expand and elevate the capabilities of products that are 100-percent American-made. It has also made significant capital investments in cutting-edge machinery and process efficiency to improve and modernize its Seattle factory, along with hiring more site engineers. This template was replicated in El Monte to significantly increase the brand’s U.S. manufacturing capacity. The new facility doubles the number of OR employees manufacturing products in the U.S. to more than 200.

These investments allow Outdoor Research to take advantage of the company’s global knowledge of design, materials, and innovative manufacturing techniques while producing the next generation of tactical and outdoor products at its U.S. facilities.

FROG.PRO – Italian Tactical Designers

Monday, May 20th, 2019

This is a great video introducing you to Italian brand, FROG.PRO. I get to meet with them every year during IWA in Germany and they bring a fresh look to gear design.

Mountain Khakis Unveils Premium, New Website

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Jackson, WY (May 14, 2019) – Mountain Khakis®, the leading premium outdoor apparel outfitter for men and women, proudly announces the unveiling of a new online experience with the launch of a new website.

Partnering with Wick Creative out of Denver, CO for a refreshed desktop and mobile look, the newly designed website offers a clean, organized design with improved functionality, which means it offers a simpler, more intuative approach to shopping.

Also assisting in the shopping experience, Mountain Khakis is introducing the new ‘Pant Finder,’ which acts as a questionaire that will help a customer to hone in to the right pant based off of fit, functionality and need.

‘It’s an exciting evolution of an in-store shopping experience, which allows our customers a more personalized pant shopping experience,’ said Colby Bell, Mountain Khakis Ecommerce Stategist.

Along with showcasing the Mountain Khakis apparel and accessories, the newly designed website offers premium storytelling through collection selling and enhanced product imagery.

‘We see how important content has become in the digital shopping experience and really wanted to showcase the quality and durability of our apparel through premium content – images and video,’ said Bell.

The new website went live May 7th, 2019 and is located at the same URL address as prior:  The site will be updatted on a regular basis with new product launches, brand activity, milestones and information. Customers are encouraged to explore the website and follow along with the brand evolution.