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Marcia Ayala promoted to President, Aurora Specialty Textiles Group

 Marcia Ayala, President – Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc.

(Yorkville, Illinois, July 29, 2019)  Marcia Ayala has been named President of Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc., which is a subsidiary of Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Meridian Industries. This is a promotion for Ayala, who started at Aurora in 2006 as Director of Research & Development, was promoted to Vice President of Research & Development in 2014 and promoted again to company Vice President in 2015.  Her new role as president began July 15, 2019. 

Ayala played a key leadership role at Aurora during the company’s recent transition from its former plant in Aurora, Illinois, to a new manufacturing facility in Yorkville. That move involved bringing in a new generation of textile equipment and technology.

As the company’s head of R&D, she has been instrumental in expanding Aurora’s product offerings.She also led a program to rebrand the company in 2016 and has played an essential role in Aurora’s successful entry and growth into a variety of important new textile markets, including printable textiles and industrial belting fabric.

Ayala has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from West Virginia University, a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in business administration from Georgia State.

Bruce Eben Pindyck, owner of Meridian Industries, noted that Ayala earned the masters’ degrees while working full time.

“I am pleased to announce that Marcia Ayala has been promoted to President of Aurora Specialty Textiles Group,” Pindyck said. “Aurora and Marcia will continue to get my full support.  Meridian made a significant investment in moving to the Yorkville facility and installing new state-of-the-art equipment.  Marcia will continue the efforts of Aurora optimizing our new facility and equipment by providing first class service and products for our existing customers and developing new opportunities with present and new customers.” 

Ayala added that she is honored by the promotion to president. “I am fortunate to have the backing of Meridian Industries and a great team of employees, that along with our extensive textile finishing capabilities, gives Aurora a competitive advantage,” Ayala said. 

She emphasized that Aurora will continue focusing on business development and partnering with customers to develop unique products as well as implementing sustainable business practices.

A photograph of Ayala is available on request. For additional information contact Glenna Musante, below.

 
Media Notes: Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. is a global leader in coating, dyeing and finishing of both woven and non-woven fabrics. Based in Yorkville, Illinois, U.S.A., the company has a 136-year tradition of innovation and in 2015 invested in a new state-of-the-art, wide width coating and finishing line, and a new facility, that dramatically expand their ability to serve customers. Products include digitally-printable textiles, specialty home products, tape-backing products and technical textiles for a wide variety of industries. Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc., is a Meridian Industries, Inc. company and ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified.  Aurora is also an industry leader with regard to sustainable manufacturing practices and a recipient of SGIA’s Sustainable Business Recognition Award in 2019.

Press Contact:
Glenna Musante +1 919.604.7213

Fibre2Fashion.com: Face2Face with Dan LaTurno

https://www.fibre2fashion.com/interviews/face2face/aurora-textiles/dan-laturno/12189-1/

    Dan LaTurno, former President – Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc.

Water usage in Aurora’s new plant is half of that used in its earlier plant 

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group has evolved from its roots as a cotton spinning mill in Aurora, Illinois, to a textile processing operation. Fabric bleaching and preparation provided the building blocks from which Aurora has grown. Fibre2Fashion chatted with company president Dan LaTurno on the occasion of World Environment Day to know about Aurora’s sustainability goals, technologies and its programmes to protect the environment.

Q – What are the sustainability plans and certifications Aurora has adopted through the years?

A – We began the planning process for implementing ISO14001 in 2009 and are certified to the latest standard (ISO14001:2015) as of February 2018. Aurora is registered with the Smart Ideas for Your Business Programme to save electricity through ComEd (regional electric utility) and the Energy Smart programme to save natural gas through Nicor Gas.
 

Q – Do you have an environmental management system (EMS) in place? Do you follow any specific standard for that?

A – Yes, we follow the ISO14001, a globally-accepted standard and framework for establishing, implementing and maintaining an ongoing EMS. It provides a comprehensive framework for managing all aspects of an EMS and ensures the organisation has a commitment to continual improvement, pollution prevention and compliance with requirements. Aurora’s EMS goals include reducing landfill waste, reducing energy consumption and improving waste water processing. ISO14001 provides evidence and reassurance to our customers and supply chain partners that we have an EMS plan in place that we are following daily at all levels of the organisation. Implementation involves all our employees and buy-in from employees at every level, in every department, as well as employee training.
 

Q – What did you keep in mind while designing your new plant in Yorkville, Illinois?

A – We relocated manufacturing operations to the new plant in 2015. The natural gas and electricity components of our new plant were designed to significantly reduce manufacturing carbon footprint. The reduction in natural gas and electricity consumption at the new plant represents an annual reduction of 4,134 metric tonnes of CO2. That is the equivalent of 465,178 gallons of gasoline per year or 4,523,015 pounds of coal burnt.
 
We follow specific US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Illinois EPA (IEPA) guidelines, which are now easier to manage than at the old plant. For example, our national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) for storm water runoff is easier to manage at Yorkville because all the manufacturing is under a single roof. We have installed new pipes and drains. There is also no bulk storage of chemistries onsite or outdoor tanks, which makes management of chemicals safer. The air permit requirements are easier to manage in the new plant because the new equipment is so efficient.
 
We do not use solvent-based chemistries, solvent-based coatings or finishes, but only water-based chemistries at the old and new plants. All our products are made with water-based chemistries.
 

Q – What are the new measures taken in the new plant to reduce electric and natural gas consumption?

A – The measures taken in the new plant to reduce electric and natural gas consumption are as follows:
  • Aurora made the commitment to invest in and install the best equipment.
  • Over $1 million was invested in new equipment, which includes variable speed drives, new higher efficiency boilers powered by gas, a building automation system (BAS), unit heaters, proper insulation and heat exchangers.
  • Untold manpower hours from 2009 to present were invested in developing Aurora’s sustainability plan.
  • Additional labor hours were spent installing the equipment.
  • We replaced steam, which was used for heating in some areas of the former plant,
  • with natural gas heaters throughout the new plant.
  • In the new plant we also installed a state-of-the-art finishing wide width range, combined and optimized two standard-width finishing ranges into one, and then recycled two older ranges that were beyond their useful life by deconstructing them and recycling the metal.
  • The new plant exclusively uses LED lighting, which is both energy-efficient and long-lasting. This also reduces landfill waste. 

Q – What are the investments you made in your new plant for managing water use and water-based effluent?

A – We made a significant investment at the new plant for managing water use and water-based effluent. This includes a pre-treatment programme for the effluent produced from wash operations. The system is governed by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the Yorkville Bristol Sanitation District. As part of this, we adjust pH levels and controls solids levels. We are continually looking for new methods to remove solids. Meanwhile, water usage in the new plant is currently 50 per cent less than the amount used in the earlier plant. This was accomplished by switching from narrow rope bleaching of fabric to open wide-width bleaching, combining the scour, de-size and chemical applications, and by implementing best practices to minimise water usage for clean-up and processing.
 
 Published on: 05/06/2019
  

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

Media Notes: Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. is a global leader in coating, dyeing and finishing of both woven and non-woven fabrics. Based in Yorkville, Illinois, U.S.A., the company has a 136-year tradition of innovation and in 2015 invested in a new state-of-the-art, wide width coating and finishing line, and a new facility, that dramatically expand their ability to serve customers. Products include digitally-printable textiles, specialty home products, tape-backing products and technical textiles for a wide variety of industries. Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc., is a Meridian Industries, Inc. company and ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified.  Aurora is also an industry leader with regard to sustainable manufacturing practices and a recipient of SGIA’s Sustainable Business Recognition Award in 2019.

Press Contact:
Glenna Musante +1 919.604.7213

Aurora Wins 2019 Sustainable Business Recognition Award from SGIA, the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association

The annual contest spotlights companies that have invested in, and implemented, new programs that reduce environmental impact

(Yorkville, Illinois, April 1, 2019……) Aurora Specialty Textiles Group has won SGIA’s 2019 Sustainable Business Recognition award, which spotlights leaders in the global printing industry that have implemented programs that reduce that company’s environmental impact and protect and improve employee safety.

The award was announced Monday, March 25, 2019 by SGIA. From that date to Earth Day 2019 (April 22, 2019), SGIA will conduct a social media campaign that highlights the winners as global leaders in the development and implementation of sustainable business practices.

In 2018, Aurora implemented the first full year of a massive manufacturing overhaul that involved investing over $1 million in new equipment and software designed to significantly reduce Aurora’s environmental impact. The program also involved spending millions more retrofitting and redesigning the new plant with sustainability upgrades. This included integrating state-of-the-art sustainability measures throughout the company’s facilities, operations and manufacturing processes, and retraining of employees at all levels.

Aurora’s accomplishments in this area “are a testament to the dedication required to accomplish goals directed at becoming a sustainable business,” said Michael E. Compton, Chair of the Advisory Council, Sustainability, Safety, Health and Personnel at SGIA. “The Sustainable Business Award recognizes the achievements involved with improving business efficiency and reducing the environmental impact.”

Aurora’s investments in next-generation sustainability technologies are consistent with their overall philosophy. “We apply the same innovative approach and commitment to the products that we make and the customers we serve as we do to sustainability,” said Mark Shaneyfelt, Director of Sales and Marketing for Printable Textiles at Aurora. “We pride ourselves in being progressive in all phases of our business.”

SGIA is the trade association for professionals in the industrial, graphic, garment, textile, electronics, packaging and commercial printing industries looking to grow their businesses through the incorporation of the latest printing technologies.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by SGIA for the commitment Aurora has made to reduce our environmental impact while improving our business efficiency,” said Marcia Ayala, Vice President at Aurora. “We have been dedicated to adopting processes and technologies that are both state-of -the-art and sustainable. We embraced the challenge and are committed to continuing to find new, innovative ways to both improve our business and promote global sustainability.”

Metrics related to Aurora’s sustainability are available on the Aurora website and will also be shared by SGIA over the course of their Earth Day social media campaign. A quick summary of Aurora’s sustainability story is listed below.

Aurora’s new state-of-the-art, North American manufacturing operation is strategically equipped with next-generation bleaching, finishing, fabric skewing and coating technologies. With its next-gen capabilities, convenient location and streamlined operations, Aurora is ideally poised to help their customers meet and surpass market demand for their products.

For additional information, go to:
https://www.sgia.org/programs/awards-competitions/sustainable-business-recognition

A few highlights from Aurora’s Sustainability Project:

  • 2018 Aurora was the first year of full implementation of our comprehensive sustainability program and the result is a profitable, next-generation textile manufacturing operation that serves as a global model for the textile and printing industries for sustainably responsible manufacturing.
  • Implementation of Aurora’s sustainability program involved investing over $1 million in new equipment, moving from Aurora’s former plant in Aurora, Ill. to a new manufacturing facility in nearby Yorkville, Ill., and spending millions more retrofitting and redesigning the new plant with sustainability upgrades.
  • The program also involved integrating state-of-the-art sustainability measures throughout the company’s facilities, operations and manufacturing processes and retraining of employees at all levels.
  • Aurora’s sustainability program is based on an ongoing commitment to developing and executing a comprehensive Environmental Management System (EMS) that involves the participation of employees at all levels of the organization and a commitment to maintaining ISO.14001:2015 certification, a comprehensive globally-accepted standard and framework.
  • Aurora continues to set goals to further enhance our sustainability program. Aurora’s 2019 EMS goals include reducing landfill waste, reducing energy consumption and improving waste water processing.
  • Along the journey, the energy efficiency improvements helped shape improvements to employee health and safety. The natural gas and electricity components of Aurora’s plant were designed to significantly reduce Aurora’s manufacturing carbon footprint:
    • In the plant Aurora changed all lighting to LED lighting, which is energy-efficient, long-lasting and reduces landfill waste. This includes 75+ exterior lights and 500+ interior lights.
    • Annual water usage is currently 50% less than the amount of water used annually 4 years ago.
    • o Aurora has realized a 50% reduction in natural gas consumption and 10% reduction in electric consumption versus 4 years ago.
    • That reduction in natural gas and electricity consumption represents an annual reduction of 4,134 metric tons of carbon dioxide. That is the equivalent of 465,178 gallons of gasoline per year or 4,523,015 pounds of coal burned.
Media Notes: Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. is a global leader in coating, dyeing and finishing of both woven and non-woven fabrics. Based in Yorkville, Illinois, U.S.A., the company has a 136-year tradition of innovation and in 2015 invested in a new state-of-the-art, wide width coating and finishing line, and a new facility, that dramatically expand their ability to serve customers. Products include digitally-printable textiles, specialty home products, tape-backing products and technical textiles for a wide variety of industries. Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc., is a Meridian Industries, Inc. company and ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified.  Aurora is also an industry leader with regard to sustainable manufacturing practices and a recipient of SGIA’s Sustainable Business Recognition Award in 2019.

Press Contact:
Glenna Musante +1 919.604.7213

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group expands operations, hires Erik Nees as Sales Account Manager

(Yorkville, Illinois, February 25, 2019……) Erik Nees, former Manager of Sales at Alice Manufacturing, has been hired by Aurora Specialty Textiles Group as Sales Account Manager. In this role he will oversee industrial sales, which includes working with new and current customers in the tape, bedding, medical and technical textiles industries.

Nees worked at Alice Manufacturing from 1992 until the end of 2018, when Alice Manufacturing, also known as Alice Mills, closed doors. At Alice Manufacturing, Nees managed sales in the home furnishings, career apparel, industrial applications and medical sectors, targeting global and North American accounts. 

“Erik Nees brings a high degree of professional salesmanship to ASTG and an extensive background in the textile industry,” said Dan LaTurno, president of Aurora Specialty Textiles Group. “We are very excited to have Erik join our sales team and look forward to working with him and introducing him to our current and future customers during Techtextil NA.”

Visitors to Techtextil NA 2019 can meet with Nees by visiting Booth 1823, February 26 to 28, 2019, at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, NC, USA. The product groups for Aurora include Woven Fabrics, Knitted Fabrics, Nonwovens, Coated Textiles, Canvas Products and Research & Development.

At Techtextil NA,  Nees and Aurora senior management will be on hand to discuss Aurora’s state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities, quick turn-around times and cost-effective wide-width finishing and bleaching capabilities.

 “I’m delighted to join the team at Aurora. I’m impressed with their new facility as well as their commitment to innovation and continual efforts to meet their customers’ needs,” said Nees. “Ultimately, I am very excited for the opportunity to use my 26-plus years of experience in fabric sales, formation and converting to grow Aurora’s customer base.”

Aurora has spent the last five years investing in a new state-of-the-art, North American manufacturing operation strategically equipped with next-generation bleaching, finishing, fabric skewing and coating technologies.

That investment is paying off for their customers. With its new technologies, convenient location and streamlined operations,  Aurora is ideally poised to help their customers meet and surpass market demand for their products.

Media Notes: Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. is a global leader in coating, dyeing and finishing of both woven and non-woven fabrics. Based in Yorkville, Illinois, U.S.A., the company has a 136-year tradition of innovation and in 2015 invested in a new state-of-the-art, wide width coating and finishing line, and a new facility, that dramatically expand their ability to serve customers. Products include digitally-printable textiles, specialty home products, tape-backing products and technical textiles for a wide variety of industries. Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc., is a Meridian Industries, Inc. company and ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified.  Aurora is also an industry leader with regard to sustainable manufacturing practices and a recipient of SGIA’s Sustainable Business Recognition Award in 2019.

Press Contact:
Glenna Musante +1 919.604.7213

Aurora To Showcase North American Wide Width Finishing And Bleaching Capabilities At Techtextil NA 2019

(Yorkville, Illinois, February 20, 2019……) While other US textile manufacturing plants have shuttered or moved overseas, Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. (Aurora) has spent the last five years investing in a new state-of-the-art, North American manufacturing operation strategically equipped with next-generation wide width (up to 130″) bleaching, finishing, fabric skewing and coating technologies.

That investment is paying off for their customers. With its new technologies, convenient location and streamlined operations,  Aurora is ideally poised to help their customers meet and surpass market demand for their products.Visitors to Techtextil NA 2019 can learn more about Aurora’s next-gen capabilities by visiting Booth 1823, February 26 to 28, 2019, at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, NC, USA. The product groups for Aurora include Woven Fabrics, Knitted Fabrics, Nonwovens, Coated Textiles, Canvas Products and Research & Development.

“The products we bleach and finish have a vast number of end applications,” said Dan LaTurno, president of the company. “It could be anything from tape products to bedding to personal safety products. In addition, our industrial belting fabric is the best in the industry.”

Aurora’s manufacturing operations are also centrally located in the USA. “We offer best quality paired with brisk turnaround times, quick deliveries and competitive pricing,” said LaTurno. “Our customers can rest easy knowing that they are working with a manufacturer that’s investing in the latest technology, is growing and is here to stay.”

Aurora also offers ease of communication with customer service and sales staff located in the USA and an easy phone call, text or email away. Attending the show from Aurora are Erik Nees, Sales Account Manager; Mark Noles, Sales Account Manager; Dan LaTurno, President; Jack Gaches, Logistics and Purchasing Manager; and Vlad Antal, Product Development Manager.

Media Notes: Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. is a global leader in coating, dyeing and finishing of both woven and non-woven fabrics. Based in Yorkville, Illinois, U.S.A., the company has a 136-year tradition of innovation and in 2015 invested in a new state-of-the-art, wide width coating and finishing line, and a new facility, that dramatically expand their ability to serve customers. Products include digitally-printable textiles, specialty home products, tape-backing products and technical textiles for a wide variety of industries. Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc., is a Meridian Industries, Inc. company and ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified.  Aurora is also an industry leader with regard to sustainable manufacturing practices and a recipient of SGIA’s Sustainable Business Recognition Award in 2019.

Press Contact:
Glenna Musante +1 919.604.7213

Printable Textiles Labeling Modification, Effective February 1, 2019

(Yorkville, Illinois, January 10, 2019……) Due to recent changes to the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, commonly known as California Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”), Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc., has changed our Prop 65 warning policy out of an abundance of caution. As a result, we are warning that under Prop 65, many of our printable textile products contain trace amounts of components known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

It should be noted that no changes have been made to the products. These warnings are a result of a change in policy, not a change to the product.
If you have any questions, please contact your sales representative.

Media Notes: Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. is a global leader in coating, dyeing and finishing of both woven and non-woven fabrics. Based in Yorkville, Illinois, U.S.A., the company has a 136-year tradition of innovation and in 2015 invested in a new state-of-the-art, wide width coating and finishing line, and a new facility, that dramatically expand their ability to serve customers. Products include digitally-printable textiles, specialty home products, tape-backing products and technical textiles for a wide variety of industries. Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc., is a Meridian Industries, Inc. company and ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified.  Aurora is also an industry leader with regard to sustainable manufacturing practices and a recipient of SGIA’s Sustainable Business Recognition Award in 2019.

Press Contact:
Glenna Musante +1 919.604.7213

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