Esther Bowser running a warp on the Karl Meyer warper. Like most of the staff Esther has been with Heritage for much of her working life, over twenty years in fact - a testimony to the stability of this family-owned mill.
Chris Evers in discussion with production staffer Linda Arsenault. Linda likewise has been with Heritage, as she puts it, "since about forever," and knows every machine and process as deeply and fondly as if it were family.
Heritage Chris Evers in conversation with staffer Raymond Cassie at the Bigagli fancy twister. This is a unique piece of equipment that allows us to do specialty yarns such as bouclé that really stand out and add an extra design feature to our product. The ability to make these yarns on-site, rather than have to purchase them off-shore is a real advantage.
Technician Rob Rayworth inspects the Montfort finisher after having installed new digital controlling units.
QA inspector Stacy teBogt conducts an in-process inspection of product as it is processed through the finisher. In-process inspections are conducted at all stages of production prior to finished product arriving at the inspection tables for a final detailed inspection.
Heritage machine operators are trained to look for flaws, abnormalities, or variances in the equipment during production. Fabric is subjected to specific hold points before advancing to the next stage.
Even after final inspection further random sampling is performed prior to shipping. These measures are part of a formal QA system which ensures that quality issues do not become recurring and that any necessary corrective actions are implemented into the production process.
The Gaston County 4 port and 2 port dye vessels afford Heritage Textiles a redundancy, flexibility in dye loads, and an increased production capacity.
Before they are scaled up to production level dyes and dye protocols are developed and tested on a prototype scale in the Heritage dye lab.
A full service machine shop with fabrication capabilities ensures that equipment is maintained and serviced as per our preventative maintenance schedules. In the event of an equipment failure, these on-site services ensure that down time is kept to a minimum.
If a part isn't available, or will take too long in shipping, the machine shop can often make it on the spot.
In the boiler room just around the corner from the machine and maintenance shop, Class IV stationary engineer Dean Tilley is engaged in some routine maintenance painting.
A dual fuel process boiler helps moderate seasonal variations in fuel prices. Again the cleanliness of the area and the arrangement of its mechanical elements gives a sense of order that reflects the overall Heritage work ethic.
Staff have always been important - right from the beginning when Heritage was the Humphrey's Woolen Mill and produced "unshrinkable" woolen underwear.