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Aurora stays put in US, reaps benefits
Sep '15
Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc., a global leader in coating, dyeing and finishing of both woven and non-woven fabrics and which is based in the Chicago metro area, says it has just invested in a new, streamlined, state-of-the-art US manufacturing plant to stay in production. Scanning the ever-evolving textile industry landscape, leadership at ASTG determined about five years ago that they would have to change and adapt to take full advantage of new emerging textile markets, it said in a press release.

This meant opening a new manufacturing plant and significant investments in new equipment and systems. But rather than move from their long-standing base near Chicago, they stayed local and this year opened a new, multi-million dollar plant in Yorkville, Illinois, located a short drive from their old plant in Aurora. In the process they saved over 75 jobs, added five more, and preserved a thriving enterprise that helps support local economies. They also better positioned the company to continue to be a strong supplier to the rapidly-growing US and
global markets for print media, including wide-format.

ASTG said it took the step to avoid shutting down like many other American plants that were forced to shut down as changes in the global textile industry led many US textile firms to relocate manufacturing operations offshore leaving sections of the local workforce unemployed and economies struggling.

“We never considered going anywhere else because of our employee base,” said Dan LaTurno, president of ASTG. “We have a great team with little turnover, and many of our employees have been here 20 years plus.” In the 1990’s Aurora began investing in team building and the result was a highly skilled, stable, workforce, he said. The company recognized that solid team work and low turnover were key ingredients of their success, plus would be needed to make a smooth transition to the new operation.

“When we decided to move, we roughly drew a circle 16 to 18 miles in radius from the existing plant,” LaTurno explained, and soon found an unoccupied, former manufacturing plant in nearby Yorkville.

In April of this year, ASTG began moving from their Aurora plant to the new 124,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing operation in Yorkville. A highlight of the plant is the company’s new fully automated EHWHA ultra wide width coating and finishing line, which works easily with a broad range of woven and non-woven materials up to 134” wide. The EHWHA enhances Aurora’s ability to serve both current and new customers, including those in the print media industry.

The equipment and plant represent a significant, multi-million dollar investment. But staying in the US turned out to be a smart decision.

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