Albarrie Canada Ltd., headquartered in Barrie, ON, Canada, invested in the installation of a 2,400 sq ft stenter frame oven, replacing a 50 year old machine. The new oven will provide the company with the ability to heat, set, and dry industrial textile materials to produce denser, higher quality fabrics than its predecessor.
“This is an exciting time here at Albarrie,” said Kevin Horner, director of Operations at Albarrie. “Pressing the on switch of this new technology means that we can continue to produce industry leading fabrics and have them out the door, on their way to customers, in a shorter amount of time, which will ultimately open new doors for this business.”
Albarrie is a global manufacturer of industrial textiles and is a leading North American manufacturer of high performance needlefelts for the aluminum extrusion industry. This includes its Defender series of extrusion rollers, roller covers, endless belts, soft felt pads, Durafiber boards, separator pins, and spacer bar sleeves made with PBO, Kevlar®, Nomex®, and polyester felts.
Many of the fabrics produced in the company’s facility need to be heat set and dried before they can be used for their intended purpose. The new stenter frame achieves this by heating up to 232°C (450°F), finishing fabric to specifications required by end users.
“This was a big investment for Albarrie, but it was an investment for the future, one that will ensure we have the capability to remain competitive in the fabricated textile market for years to come,” said Margaret Driscoll, executive director of Albarrie.
According to the company, a crew of 12 skilled millwrights, electricians, and product specialists along with Albarrie staff constructed the new stenter frame. Despite delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the team was able to complete the build and perform rigorous testing prior to launch. The new stenter frame is now fully up an running, moving fabric through its high heat finishing process and solidifying Albarrie as one of the major players in the North American non-woven textile manufacturing industry.
In addition to improved quality and faster capabilities, the new machine also provides Albarrie with new training and development opportunities, enabling seasoned employees to learn new skills in the operation of this technology. The company values continued education and personal development, and this technology investment is just one of many examples of how the organization strives to build an environment dedicated to developing its workforce.