BedTimes MAY 2010
THE BUSINESS JOURNAL FOR THE SLEEP PRODUCTS INDUSTRY
Mattress making Innovations in machinery improve manufacturing processes
Industry gets tough-love message about mattress shopping Charitable giving helps your company, helps others
Innovative Technology for
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This equipment is protected by one or more of the following patents: US patents: 4,280,421; 4,432,294; 4,466,367; 4,644,883; 5,134,947; 5,159,889; 5,203,270; 5,522,332; 5,524,563; 5,562,060; 5,634,418; 5,647,293; 5,657,711; 5,743,202; 5,865,135; 5,899,159; 5,915,319; 5,918,560; 5,979,345; 6,035,794; 6,055,921; 6,202,579; 6,279,869; 6,295,481; 6,494,255; 6,802,271; 6,574,815 B2; 6,834,603 B1; 6,968,794 B1; 6,994,043B1; 7,100,525B1; 7,100,526B1; 7,210,181B1; 7,383,676 ; 7,383,780; 7,412,936; 7,543,364; 7,574,788 Foreign patents: 9-520,472; 0,537,323; 92,905,522.6; 96,936,922.2; 2,076,379; 2,084,055. Other U.S. and Foreign Patents Pending. Copyright 2009 Atlanta Attachment Co. 10061031210
Atlanta Attachment Company 362 Industrial Park Drive Lawrenceville, GA 30046 (770) 963-7369 â€˘ FAX (770) 963-7641
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Atlanta Attachment Company is the recognized sewn products industry leader in automated workstations, labor saving devices, folders and ergonomic risk reduction. The Company, founded in 1969, has made its policy of SUDDEN SERVICEâ„˘ a way of life in all aspects of operation. Our entire staff is dedicated to providing three-day shipments of most custom folders and attachments. Special gauge sets and other work aids are available in 10 working days or less. We moved to Lawrenceville, GA in 1978, and have expanded many times. In September of 2007, Atlanta Attachment Company proudly introduced its new 225,000 square foot facility.
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14 Machinery makers feeling momentum
After taking a beating during the economic downturn, machinery suppliers are optimistic about the future of their segment of the mattress industry. They’ve spent their recent downtime improving equipment and innovating to meet manufacturers’ needs for customization, speed, reliability and efficiency.
7 Front Matter
An expert in creating a good customer experience has a tough-love message for mattress makers, retailers and even suppliers: “It is painful to go shopping in your industry.” Shifts in thinking and new practices could easily make mattress buying a pleasure, he says.
9 Company Profile
Entrepreneur Dave Young—who oversees a mattress kit and component supplier, a factory-direct retail chain and a pillow brand, among other ventures—continues to move into new businesses. The most recent is EcoSleep, a specialty bedding brand aimed at environmentally conscious consumers.
5 Editor’s Note 33 Industry News 49 Newsmakers 51 ISPA News 52 Calendar 54 Advertisers Index 55 Classifieds 56 Last Word
27 Marketing Matters
It may be better to give than to receive. But by giving to charities, your company can receive a host of benefits, including making positive impressions on consumers. It’s time to start a philanthropic program at your company or expand your existing efforts.
BedTimes | May 2010 |
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EDITOR IN CHIEF Julie A. Palm 336-727-1889 email@example.com SENIOR WRITER Barbara Nelles 336-856-8973 firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS CherryPlanet.com Dorothy Whitcomb ART DIRECTOR Stephanie Belcher 336-201-7475 email@example.com Vice President of Sales Kerri Bellias 336-945-0265 firstname.lastname@example.org Ad Production & CIRCULATION manager Debbie Robbins 336-342-4217 email@example.com COPY EDITOR Margaret Talley-Seijn
BedTimes deadlines Editorial deadlines for the Industry News and Newsmakers sections of the July issue of BedTimes are Tuesday, June 1. Volume 138 Number 5 BedTimes (ISSN 0893-5556) is published monthly by the International Sleep Products Association. Periodicals postage paid at Alexandria, Va., and additional mailing offices. Editorial and advertising offices 126 Parkview Lane, Reidsville, NC 27320 Phone 703-683-8371; Fax 703-683-4503 Administrative and ISPA offices 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, Va. 22314-1917 Phone 703-683-8371; Fax 703-683-4503 Postmaster Send address changes to BedTimes, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, Va. 22314-1917 Contents © 2010 by the International Sleep Products Association. Reprint permission obtainable through BedTimes.
Editor’sNote Spring means it’s time for editorial housekeeping
fter finishing the ISPA EXPO 2010 wrap-up issue of BedTimes, I took a couple of days to get things back in order after a three-month frenzy of producing EXPO-related issues and preparing for the show. With all the filing, organizing, cleaning, trashing and deleting done in my office, it seemed like a good time to tie-up editorial loose ends and give you a few reminders. Numbers look good In my April Editor’s Note, I wrote that, based on anecdotal evidence and comments from both the winter Las Vegas Market and EXPO, it appeared the mattress industry was finally climbing out of the hole the recession pushed it into. We now have the numbers to support that optimism. According to the Bedding Barometer from the International Sleep Products Association, unit sales in the United States climbed 15.7% in February when compared to the same month in 2009 and the dollar value of those shipments rose 12.2%. For the first two months of the year, unit sales are up 8.3% and dollars have increased 6.9%. Those are the kinds of numbers we like to see. Toppers & pads Does your company produce mattress pads or toppers either for use by mattress manufacturers or sold directly to retailers and consumers? BedTimes is planning a Product Watch on the category later this fall and we’d like to hear from you. For possible inclusion in the story, let us know a little something about your product line. If you have photos, send those along, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t miss any issues BedTimes has a worldwide circulation and is available free to employees of any manufacturer or supplier member of ISPA. If you’ve made recent hires or have staff members who have never received their own copy of the magazine, have them take a minute to fill out the subscription card in this issue. Receiving as many copies of BedTimes as you need is one of your member benefits. Don’t miss out. (Nonmember mattress manufacturers can receive one complimentary subscription to each manufacturing facility.) If you have questions about your subscription, contact Debbie Robbins, our circulation manager, at email@example.com. And don’t forget BedTimes is available online at www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes. Can we reach you? We like to be able to contact our readers to let you know when the latest issue of the magazine is available online or to tell you about upcoming special stories or projects. If your email address has recently changed or you didn’t provide it on your original subscription request, send it to circulation manager Debbie Robbins at firstname.lastname@example.org. BT
Julie A. Palm BedTimes | May 2010 |
FrontMatter Taking mattress buying from pain to pleasure Consultant: Clearing up confusion is a good place to start
hether going online or walking into a store, it’s painful to shop for a new mattress. Painful. That’s the word marketing consultant Mike Wittenstein uses to describe the bed-buying experience. Ouch. Wittenstein, a speaker, facilitator and expert on customer experience based in Marietta, Ga., spoke to a crowd of mattress makers and suppliers at ISPA EXPO 2010 in Charlotte, N.C., in March. Before his seminar, “Teaming with Retailers to Improve the Customer Experience,” he did some “undercover” mattress shopping, visiting eight stores and 20 Web sites, scanning social media sites for mattress mentions, meeting industry executives and reviewing industry reports to understand the overall market and talking with individuals about their own purchasing experiences. Researching and buying a mattress is a confusing, frustrating process, Wittenstein told the audience. Online, he found conflicting information about features and prices that left him unable to make comparisons or well-reasoned decisions. In stores, he found an array of undifferentiated white rectangles. “You walk into the store and everything looks the same,” he said. “It’s like the 31 ice cream flavors at Baskin-Robbins are all vanilla.” Too often, mattresses still are being sold to consumers as commodities, he said. “That’s not the way to grow a business. It’s not serving the customer; it’s fighting the competition. That’s where your energy is going.” But, Wittenstein said, it doesn’t have to be that way. Working together, mattress makers, retailers and even suppliers can make shopping for a bed set an enjoyable, pleasant experience. He pointed to other technical products and commodities and the success some companies have had creating a good customer experience. His examples www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
included Whirlpool, Build-A-Bear Workshop and Apple. “When you buy an Apple iPhone, do they tell you about the microchips, all the specs and details? No. They tell you about the experience of using the iPhone,” Wittenstein said. “If Apple were selling mattresses, they’d sell the benefits of sleep.” Among Wittenstein’s suggestions for the mattress industry: ➤ Focus on sustainability Environmentally conscious consumers don’t just want to purchase “green” mattresses. They want to know their old mattress isn’t taking up landfill space. “When you’re creating new products, are you planning for their end-of-use?” Wittenstein asked. He suggested manufacturers start at the beginning of the design process to make entire mattresses or their components reusable or recyclable—and be sure consumers know you’ve done so. ➤ Better equip RSAs Make the most of new technologies and platforms. Outfit the sales floor so that retail sales associates can instantly access the most up-to-date product information, brand messaging and training tools from laptops, mobile devices, even digital signage. ➤ Improve education Don’t limit retail sales associate training to mattress fea-
➤ Learn more Marketing consultant Mike Wittenstein discussed “Teaming with Retailers to Improve the Customer Experience” at ISPA EXPO 2010 in Charlotte, N.C., in March. To review his PowerPoint presentation, check www.sleepproducts.org.
tures. Educate them about health, sleep and wellness. If you’re a manufacturer, get your key employees, not just retail account managers, on the sales floor so they can learn directly about customer needs and concerns. ➤ Never forget the customer Too often, Wittenstein said, the mattress industry focuses on telling consumers its story, emphasizing features and specifications or selling on price. “Find out the customer’s story,” Wittenstein says. “What does she want?” Throughout the entire selling process, the consumer needs to feel that the industry understands her needs and want to help her meet them. ➤Eliminate confusion Provide easy-to-understand information about the benefits consumers are most interested in: how a mattress feels and fits their lifestyle, the difference between “comfort life” and “parts life,” a bed set’s ecological footprint, etc. Manufacturers and retailers can take a lesson from cereal makers who clearly label boxes with facts about nutritional benefits such as fiber and vitamins. “ ‘Customer satisfaction’ is really the lowest common denominator,” Wittenstein said. “Wouldn’t you rather have ‘customer elation,’ ‘customer unexpected delight’ or ‘customer glee’?” BT
BedTimes | May 2010 |
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CompanyProfile VyMaC adds yet another branch to product tree EcoSleep mattress brand growing on retail floors & online By Dorothy Whitcomb
The idea for a line of “green” mattresses came from retailers. “They didn’t want imports,” Young says. “But they did want product so that they could get into specialty sleep without hooking up with the big brands.” Never one to shy away from an opportunity to diversify, Young listened. “VyMaC has expanded business dramatically in the last 24 months and diversified itself to the point where we’ve added hundreds of new customers and millions of dollars to sales,” he says. “Almost 50% of our revenue in 2010 comes from sources that didn’t exist two years ago.”
coSleep, an eco-friendly, specialty bedding brand launched two years ago by mattress industry entrepreneur Dave Young, is gaining traction among a diverse group of retailers who have identified environmentally conscious consumers as a promising source of increased revenue. EcoSleep is produced by Whitewater, Wis.-based Durable Products LLC, one of a number of companies owned by Young. He serves as chief executive officer of VyMaC Corp., a mattress kit and component supplier, and Verlo Mattress Factory Stores, a franchised factory-direct chain. In addition, Young is the majority owner of VyMaC Ventures, a holding company, and VyMaC Properties, a development company. Young founded Durable Products eight years ago to manufacture disposable pillows. “It was high-volume production for single-patient use in the medical industry,” Young says. “We stopped
The line EcoSleep currently has 15 models with suggested retail price points from $699 to $1,999.
Making introductions Mike Schweiger, vice president of sales for EcoSleep and VyMaC Corp., has shown the new beds at both the High Point and Las Vegas furniture markets.
production when China became a larger threat.” Young then shifted to manufacturing pillows for the consumer market and developed the Everloft brand, which features a globally patented synthetic down fill. Today, Everloft pillows are marketed to retailers and sold directly to consumers online. Durable Products also sells the patented fill in bulk under the Everlon name to pillow makers.
Targeting ‘LOHAS’ consumers Young has positioned EcoSleep to appeal to a growing market of consumers interested in more sustainable products. EcoSleep is “specifically directed to the LOHAS consumer,” he says. LOHAS refers to a demographic group—Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability—that is committed to ethical consumerism. The Natural Marketing Institute, a research and consulting firm based in Harleysville, Pa., tracks the group and, earlier this year, said “LOHAS consumers (the environmental stewards) continue to evolve and push for greater account-
‘VyMaC has expanded business dramatically in the last 24 months and diversified itself to the point where we’ve added hundreds of new customers and millions of dollars to sales.’ BedTimes | May 2010 |
Manufacturing on the move This summer, production of the EcoSleep beds will shift to a dedicated 25,000-square-foot facility in Fort Atkinson, Wis.
ability—demanding ever-greener products and deeper behavioral commitment.” “The LOHAS consumer group values natural products but has a limit on what they are willing to pay for them,” says Mike Schweiger, vice president of sales for EcoSleep and VyMaC. “We’re trying to provide them with choices of comfort levels and price points.” That means EcoSleep has set out to tell a “greener” story. “We try to work with the greenest technology and have the least environmental impact that we can. It’s not our objective, however, to make the world’s ‘greenest’ mattress,” Young says. “The consumer is ultimately asking for and buying value.” EcoSleep’s memory foam mattresses are made from EcoPur, a visco-elastic foam containing castor oil that’s used in combination with recycled foam polymers. Young believes that harvesting and pressing castor plants has less environmental impact than cultivating and processing the soy more commonly used in bio-foams. The fast-growing castor is indigenous to the Mediterranean, eastern Africa and India, but is widespread throughout tropical regions. Its primary byproduct is used for cattle feed, Young says. EcoSleep mattresses contain other natural and sustainable components, including Talalay latex, New Zealand wool and fibers made from bamboo. The company’s patented base foam contains activated charcoal to absorb off-gassing.
10 | BedTimes | May 2010
Young is enthusiastic about the fact that EcoSleep products are compressed and rolled to about one-third of their cube size. “If you can manage freight, you can have a tremendous impact and that’s good for the dealer and good for the environment,” he says. Benefits beyond ‘green’ There are currently 15 EcoSleep models in a variety of constructions, including visco-elastic, Talalay latex, pocketed innerspring and air. Suggested retail prices range from $699 to $1,999 for a queen set. Hybrid latex models featuring various configurations of latex and memory foam have proven particularly popular. Interest in latex and latex hybrids also is fueling the company’s research and development efforts. Although it’s unlikely that all of them will make it to market, there are 22 mattresses in development at VyMaC’s 5,000-square-foot R&D center in Whitewater. “Because of the interest in latex and latex hybrids, we also are working to leverage the capabilities of our roll-pack technology,” Schweiger says. Sales have been strong enough that the company is planning to move EcoSleep production to its own 25,000-square-foot facility in Fort Atkinson, Wis., this summer. “We anticipate 20% growth each year for the next three years,” Young says. “A free-standing facility will not only allow us to meet production demands, but will allow the brand to have its own identity.” Young acknowledges the challenges
inherent in launching a new product in today’s difficult economic conditions. The most daunting aspect, he says, is “getting a clear path to market beyond the traditional mattress retail chains.” The bulk of EcoSleep’s sales thus far have come through distributors, the Internet and producers of conventional mattresses who are taking the product to their retail base. Young’s strategy includes working “to expand sales across all channels” and increasing direct-toconsumer sales. “Moving ahead to more EcoSleep OEM sales” also is a priority, he says. EcoSleep has been shown at both the High Point and Las Vegas furniture markets. “We see traction developing,” Schweiger says. “Our U.S.-made products have a great look and the quality and consistency that consumers are looking for. We make it very easy for retail sales associates to make a compelling presentation of our products.” Entrepreneurial to the end Supporting retail sales is relatively easy because of another synergy: Point-ofpurchase materials and advertising are produced through yet another arm of VyMaC, the Vybrance marketing group. Being able to capitalize on synergies is a direct result of a corporate culture based on entrepreneurship, Young believes. “Our executives know what they’re doing and collaborate well,” he says. “We’re independently owned and small enough to try something and then change if it doesn’t work.” BT www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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The Big Machines
Suppliers coming out of downturn with innovation, customization
By Barbara Nelles
achinery suppliers BedTimes spoke with ranged from cautiously to boldly optimistic about prospects for the coming 12 months. They are encouraged by the number of mattress manufacturers out shopping for equipment—or at least making inquiries. And they say they are ready to meet mattress makers’ needs with a variety of innovations and improvements. “The economic slowdown has affected us all, but it has also afforded an opportunity for us to sit down, brainstorm ideas and come up with improvements and new features for new and existing machinery,” says Andreas Georgallis, financial director of Amelco Industries Ltd., a Nicosia, Cyprus-based machinery supplier. “Right now, our customers are most interested in innovations that allow for greater speed, greater reliability and product differentiation.” Amelco has made several updates to its roll-pack machine to speed up the roll-packing process. The RL2000A incorporates an adjustable feeding table, a vacuum system on the mandrel that automatically draws the paper and an automatic bale-strapping feature. One key focus of machinery suppliers is customization that allows mattress manufacturers to build novel or exclusive features into beds—whether it’s an interesting foam convolution, an original handle style or a decorative quilt pattern.
14 | BedTimes | May 2010
Suppliers also are offering more automation in foam cutting and wire forming. And, continuing a trend, they are “de-skilling” machine operations and making it easier for workers to cross train on multiple machines, which are often grouped in manufacturing cells. (See story on Page 16.) And, importantly, there is new machinery that reduces costs by cutting out manufacturing steps. For instance, Masias Maquinaria SA, with headquarters in Girona, Spain, manufactures fiber-processing, filling and quilting machinery. Its Direct Feeding System for quilting feeds open polyester fiber into the quilt, eliminating the need for thermo-bonded polyester wadding rolls. “It’s both a money saver and a step saver,” says Sonia Ortiz, Masias area manager. Even greater savings can be had by adding extra polyester fiber to the quilt to replace a portion of the foam, Ortiz says. But during still-tough economic times, there remains a place for manufacturing using basic machinery and tried-and-true methods, suppliers say. “Mattress makers who need simple machines can still find them,” says Steven Kaplan, president of S. Kaplan Sewing Machine Co. Inc. in Newark, N.J. “You may not need something as automated or productive if you’re producing just eight hours a day. That’s where our equipment fits in. We make many of the fillins needed for mattress production. For instance, handles are cyclical, they come and go. Right now, they’re starting to come back and we build equipment to make sewn handles.” www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
âž¤ Learn more In this article, BedTimes examines trends in mattress machinery. The story is not intended as a complete rundown of all suppliers and their offerings. If you seek mattress manufacturing machinery, check the easy-to-use online BedTimes Supplies Guide for a comprehensive directory of suppliers, www.bedtimessuppliesguide.com.
BedTimes | May 2010 |
Porter PALS 2000 Auto Label Sewer Global Systems Group says it designed this machine to attach labels quickly and economically to the mattress border.
4300 Automatic Vertical Handle Machine This piece of equipment from Atlanta Attachment Co. automates the process of setting vertical handles on mattress borders.
Customization is king Most major machinery suppliers have machine shops capable of engineering new or existing equipment to the specific needs of their customers. Remex AG, a maker of wire-forming machinery based in Steinach, Switzerland, says a considerable portion of its recent business has been for large mattress manufacturers who are incorporating unique spring designs into their beds. “They look to us to do the job because we can customize equipment or create new machinery that builds springs to their specifications,” says Remex owner Bernhard Graf. Custom work and refurbishing customers’ existing
equipment have kept many machinery suppliers busy during the recent recession. D.R. Cash Inc. in Fairdale, Ky., specializes in custom fabricating everything from mattress-filling machines to quilting carts, says Thomas Johnson, D.R. Cash mechanical engineer. “And we just introduced a vertical bale opener that, with a few tweaks, can be oriented horizontally for customers with ceiling height issues,” Johnson says. “We listen to customers and make minor changes in machinery,” says Roy Schlegel, president of Edgewater Machine Co. Inc. (EMCO), a quilting machinery supplier in College Point, N.Y. “Even software features can be customized to their needs—and we do these for free.”
Cell manufacturing allows multitasking
For the past few years, cell manufacturing has been a focus at machinery supplier Global Systems Group, a division of Leggett & Platt based in Sunrise, Fla. The term refers to a configuration of machines that work in tandem. “It’s like having minifactories within a plant—versus every man for himself getting paid per piece,” says Russ Bowman, GSG president. “You put maybe four closely related machines in a work cell—with two to three operators who have complete control over the destiny of the product. For instance, with a quilt, cut and flange cell group, you turn individual production incentives into a team incentive, create pride of ownership and better quality control over the finished product.” In a work cell, employees multitask. They are cross trained on multiple machines, while at the same time tasks are “de-skilled” as much as possible. “We see it as the next wave in manufacturing setup,” Bowman says. “Cell manufacturing reduces ‘work in process’ to attain just-in-time deliveries, reduce the carrying cost of raw materials and reduce waste.”
16 | BedTimes | May 2010
Emphasis on ornamentation Many recent innovations are in border manufacturing as mattress makers look to dress up beds and move away from uniform borders. New machines address a resurgence in handles, interest in embroidery and labeling and other border ornamentation. “From a developmental standpoint, our recent focus has been on panels and, most particularly, on borders, with the goal of helping mattress manufacturers differentiate themselves on the bedding floor by dressing up the border,” says Hank Little, president of Atlanta Attachment Co., which has headquarters in Lawrenceville, Ga. Setting handles manually is time consuming, taking about 15 minutes to place vertical handles on a queen-size mattress, Little says. This year, Atlanta Attachment introduced its 4300 Automatic Vertical Handle Machine, which serges the border, measures it to length and sets four to eight handles automatically. It can set perfectly straight vertical handles at the rate of two queen mattresses per minute, Little says. Leggett & Platt’s Global Systems Group, which is based in Sunrise, Fla., offers the Porter PALS 2000 Auto Label Sewer for attaching labels to borders. Tacking labels to today’s puffy quilts distorts the top panel of the bed, which is why the vast majority of labels are www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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Automated foam cutting Albrecht Bäumer GmbH & Co. KG specializes in equipment and systems that the company says produce greater yields and reduce waste.
Direct Feeding System This machine from Masias Maquinaria SA feeds open polyester fiber into the quilt layer, eliminating the need for thermo-bonded polyester wadding rolls.
on the border and it allows you to change the stitch pattern to indicate where different zoning areas of the bed might be,” Little says. Other border machines from Atlanta Attachment include the 1374 Decorative Stud Border Workstation—which allows you to “dress up the bed and bring color and excitement to the border,” Little says. “Our ruffled border machine allows manufacturers to use short rolls of border or old rolls of border, which in the past would be considered waste,” he says. “You can splice together fabric and put a top layer of tick over it, basically making a new border from what used to be scrap. You may want to use it on a box spring to ruffle the border or perhaps just at the corners. You can also turn off the ruffling feature and use the machine for simple border serging.” GSG has redesigned its Gribetz border slitter. The ProSlit is a programmable slitter that repositions the blade at the touch of a button instead of having an operator manually move each of the 14 blades. For high-end mattress production, there is the 4500 Single Lane Border Quilter from Atlanta Attachment, which allows manufacturers to reduce work in process and waste. “You can take a slit roll and quilt specific single borders in limited runs,” Little says. Bale opener Although it’s shown oriented vertically here, this offering from D.R. Cash Inc. also can be used horizontally in plants with lower ceilings.
now on the bed’s border, says Russ Bowman, GSG president. The new Porter machine provides a fast, economical solution, according to the company. “Also on the border, we’re seeing more and more tackand-jump quilting in the last year and a half,” Bowman says. The company’s new Gribetz B-45 Specialty Border Quilter, which can quilt borders on 45-inch wide material, addresses that decorative trend. Atlanta Attachment has modified its 1366 Automatic Vertical Stitch Machine to handle taller, single-sided beds by adding electronic controls that make it programmable for different mattress heights. “The machine also knows where it is at any specific time
18 | BedTimes | May 2010
In the thick of it Some of the biggest innovations of the past few years have been machines to help manufacturers handle thicker mattresses and premium quilt packages. Machinery supplier James Cash Machine Co. offers the MX-100 “The Max,” a tape-edge machine with electronic braking. It handles up to a 30-inch mattress and has been a big seller, says Bob Ferry, vice president of the Louisville, Ky.-based company. The company carries an extensive parts inventory for its machinery and also custom designs machinery for its customers, Ferry adds. In March, Matsushita Industrial Co. Ltd. introduced the M-S-T601. The tape-edge machine, engineered in Japan and manufactured in China, is designed to handle extra-thick American mattresses, says Yosuke Takeuchi, general manager of the Osaka, Japan-based company. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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Wintech Oscillating Blade Contour Cutter Wintech Engineering is one of the suppliers making equipment for foam cutting. This piece is designed to make the process more reliable and accurate, the company says.
GSG describes its Pfaff 5625 sewing head, which was introduced about four years ago, as the “heaviest duty tapeedge head in the world,” Bowman says. Extra-wide decorative tapes are a design trend and tape-edge machines are handling tapes as wide as 6 inches. GSG promotes the Porter PFM-4000 and the Galkin X5 as the flange machines “most capable of handling thick, dense mattress panels,” Bowman says. “With the incorporation of FR material—which is extremely dense—and the advent of one-sided beds, filler materials in quilt panels now require heavy-duty, high-speed quilters,” he says. “The Gribetz ParagonM+ is the fastest quilter in the world and has been enhanced three levels since 2001. It’s unsurpassed in the thickness and density of the panels it can handle.” Atlanta Attachment’s 1365 Auto-Tuft and Quilting Workstation (Marquise Diamond), a single-needle quilter with tufting, performs two functions at once. The machine allows mattress makers to program unique quilt patterns and place tufts wherever they want in the top mattress panel. It handles all quilting materials, including specialty foams, Little says. Creative foam cutting Foam’s growing importance in mattress construction has led to strong interest in advanced foam-cutting machinery. Machines offer greater automation, speed and accuracy for an increasing number of foam-related tasks. “A lot of my customers tell me their scrap is their profit,” says Kevin Ryan, president of foam-cutting equipment maker ESCO (Edge-Sweets Co.), based in Grand Rapids, Mich. “The less scrap they can produce, the greater their profit. Automation produces the best quality product in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of waste.”
20 | BedTimes | May 2010
Ryan says automated lines enable some of his customers to “begin with a block of foam and end with a finished mattress—without a single human touching it.” Since 2007, the company has been networking its machines to allow one operator to control an entire production line. In 2009, it added “synthetic vision systems” to foam cutting. Vision systems, originally developed for aviation use by the U.S. Air Force and NASA, reduce waste and improve quality control, Ryan says. “Every block of foam, like every loaf of bread, is slightly different,” he says. “The vision system looks at the block and decides the best way to cut it.” Last year, Wintech Engineering based in Perth, Australia, updated its Wintech Oscillating Blade Contour Cutter, making it even more reliable and accurate, says Jim Tweddle, Wintech Engineering managing director. The machine, with its patented gear box design, is a “flexible work cell for smaller mattress manufacturers, as it is able to peel, sheet and contour cut foams in both the horizontal and vertical axis,” Tweddle says. “Large mattress makers with dedicated production lines of special purpose machines use it for R&D work and for small orders or special cuts that cannot be performed on their production line.” Fully automated foam-cutting lines are a specialty of Albrecht Bäumer GmbH & Co. KG, a supplier of foam-cutting machinery based in Freudenberg, Germany. “Europe has seen the centralization of mattress manufacturing among a handful of major producers and a growth in mass production methods over the last three to four years,” says Harald Kullmann, Albrecht Bäumer sales director.
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One major manufacturer in Europe is making 8,500 mattresses a day and Albrecht Bäumer’s fully automated foam-cutting lines allow it to create just-in-time stockpiles of “spotlessly clean” goods, Kullmann says. “With automation, there is greater yield, less waste and less manpower,“ he says. “With visco-elastic, the convolutions help heat escape and now all companies want their own pattern exclusives.” www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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speed transfer machine for the production of zoned Bonnell spring units with two different wire gauges. Its new FIDES FT-80 transfer system for Bonnell spring units allows for the fully automated production of as many as 150 200-coil count innerspring units per day. Demand for encased coils is growing around the world and that is driving innovation and competition, says Matsushita’s Takeuchi. Last year, the company introduced the TECMIC Packed Coil Machine PKTA-3R-UC, a three-row, high-speed wrapped coil assembler that Matsushita says is twice as fast as a previous model and able to produce zoned coils. Fully Automatic Transfer Line C 247 Remex AG’s machine automates the assembly of knotless spring cores.
Springs production speeds up Remex it sees a trend toward the use of automated wireforming equipment, even in regions of the world where labor costs are low. The company’s Fully Automatic Transfer Line RC 247 has conveyor belts and automatic assembly for the production of knotless spring cores. Any spring shape can be programmed and stored in memory for later recall, according to the company. Spühl AG, a wire-forming machinery maker based in Wittenbach, Switzerland, won an Interzum Cologne award in 2009 for its CS-525, an electronically controlled high-
What’s next? Machinery suppliers say they are at work on even more automation, customization, efficiency and accuracy in mattress manufacturing equipment. For instance, this year Atlanta Attachment will introduce a new panel cutter with even greater speed and accuracy. Working behind the quilter, it will cut and pre-stitch panels to ensure correct sizing prior to the flange application, the company says. To survive and be successful in this business, you must continue to innovate,” says ESCO’s Ryan. “Among our customers, ideas are constantly taking shape and we are partners in that. There’s a spirit in bedding—people are excited about this industry. In two years time, you’ll see lots that’s new.” BT
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MarketingMatters Philanthropy helps more than charities Well-chosen partners, well-planned efforts benefit your business, too From CherryPlanet.com
s people are more aware of suffering and the needs of people around the world, corporate social responsibility has become almost compulsory for many large multinational corporations. According to the Giving Institute, a consultancy for nonprofits in Glenview, Ill., Walmart, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Exxon, AT&T and others donate millions of dollars to charities each year. Yet, they only account for about 5% of all donations to U.S. nonprofits. The largest donor group is made up of individuals and smaller businesses. According to a study by the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, a staggering 90% of small businesses support local charitable organizations and nonprofits. Though their individual contributions may be small compared to the donations from multimillion-dollar corporations, they collectively contribute billions of dollars to philanthropy. In the mattress industry, companies of all sizes make a habit of charitable giving. Just look at the Industry News section of BedTimes. In virtually every issue, including this one, you can find examples of the industry donating time, money and products. Some companies have longstanding relationships with charities. For instance, mattress maker Kingsdown, a Sleep to Live company, supports efforts on behalf of sick children; retail chain Sleep Country USA helps foster kids; and people from throughout the industry come together each year for the Seena Magowitz Golf Classic, which funds research into pancreatic cancer. Other companies respond to one-time events and tragedies, such as the Haiti earthquake or a fire that
sweeps through a local apartment complex. Such efforts don’t go unnoticed. As the economy shrinks and people witness the struggles of individuals and the organizations that help them, charitable giving increases a business’ visibility. The key is to maximize exposure by publicizing events or donations. People like to associate themselves with companies that are helping others. And for those suffering through their own hard times, doing business with a philanthropic company may be the only way they can help causes important to them. Finding the right partner It’s important to partner with a charity whose work and values mesh with yours. Supporting any charity
To get the word out, have the charity promote your role in helping it
is a good move, but finding one that complements your mission and your customers’ values will maximize the rewards for the charity and your business. When Storyville Coffee was looking for a partner, it sought to extend its philosophy that a cup of coffee is a catalyst to slow down, creating the opportunity to dream and imagine. They teamed with the International Justice Mission to end human trafficking and modern-day slavery. By helping to physically set people free, the coffee purveyor also helps those people become free to dream of a better life. To spread the word, Storyville Coffee publicized its decision to donate 100% of its profits for an entire month to the group and to organize and sponsor a national concert tour to raise awareness about the International Justice Mission. Ways to donate Deciding whether to contribute money, time or product depends on your business and the charity you choose. You have several options:
Give away products For the mattress industry, perhaps the most obvious way to help is to donate bed sets, pillows and other sleep products directly to a charity. Shelters, hospices and other facilities all need mattresses, making it a natural fit. Mattress producer Anatomic Global sent emergency bedding to victims of Hurricane Katrina and now, under its WorldBed project, plans to deliver as many as 200,000 rolled, portable foam beds to Haiti. In the past, Simmons Bedding Co. has donated traditional mattress sets to evacuated Hurricane Katrina
BedTimes | May 2010 |
People like to associate themselves with companies that are helping others. And for those suffering through their own hard times, doing business with a philanthropic company may be the only way they can help causes important to them. victims, as well as to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodges and the Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation. Simmons, too, is sending portable bedding to Haiti.
Contribute a percentage of sales As illustrated by Storyville Coffee, it’s easy to earmark a percentage of profits for a charity. This could be an across-the-board percentage of total sales for a period of time or up to a certain dollar amount. You also can donate a percentage of sales from a particular product that has a special tie-in to the charity.
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Create private-label products Any number of auxiliary products can be developed and sold to benefit an organization. One example is Ethos Water, which was founded in 2001 to help children around the world get clean water. The startup was acquired by Starbucks in 2005, and the water is now sold in Starbucks stores and in many large grocery, convenience and drug stores throughout North America. A portion of sales goes toward humanitarian water programs.
Collect donations Homeless shelters, animal rescue groups, food pantries and other organizations often need specific items. You can help promote the needs of these groups by serving as a drop-off spot for donations. This works especially well if, like a factory direct, you have a storefront, but it’s not a requirement. Mattress major Sealy partners with a host of other groups each year to sponsor a holiday concert and food drive. Admission to the show is canned and nonperishable items that are then donated to the Salvation Army.
Organize an event Hosting special events to raise money for your charity can be rewarding and fun for the whole
community. Encourage other businesses in the area to participate by helping to organize the event or by volunteering services in exchange for their name being included in the list of sponsors. Not all charity events need to be like Storyville Coffee’s national concert tour. Verlo Mattress Factory Stores in Fort Atkinson, Wis., once held a rummage sale to raise money for flood victims in its area, donating proceeds from the event and part of its daily sales to the American Red Cross. Be creative: A group of mattress industry suppliers, manufacturers and retailers has organized what’s become a regular poker tournament during the Las Vegas Market to benefit the charity Autism Speaks. To get the word out, have the charity promote your role in helping it. Ask the charity to include information in its newsletters and fliers and to spread the word on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You will benefit from the increased exposure and they will earn much-needed funds. Charity marketing isn’t a gimmick. According to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index study, 80% of respondents said they believe their philanthropic efforts benefit the communities they serve more than their own businesses. By promoting and making the most of your charitable giving, you can do both—help others and help yourself. BT CherryPlanet.com was founded to help businesses attract customers by providing a platform for them to create coupon campaigns for free. The site offers a way for businesses to save money on advertising and marketing while helping customers save money as they shop and do business locally. The company is committed to donating 10% of its profits to charity. For more information, check www.cherryplanet.com. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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IndustryNews Sealy first-quarter earnings climb 31% B
edding major Sealy posted $339.6 million in net sales during its 2010 fiscal first quarter, an increase of 9.6% compared to the same period a year ago. The successful launch of the new Stearns & Foster line and a more stable retail environment drove the positive performance, the Archdale, N.C.-based company said. Net income was $5.7 million, an increase of 31.5% when compared to $4.3 million in the first quarter of 2009. Operating income rose to $34.8 million, up 49% over the same period a year ago. “We are very pleased with our firstquarter 2010 results, as we delivered top-line growth, driven by both unit growth and average unit selling price
growth,” said Larry Rogers, Sealy president and chief executive officer. “These results represent our second consecutive quarter of year-over-year sales growth. We are seeing the benefits of our relentless focus on reducing our cost structure throughout the economic downturn.” Sealy’s gross margin increased 331 basis points to 41.3%, driven by a 202 basis point gain in its U.S. market. Gross profit was $140.1 million compared to $117.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009. U.S. gross profit margin increased 202 basis points to 42.3%. The increase was driven primarily by lower material costs and improved manufacturing efficiencies, the company said.
PBteen recalls ottoman beds PBteen, a division of San Francisco-based WilliamsSonoma Inc., has recalled about 3,000 ottoman beds because they fail to meet the federal open-flame mattress standard, 16 CFR Part 1633. The beds were produced in Taiwan and imported by PBteen. No injuries or incidents associated with the beds have been reported, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which issued the recall notice. The recall is for mattresses sold as part of PBteen ottoman beds. The multifunctional ottomans, which can turn into a twin-size bed, can be used for sitting or sleeping. They were sold with a cover in stone, navy, ivory or pink colorways. The ottoman cover has a tag that reads “PBteen” and a label with registration number CA-31586 (TW). The beds, which retailed for about $300, were sold through the PBteen catalog and Web site from August 2008 through November 2009. The CPSC tells consumers to contact PBteen to receive a free cover that will bring the mattress into compliance with the flammability standard. Consumers can contact the company by calling 866-472-3010 or checking www.pbteen.com.
Total U.S. net sales increased 4.9% to $246.4 million. Wholesale domestic net sales, which exclude third-party sales from Sealy’s component plants, grew 4.6% to $241.6 million when compared to the first quarter of 2009. International net sales for the quarter increased $18 million, or 24%, to $93.3 million. Excluding the effects of currency fluctuation, international net sales increased 11.9%. Sales growth in Canada played a significant role, the company said. Canadian sales were 32.5% higher than in the same quarter of the previous year. “We are encouraged by the stabilization we have seen in retail demand across our business segments,” Rogers said.
Tempur-Pedic acquires Canadian distributor
Mattress and pillow maker Tempur-Pedic International has acquired its Canadian distributor Tempur Canada. The company is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lexington, Ky.-based Tempur-Pedic and will continue to supply the Canadian market with Tempur-Pedic products. Tempur Canada’s net sales in 2009 were approximately $9 million, according to the company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition follows similar transactions in Austria, Australia, China and New Zealand during the past four years. “Tempur Canada has done a tremendous job of developing this market and has positioned the TempurPedic brand for increased investment,” said Mark Sarvary, Tempur-Pedic chief executive officer. “We are committed to growing Canadian market share and so we will increase our investments in advertising and sales initiatives, which over time we believe will drive significant sales and earnings growth. We are pleased with the results we have experienced in driving sales growth and improved profitability from recently acquired markets. In 2010, we expect the Canadian acquisition will be modestly accretive to earnings.”
BedTimes | May 2010 |
U.K. trade association launches bed show
he National Bed Federation, a U.K. trade association, will hold its first industry-specific trade exhibition Sept. 28-29. Exhibitors include the Airsprung Group, Harrison Spinks Group, Hilding Anders UK, Hypnos, Millbrook, Relyon, Simmons Group and ViSpring. Participation is restricted to NBF members. Seven months before the show, about 40 companies already had signed on, according to the association. “We really felt the time was right for a low-cost exhibition, which brings the leading brands together under one roof at a time of year when retailers are planning for the
busiest sales period after Christmas,” said Simon Spinks, association vice president.
Suppliers of bedding equipment and components—including foam, innersprings, ticking, fillings, machinery and label printers—also will exhibit. “The Bed Show is not just another show. It’s a unique event for everyone with an interest or involvement in the U.K. bed industry, bringing retailers, manufacturers and suppliers together as never before,” Spinks said. The Bed Show will be held at the Telford International Centre in Telford, Shropshire, England. The event will include a gala dinner, where the first NBF Special Achievement Awards will be presented.
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Serta, Paula Deen partner for mattress collection
edding producer Serta has signed a licensing deal with Paula Deen Enterprises LLC to produce a collection of mattresses called Paula Deen Home by Serta. The line was designed in collaboration with the Food Network celebrity cook, author and entrepreneur. It will be available exclusively at Mega Group USA retailers. “This new mattress collection reflects the dedication that both Serta and Paula Deen have to style and comfort for the home,” said Bob Sherman, president of the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based mattress maker. “Together, we have designed mattresses that are extremely comfortable, affordable and that will really appeal to consumers shopping at Mega Group retailers.” Mattresses in the Paula Deen Home by Serta collection feature individually wrapped innerspring coils, foams with soy-based content and Serta’s exclusive KoolComfort memory foam with EcoSense. The mattress covers are made from a knit fabric containing silk. Suggested retail price points range from $799 to $1,499. “You can definitely tell that these mattresses have been inspired by my life in the South and my home in Savannah, Ga.,” Deen said. “The collection is all about feeling good, comfortable and getting a good night’s sleep in one’s home. And, just like my food, I send you comfort and love from my home to yours.”
Shorts Kluft’s Sublime carries $40,000 price tag E.S. Kluft & Co., a bedding maker in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., has introduced the Beyond Luxury Sublime, a limited edition bed with a suggested retail price of $40,000 for a queen set. The hand-sewn bed includes cashmere, silk, wool, horsehair, organic cotton, Talalay latex and calico-covered innersprings. Only 100 of the beds will be made.
Green Cradle renovates, reopens Green Cradle Organic Home, Mattress and Baby in Sherman Oaks, Calif., a vendor of OrganicPedic by OMI sleep products, recently held a grand reopening celebration in its newly renovated space. Green Cradle requires all items in the store to have an organic or natural label and be free of chemicals, preservatives and dyes.
36 | BedTimes | May 2010
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Spring Air establishes Mideast presence S
pring Air International, with headquarters in Boston, has signed a licensing agreement with Bed Janssen & Co. in Cairo, Egypt. The 60-year-old mattress producer is known as American Bedding to retail customers in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Bed Janssen was expected to launch the brand in early April, producing a full line of Spring Air products, including Back Supporter, Sleep Sense and Chattam & Wells. It also will promote Spring Air’s proprietary Comfort Silhouette Imaging technology, which performs body scans that calculate retail customers’ weight, body mass index and pressure points to make mattress recommendations. “We’re very excited to have Bed
38 | BedTimes | May 2010
Janssen as a new licensee, as well as a full-line producer of Spring Air products,” said Eric Spitzer, Spring Air senior vice president. “We are now in 32 countries. Our objective is not only to continue expanding our brand globally, but to ensure full participation from our international partners in marketing the Spring Air brand and products.” “We expect that stepping up to a recognized American mattress name will significantly impact our business here in Egypt and in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, where we have equally significant distribution,” said Mohamed Mostafa, Bed Janssen president. The company is expanding its 70,000-square-foot factory in Cairo to accommodate increased production.
New partners Eric Spitzer, senior vice president of Spring Air, met with Bed Janssen & Co.’s Mohamed Mostafa and Mostafa El Naggar during ISPA EXPO 2010 in Charlotte, N.C., in March.
MPT Group unveils innerspring maker The Helix Spring Machinery division of MPT Group Ltd., which has headquarters in Bacup, England, has announced the global launch of its patented Infinity Sleep Support System, a continuous-wire spring unit fabricator. According to the company, the fully automatic system produces zoned coils and spring units at high speed. It saves manufacturers on raw materials through its use of micro-gauge wire to produce a spring unit with “excellent durability and body conformity characteristics,” the company said. A typical queen spring unit with 916 coils is far lighter than a standard Bonnell innerspring, according to MPT Group. “Mattress manufacturers can save in excess of 50% in steel costs,” said Andrew Trickett, MPT Group sales director. “It is also twice as fast as current systems, producing spring units at a rate of about 200 units per eight-hour shift,” Trickett said. “This machine gives mattress makers serious justification for investing in machinery to manufacture their own spring units.” The Infinity Sleep Support System produces 6¼-inch tall spring units that better adjust to the contours of the body, according to the company. Coil heights of 7 inches and 8 inches are coming soon. “Feedback we’ve had from people who have bought the system has been that this machine could turn the spring industry on its head, and possibly eclipse use of the much heavier Bonnell coil,” Trickett said.
Short Flexible Foam joins Facebook Flexible Foam Products Inc. is posting links, photos, commentary and educational materials at its newly created Facebook page. The Spencerville, Ohio-based company invites members of the bedding, furniture and cushioning industries to visit the page and become a “fan.” “Beyond traditional marketing, many companies are using social media to spread their message,” said Michael Crowell, Flexible Foam vice president of marketing. “We hope our Facebook page is used as a forum for discussions and as an information source within the industries we serve.” See the page at www.facebook.com/flexiblefoamproducts.
BedTimes | May 2010 |
IndustryNews Leigh Fibers expanding S.C. plant
iber recycler and supplier Leigh Fibers is investing more than $10 million in new machinery and a plant expansion at its Wellford, S.C. The investment is expected to generate 40 new jobs over the next five years. Leigh Fibers serves a number of markets, including home furnishings, textiles, nonwovens, automotive and construction. The 100-year-old company is a major supplier of reprocessed and raw fibers. It recycles post-industrial and post-consumer textile waste to manufacture new fibers and operates in more than 25 countries. “We continue to see an increase in demand for our products and services. This expansion will help us better serve our customers, as well as position us for future growth,” said Keith Taylor, Leigh Fibers president. “Our plans to invest in the Wellford facility will not only promote job growth, but will also have a positive environmental impact on our county and state by minimizing waste going to landfills.”
40 | BedTimes | May 2010
New York AG sues Tempur-Pedic
The New York attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit against Lexington, Ky.based Tempur-Pedic International. The suit seeks an injunction barring the mattress maker from enforcing its retail pricing policy. The suit also seeks restitution for New York consumers who, the attorney general says, have paid too much for the company’s mattresses because of the pricing policy. In a statement, Tempur-Pedic Chief Executive Officer Mark Sarvary expressed disappointment with the action, noting that the company had cooperated fully in a prior antitrust investigation conducted by the state. The company also noted that the attorney general has not charged TempurPedic with violating any state or federal antitrust laws, but complains that the company violated a 1975 New York law that declares certain contractual provisions to be unenforceable. “We believe the attorney general’s claim that Tempur-Pedic violated state law is simply wrong and we intend to defend the case vigorously,” Sarvary said. The lawsuit claims that Tempur-Pedic’s retail partner agreement has provisions that violate New York law, as well as the competitive conditions of a free market. Tempur-Pedic explicitly states it will not do business with any retailer who charges retail prices that differ from those set by the manufacturer, according to the attorney general. The complaint also details TempurPedic’s enforcement methods, which include encouraging retailers to report competitors who are selling the company’s products below the minimum established price.
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L&P rolls out VertiCoil Edge I
ndustry supplier Leggett & Platt, with headquarters in Carthage, Mo., has introduced VertiCoil Edge, an open, offset alternating coil innerspring that is part of its VertiCoil family of innerspring units. Unveiled at ISPA EXPO 2010 in Charlotte, N.C., in March, the new unit has a re-engineered coil that is lighter yet stronger, the company said. It also has 21% more coils than a typical innerspring. VertiCoil Edge is configured for
improved perimeter consistency to ensure uniform firmness across the entire mattress. “We recently conducted research to better understand consumers and we’re using that information to drive product innovation,” said Mark Quinn, group executive vice president of marketing for L&P’s Bedding Group. “Both innovation and quality of sleep are important to consumers and we’ve met those needs in our creation of VertiCoil Edge.”
Short Natura World Baby now in U.K. Natura World, a producer of mattresses and sleep accessories based in Cambridge, Ontario, has signed a deal to exclusively distribute Natura Baby & Kids products in the United Kingdom through Cumberland Bedding. Natura cot mattresses are made from natural Talalay latex, wrapped in wool and then covered with cotton. Natura mattresses have passed testing for the Soil Association, a group of organic farmers and others, and has been given permission to promote its organic certification at the Harrogate Nursery Fair.
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42 | BedTimes | May 2010
Chili Technology adds comfort layer inserts
attress heating and cooling systems supplier Chili Technology, based in Mooresville, N.C., unveiled Chili/Ready inserts at ISPA EXPO 2010 in Charlotte, N.C., in March. Chili/Ready incorporates the company’s temperature-regulating technology into a 1-inch memory foam layer with dual controls for two sleepers. The insert, which has the capacity to regulate a bed’s sleep surface temperature from 48 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit, can be used in both innerspring and specialty beds. A motor fits under the bed frame. “The new Chili/Ready insert makes it easy for manufacturers to offer temperature-controlled sleep solutions to their customers,” said Todd Youngblood, Chili Technology president and chief executive officer. “Disrupted sleep is often caused by core body temperature changes, which can wreak havoc on your sleep or your partner’s ability to sleep throughout the night. We are helping solve this problem by allowing consumers to adjust the temperature on each side of the bed so they can sleep better and feel more rested.”
Ergomotion debuts ‘sound’ foundation
Adjustable bed base supplier Ergomotion, with headquarters in Santa Barbara, Calif., is making music with its prototype Ergo Sound Bed. The adjustable base has built-in Acoustic Resonance Therapy technology, which allows sleepers to “feel the music.” “We find the system resonates best when paired with an innerspring mattress with specialty foam comfort layers,” said Kelly Clenet, Ergomotion president. The Ergo Sound Bed is the first bed base with ART, a proprietary sound system from SO Sound Solutions in Louisville, Ky. “The bed delivers music into the body tactically, so you feel the music you hear,” said Suzannah Long, SO Sound Solutions chief executive officer. “It can be very soothing and relaxing and can take people into different brain wave states.” The bed base debuted at ISPA EXPO 2010 in Charlotte, N.C., in March.
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BedTimes | May 2010 |
Simmons helps Haitian earthquake victims Atlanta-based Simmons Bedding Co. partnered with humanitarian organization CARE to donate 720 foam mattresses to Haitians left homeless by a Jan. 12 earthquake. The mattresses, made of 5-inch polyurethane foam cores, were transported to the cities of Port-au-Prince and Leogane, where CARE staff and community volunteers are overseeing distribution. Priority is being given to injured and ill individuals, children and the elderly. Three foam producers—Flexible Foam Products Inc., Future Foam and FXI Foamex Innovations—donated the polyurethane cores. “The people of Haiti have demonstrated a tremendous will to survive and persevere despite losing homes, neighborhoods, friends and family members to this terrible tragedy,” said Tim Oakhill, Simmons executive vice president of marketing. “Upon learning of the destruction, we recognized that Simmons could help bring an element of comfort to the homeless by donating beds to CARE’s relief effort.” Simmons has a history of donating mattresses to those in need, including victims of Hurricane Katrina. The company also has made mattress donations to charities such as the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodges and the Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation.
44 | BedTimes | May 2010
Short Frame producer opens plant As part of a maquiladora program, W. Silver Products has opened a facility in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to manufacture steel bed frames. Raw angle steel from W. Silver’s plant in Vinton, Texas, is shipped to the Juarez plant, where it is punched, painted and assembled into various bed frames. The frames are then shipped back duty- and tariff-free for sale in the United States. The frames are marketed and sold under the name Bed Frames & More.
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NewsMakers Comfort Solutions hires Cruz-Levy
sale, key account sales attress licensing and retail store managegroup Comfort Solument,” Shoemaker said. tions has named mattress “Her particular backand home furnishings ground and skill set will industry veteran Janet be invaluable to us as we Cruz-Levy to the newly continue to develop sleep created post of brand solutions and brands that development manager. are timely and relevant She reports to Owen to both retailers and Shoemaker, senior vice consumers.” president of product and Previously, Cruzmarketing for the WillowJanet Cruz-Levy Levy was a sales reprebrook, Ill.-based company. sentative and key account manager She is responsible for assisting in for the former Spring Air Chicago the development and promotion of licensee. Before that, she was key acnew and existing products, includcount manager for Universal Furniing Comfort Solutions’ Laura Ashley ture Co., primarily serving Sears and brand. its 72 HomeLife stores in the Midwest “Janet has had a range of experiand eastern United States. ence in mattress and furniture whole-
Natura’s Rosien named to WithIt, BSC Julia Rosien, director of communications for mattress and sleep accessory producer Natura World, has been selected as second vice president of the WithIt board and has joined the Better Sleep Council, the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association. WithIt encourages and develops leadership, mentoring, education and opportunity for professional women in the home furnishings industries. “Julia’s dynamic and creative approach to marketing and social media has cultivated a thriving online community that reaches deep within our industry,” said Ralph Rossdeutscher, president and chief executive officer of Natura World, based in Cambridge, Ontario. “Julia’s appointments reflect her remarkable ability to inspire, engage and lead.” Prior to joining Natura in 2008, Rosien served as senior editor of a magazine for pregnant women and was community developer, buzz-builder and social marketing strategist for an online media company.
Short Kozlowski joins Bed Frames & More as account rep Tom Kozlowski has been named strategic accounts representative for Bed Frames & More, a manufacturer of steel bed frames and other bedding products. Kozlowski has 30 years of experience in the bedding industry, working for Restonic and Dixie Bedding, among other companies. He is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. W. Silver Products, headquartered in El Paso, Texas, produces bed frames and other items in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and markets them under the Bed Frames & More name. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Innofa adds Wiles as VP
Knit mattress fabric supplier Innofa has named Randy Wiles vice president of regional sales. The position is a new one for the company, which has North American manufacturing in Eden, N.C., and headquarters in Tilburg, Holland. Wiles is a longtime ticking sales executive. He formerly was vice president and sales manager for the now-defunct Blumenthal Print Works. At Innofa, Wiles is responsible for sales and support for Canada and the western and southwestern regions of the United States. He reports to Innofa President Job Dröge. “With the breadth of his sales management skills, his years of experience in the industry and his proven ability to build strong customer relationships, Randy is an extremely valuable addition to our North American team,” Dröge said.
Got News? BedTimes want to know about it! Editorial deadlines for the Industry News and Newsmakers sections of the July issue of BedTimes are Tuesday, June 1. BedTimes | May 2010 |
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ISPANews Association promotes Trainer to president New leader has extensive experience with ISPA & in D.C.
he International Sleep Products Association has named Ryan Trainer president. He previously was executive vice president and general counsel for the association. Before joining ISPA in 2002, Trainer spent more than 20 years at the U.S. Department of Commerce and at leading law firms in Washington, D.C. During that time, he built a strong reputation as an advocate for business in publicpolicy debates. During his eight years at ISPA, Trainer has played a key role in the association’s statistics, legal, government relations, consumer product safety and sustainability efforts. “Ryan has a thorough understanding of the issues that are critical to the sleep products industry and the skill to navigate the corridors of Washington to assure our voice is heard on matters important to us,” said Don Wright, ISPA chairman and chief marketing officer for industry supplier Wright of Thomasville in Thomasville, N.C. “Our board had a very clear vision that, at this time in the evolution of ISPA, we needed a top professional who was a strong executive, experienced Washington hand and someone who already understood
Out front Ryan Trainer addressed the audience during the Industry Breakfast at ISPA EXPO 2010 in Charlotte, N.C., in March.
our industry issues. Ryan was the only person we felt combined all of these talents.” The president’s post had been vacant since Dick Doyle resigned in August 2009. Before elevating Trainer, a search committee surveyed ISPA members about their vision for the association and considered several industry executives and external candidates for the job. “We have learned a lot about what
the industry wants and expects from ISPA in the future,” Wright said. “With Ryan’s promotion, we will be able to start acting upon many of these recommendations. It is a very exciting time for our industry and ISPA.” Under his leadership, Trainer said, “ISPA will continue to focus on the issues that affect the sleep products industry and maximize the value of our programs to our membership. Washington is trying to impose many new costs on business and the sleep products industry needs a strong and unified voice in our nation’s capital, which ISPA provides.” Trainer continued: “Even before I joined the ISPA staff in 2002, I worked with the organization on many matters as its outside legal counsel. As a result, I am familiar with both our history and advocacy in Washington and what we must do to assure that we have a greater voice and impact for our industry.” Previously, Trainer was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of law firm Clifford Chance and a partner in the Rogers & Wells law firm. Early in his career, he worked in the office of the general counsel for the Commerce Department. BT
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BedTimes | May 2010 |
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52 | BedTimes | May 2010
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ISPA: 703-683-8371 · www.sleepproducts.org
AdvertisersIndex A. Lava & Son Co. Steve Appelbaum 800-777-5282 (800-777-LAVA) www.alavason.com
Alessandra Yarns Jorman Fields 336-668-7060 www.alessandrayarns.com
Amelco Industries Ltd. Costas Georgallis 357-22-484444 www.amelco.com
Atlanta Attachment Co. Inc. C2-1, 21 Hank Little 770-963-7369 www.atlatt.com Baron Styles Dave Williams 262-473-7331 www.baronstyles.com
Bloomingburg Spring & Wire Form Vickie Schwarm 740-437-7614 www.bloomingburgspring.com
BLR Martin Leroux 819-877-2092 www.blrlumber.com
Bodet & Horst GmbH & Co. KG Ute Schmiedel 49-37349-697-27 www.bodet-horst.de
Boyteks Tekstil AS M. Nebi Dogan 90-533-685-6041 www.boyteks.com
Bruin Plastics Co. Inc. Steve Angelone 401-568-3081 www.bruinplastics.com
Costa International Daniel Vazquez 305-885-9761 www.costa-international.com
Diamond Needle Corp. Abe Silberstein 800-221-5818 www.diamondneedle.com
54 | BedTimes | May 2010
Dueffe SRL Francesco Arcangeli 39-071-7926054 www.dueffe.com
Eclipse International/Eastman House 8 Stuart Carlitz 800-634-8434 www.eclipsemattress.com www.eastmanhousemattress.com Edge-Sweets Co. (ESCO) Kevin Ryan 616-453-5458 www.edge-sweets.com
Enriquez Materials & Quilting Inc. Silvia Enriquez 323-725-4955 www.enriquezquilting.com Flexible Foam Products Inc. Michael Crowell 419-647-4191 www.flexiblefoam.com Global Systems Group Russ Bowman 954-846-0300 www.gsgcompanies.com
Hengchang Machinery Factory Belinda Lau 769-83307931 www.hcjixie.com Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. Rick Anthony 828-328-2201 www.hickorysprings.com
John Marshall & Co. Ltd. Peter Crone 64-3-341-2004 www.joma.co.nz
Kenn Spinrad Inc. Randy Weinstock 800-373-0944 www.spinrad.net
Latex Systems Kitti Charoenpornpanichkul 66-2-326-0886, Ext. 204 www.latexsystem.com
Latexco U.S. LLC Kevin Callinan 866-528-3926 www.latexco.us
Lava USA Inc. Ann Weaver 864-998-4892 www.lavatextiles.com
MAMMUT Lothar Fohrn-Germany 49-2234-2180 Peter Poulsen-U.S. 952-448-1935 www.mammut.de MPT Group Ltd. Andrew Trickett 44-1706-878558 www.mptgroup.com
New England Needles Inc. Thomas Lees 800-243-3158 www.newenglandneedles.com
Pacific Spring Inc. Victor Nguyen 626-272-8882
P.T. RubberFoam Indonesia Andreas Janssen 62-21-53662190 www.rubberfoam.co.id
Quilting Inc. Mark Gibney 800-358-0153 www.quiltinginc.com
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Therapedic Sleep Products Gerry Borreggine 800-314-4433 www.therapedic.com
Tietex International Ltd. Wade Wallace 800-843-8390 www.tietex.com
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Classifieds For Sale TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, MULTINEEDLE AND SINGLENEEDLE QUILTERS, long-arm label machines, sergers, etc. Contact Victor LeBron, American Plant and Equipment. Phone 864-574-0404; Fax 864-576-7204; Cell 864-590-1700; Email firstname.lastname@example.org; Web www.americanplantandequipment.com. REBUILT AND RECONDITIONED MULTINEEDLE QUILTING MACHINES. Specializing in PATHE precision parts and service. Technical consultants. SEDCO. Phone 201-567-7141; Fax 201-567-5515. TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, QUILTERS & MISCELLANEOUS SEWING MACHINES. Contact Frank Carlino, U.S. Mattress Machinery. Phone 815-795-6942; Fax 815-795-2178; Email email@example.com.
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BedTimes | May 2010 |
TheLastWord No lullabies here B
ut you might get rocked to sleep at the Sleep Country Amphitheater in Ridgefield, Wash. The retail chain recently bought three-year naming rights to the privately owned facility. It originally went by a much sleepier name, the Clark County Amphitheater. The 18,000-seat stadium, built in 2002, has hosted big-name bands like Nickleback and Pearl Jam and schedules about 10 shows a year. Though Sleep Country USA employees might like to rock out as much as anyone, the retailer plans to use the sponsorship as a way to promote its extensive fund-raising efforts for foster children. Sleep Country has 70 stores in Oregon and Washington. Its sister company, Sacramentobased Sleep Train, sponsors the Sleep Train Amphitheater outside Sacramento.
DIY bedbug detector
Researchers at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., have created an inexpensive, do-it-yourself bedbug trap using readily available household items. After testing dozens of setups, researchers found success using an insulated, one-third gallon jug (available at camping supply stores) packed with 2.5 pounds of dry ice (check the Web for local dealers). The jug is placed in a plastic dish—researchers used one made for cat food. Paper taped to the bowl’s rim serves as a bedbug ramp; a dusting of talcum powder inside the dish keeps the bugs from crawling back out. By leaving the top of the jug open slightly, bedbug-attracting carbon dioxide leaks out. A similar trap made with travel mugs also works. Reports on the researchers’ findings were presented at the annual Entomological Society of America meeting in December 2009 and published in the Journal of Economic Entomology in August 2009. You can read the research at www.rci.rutgers.edu/~insects/bedbugtrap.pdf. The device isn’t intended to exterminate bedbug populations, which are notoriously hard to wipe out, but it can be used to check for an infestation or re-infestation. Bedbugs have become a major problem in many U.S. cities, including New York, where the number of reported infestations more than doubled between 2007 and 2009.
Study: Serene scenes better than sheep It’s an old idea: Counting sheep helps you get to sleep. And like many old ideas, it may have outlived its usefulness. Oxford University sleep researchers recruited people who had difficulty falling asleep. When the insomniacs were told to count sheep—or were given no visualization instructions at all—they took slightly longer than usual to drift off, according to the research, which was published in the Behavior Research and Therapy journal. But, when study participants were told to imagine a relaxing scene, such as a tropical beach, they fell asleep an average of 20 minutes earlier. Researchers theorize that, at least in today’s modern world, counting sheep doesn’t hold our attention. But the image of a tranquil lake or beautiful meadow can be calmly engrossing.
56 | BedTimes | May 2010
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The Business Journal for the Sleep Products Industry