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Commitment To Quality

Avondales various beginnings

Janet Bealer Rodie, Assistant Editor

Commitment To Quality From Avondales various beginnings more than a century ago to the present, a commitment to quality has guided the company. Quality is achieved by using the finest raw materials, machinery and equipment, and keeps customer satisfaction at a high level.Early on, the company involved its associates in a proactive implementation of quality assurance. The Zero Defects Program, introduced in 1966, encouraged the associates to suggest ways to improve quality, safety, customer service, maintenance and efficiency.Quality control is vital as Avondale modernizes operations in each of its mills. Keeping up with the latest developments in quality-monitoring technology, the company is using state-of-the-art equipment in every phase of its manufacturing processes.  24/7 On-Line MonitoringRecent upgrades at Alexander City, Coosa and Pell City include the latest Uster quality-monitoring software and equipment to provide a comprehensive real time picture of the entire operation. Twenty-four hour quality monitoring allows us to know what goes on at all points of yarn manufacturing, said Josh Morton, quality assurance manager, Alexander City Yarns. Whereas before we were checking random samples daily, now we are able to check samples every second of the day. At Alexander City, Usters Sliver Expert monitors the carding process. Ring Expert, installed on the spinning frames to monitor production and efficiency, records the number of ends down and pounds produced. Cone Expert and Quantum Clearer at each winding position ensure final yarn package quality, detecting and cutting out foreign matter, unevenness or hairiness in the yarn prior to winding.Finally, physical testing in the lab is accomplished using Usters Lab Expert. The system includes UT4 to test for evenness, Tenso Jet to test for strength and elongation, and the AFIS fiber information system.

At Alexander City, 12 30-position and 13 38-position Savio Orion 1 winders accomodate various yarn counts. The Cone Expert system examines every winding position with Quantum Clearer monitoring devices to ensure the highest quality. Coosa Plant also is using the Ring Expert and Cone Expert systems, and Pell City is using Cone Expert in its winding operation.Usters Rotor Expert system is installed at Tifton. Walhalla and Burnsville have added newquality-monitoring technology to existing equipment. Improved monitoring in Avondales spinning operations helps detect misperforming spindles and rotors and correct all problems before shipping of the final product. As the company quips, One bad rotor can make a lot of bad yarn.Avondale says improved yarn quality has led to dramatic improvements in fabric quality. Investments in greige mill quality have brought point counts to an all-time low, and improved yarn strength has helped bring weaving efficiencies to the highest levels ever.Investments at Gregg Plant are yielding consistently higher volumes of first-quality fabric. Bigger barrels on A frames have reduced creases. Dye ranges are equipped to reduce the amount of lint, thereby reducing spots on finished fabric. In the cloth room, cameras mounted on machinery film every inch of fabric for on-line viewing and assignment of point values.As Avondale pursues its commitment to invest in the most advanced machinery and equipment to ensure quality in the manufacturing process, it is honing its competitive edge to succeed into the next century and beyond. June 2002