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Amazing Grace

Grace Complex incorporates finishing, fabrication and distribution capabilities the core of Springs' success.

The "DC" plays a vital role in warehousing and distributing Springs' finished products.Enter Springs Industries Grace Complex in Lancaster, S.C., and you enter the heart of Springs bedding operations. Originally built in 1948 by President Colonel Elliott White Springs, Grace has undergone several upgrades including five expansions and the addition of a screen printing plant. Featuring 1.4 million square feet (ft2) of production space, and 590,000 ft2 of warehousing known in Springs-speak as the DC, Grace Complex employs approximately 2,100 people on three shifts, working a five- to six-day schedule.Grace Complex incorporates: Grace Finishing Plant including bleaching, dyeing, printing and finishing; Grace Fabrication housing a Springs cut, sew and packing operation; and Grace Receiving and Logistics Centers a warehousing and distribution hub for Springs finished products.The mammoth facility also has on-site power and steam generation, water filtration and treatment, as well as wastewater treatment.FinishingAs Springs endeavors to strategically balance domestic manufacturing with foreign sourcing programs, Grace Finishing receives 60 percent of its fabric from Springs internal production and 40 percent from sourced greige goods. Processing more than 900 million yards annually, Grace Finishing is a huge consumer of textile raw materials, going through an estimated $17 million worth of dyes and chemicals annually to produce and finish bedding fabrics and some apparel fabrics.Automated FabricationThe Grace Fabrication Plant produces 1.9 million sheets and pillowcases weekly. Sixty percent of production is focused on sheet sets and bed-in-a-bag products. Receiving finished fabrics from Grace Finishing, automated sewing systems cut, sew, attach brand and care labels, add trim, cut corners, sew elastic in fitted sheets and even turn pillowcases inside out and fold the finished products for packaging. These systems blaze through fabric, converting it into finished product at the rate of 100 stitches per second. Springs associates focus on quality inspection at multiple points in the processes, and ensure automated systems perform at peak efficiency.Receiving And LogisticsThe Grace Receiving facility came on-line in the early 1960s, while Grace Logistics Center is the latest addition to Grace Complex. Featuring 2.7 million cubic feet of storage capacity, Grace Logistics shipped more than 12 million cartons in 2002 and maintains an average daily volume of 48,000 cartons. While typical textile logistics centers handle rolls of fabric, Grace moves boxes of finished product, ready for Wal-Mart and other customers, over two miles of conveyors, through automated sorting from inventory to tractor trailers.Our domestic manufacturing base may actually become more competitive due to increasing service requirements, increased differentiation and demands on reacting faster, said Crandall Close Bowles, chairman and CEO. As Springs focuses on the future, Bowles is confident Grace will continue to evolve and meet the companys strategic goals.

June 2003