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Epic Enterprises: More Than Parts

Manufacturing a complete line of high-use replacement parts for European-manufactured textile heat-set and twisting machinery, Epic has dedicated more than 30 years to supplying industry solutions.

Textile World Special Report

T extile manufacturers face countless challenges in today's textile industry. At a time when high-quality, efficient manufacturing is essential to competing on a global scale, attention to detail in plant maintenance and engineering means less downtime, less waste and meeting or exceeding quality specifications.

In some cases, like maintaining a twisting operation, proper maintenance can translate into a significant reduction in broken ends, reduced yarn hairiness, increased strength and elongation, and moderate energy savings. It sounds like an easy decision, but even with the best of intentions, maintenance programs can be difficult to administer.

Plant maintenance can be made easier by identifying a parts and service provider that has depth of knowledge in what can go wrong with an operation, that has the right parts on hand to meet your needs and offers service that gets parts in your hands when you need them. One example of such a supplier is Southern Pines, N.C.-based Epic Enterprises Inc.

Epic’s spindle rebuild room features all of the specialized tools and balancing machinery necessary for a quality rebuild, as well as for training maintenance personnel.

Thirty Years And Counting

A little more than 30 years ago, in 1977 to be precise, Edward Crenshaw established Epic Co. and began what became a thriving business manufacturing spare parts to meet the industry's demand for quality spares delivered with a high level of customer service.

Known today as Epic Enterprises Inc., the company's story is interesting from a business standpoint, as an entrepreneur's journey, as well as in terms of how a third-party supplier can establish a niche and fill a real industry need. As stated by company representatives during Epic's 30th anniversary celebration, Crenshaw's first office was in his apartment, and his closet was his warehouse. Through 30 years of growth, Epic has established a strong US and global presence serving more than 800 clients. Epic went global more than 20 years ago, but in the last 10 years, it has had a real initiative to build international business - most recently in Turkey, China and the Pacific Rim. Today, Epic is servicing more than 36 countries.

"We have really established Epic as a twisting specialty parts and service supplier," Crenshaw said. "Twisters are often overlooked, whether it is carpet or fine-count, cabling or two-for-one. For Epic, it's been a successful niche. We established a second facility in Dalton, Ga., to get us closer to the customers in the carpet business, and I hope we will continue to prove ourselves as supportive partners to their operations."

As a source for replacement parts and rebuild services for yarn-preparation, twisting and cabling machines, Epic manufactures a complete line of the high-use replacement parts for European-manufactured textile heat-set and twisting machinery. The firm also offers the industry twisting rings, ring assemblies, tension devices, yarn and fabric markers, and other related key items.

As an industry resource, however, it is Epic's knowledge-based staff, many with long company tenures and field experience, that make a significant difference in the speed and quality of service delivered to the industry. "We take pride in our staff's ability to solve problems," Crenshaw said. "There is a great focus in the industry on the quality of a single ply of yarn, and often it is the twister that really makes the difference. In plants where twisting is a big part of the plant operation, maintenance is typically performed more regularly. In operations where the machine is idled or not in common use, we try to explain that keeping the machine up to par is just as important. You can ruin a lot of perfectly good single-ply yarn on a poorly maintained twister. Our staff can help companies get the performance they need and at a price they can afford."

Epic Enterprises is much more than a storehouse of more than 9,000 parts; it is a company focused on supporting maintenance and service of twisting operations around the world.

Plant and Facilities

A walk through Epic's 37,500-square-foot facility in Southern Pines reveals much more than an extensive parts warehouse. Broken up into sections and work stations, departments range from what one would expect to see in a high-level machine tool manufacturer through specialized assembly and remanufacturing areas. Epic's spindle rebuild room, for example, features all of the specialized tools and balancing machinery necessary for a quality rebuild. The rebuild room also serves as a training area where Epic's staff train industry plant maintenance personnel in proper rebuild procedures.

"Having the capability to make and repair parts and assemblies is critical to our operation," Crenshaw said. "We have staff here that are trained and experienced - they make us perform at a level that is really competitive. In rebuilding and refurbishing parts, they understand what is necessary, and there is very little they haven't seen before. If we weren't able to do that, there is no way we could be as successful globally as we are. We participate in many of the international exhibitions, and that helps us meet customers and explain our services face-to-face. The Internet has also opened up markets to us that we really didn't dream of 10, let alone 30, years ago."

Left to right: At its Dalton, Ga., location, Epic’s General Manager John Shaw, President and Founder Edward Crenshaw, and recent hire Adam Crenshaw, celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary.

The Future

"I am really grateful we've come as far as we have in 30 years. We've all strived to make this a company based on real quality and service focused on a part of the industry that can really be impacted by that kind of attention. Our customers know if we are performing, and we will continue to make that happen."

Epic continues to look to the future, adding staff and capabilities to focus on quality within its business niche on a global scale.

May/June 2008