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April 19, 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Young 734.487.4400
pamela.young@emich.edu

EMU mass customization conference offers strategies for textile-based industries to compete in today's competitive marketplace

YPSILANTI - Mass customization - the ability to personalize products for customers on a large-scale basis - promises to be a key strategy for U.S. companies to successfully compete in the international textile arena. It is rapidly becoming a strategy of choice for many companies in order to position themselves to be more efficient and effective in the competitive marketplace.

Experts in the automotive, furniture and apparel industries will offer competitive strategies for textile-based companies at the "Mass Customization: Key to Competitiveness in Textile-Based Industries," conference, May 19, 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., at Eastern Michigan University's Eagle Crest Conference Center in Ypsilanti.

"This is the first conference to bring representatives of the automotive, furniture and apparel industries together in order to update firms on cutting-edge trends in the textile field," said Julie Becker, director of the textiles research and training institute at Eastern Michigan University. "This is especially crucial for our state because Michigan leads the country in the automotive industry, and is second in furniture and in the top ten in apparel."

The conference will cover such topics as the industry's perspective on mass customization and its impact on international manufacturing; its effect in the textile, apparel and automotive industries and how it relates to economic development; research and development issues for mass customization; and the challenges and directions for the industry;

The cost is $200; $60 for students. For more information, go to www.emich.edu/trti/mcti or call Julie Becker at 734.487.6419.

Industry experts to speak include:

Frank Piller, director, Research Center for Mass Customization and Customer Integration Technology, University of Munich;

Peter Butenhoff, chair and CEO, TC2, a Raleigh, NC-based non-profit that assists companies with supply-chain processes;

  Susan Lackey, director, Washtenaw Economic Development Council;

  Mary Stevens, vice president, quality and engineering, Herman Miller, Zeeland, Mich.;

  Hardy Sullivan, senior director, fabric development, Collins & Aikman, Roxboro, N.C.;

  Joe Dixon, executive vice president, Brooks Brothers, New York;

  Trevor Little, department head, textile and apparel technology, North Carolina State University;

  Tatsuo Kawada, CEO, Seiren, a Tokyo-based firm that develops textile product lines for the automotive industry;

  Terry Turner, research & development manager, Wellman, Inc., Charlotte, N.C.

  Sara Betts, research associate, Clemson Apparel Research Center;

  Angela Cruz, Gerber Technology of Tolland, Ct; and

  Robert Holloway, CEO, Archetype Solutions, Emeryville, Calif., a firm that created software that customizes orders through the Internet.

The conference is sponsored by the Textiles Research & Training Institute at Eastern Michigan University; the NSF Engineering Research Center for Reconfigurable Manufacturing at the University of Michigan and the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.     

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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