HWAFUNE | June 28, 2022
When mentioning Taiwan's traditional manufacturing, what pops into your head may be the textile industry. As a global hub for textile manufacturing, Taiwan has undergone significant changes over the past 30 years. Two of the most important changes are the relocation of industries to China and the government's New Southbound Policy.
While Taiwanese textile manufacturers' decision to relocate is mainly driven by the need to reduce costs using cheap overseas labor, the rising labor costs in Southeast Asia have forced the manufacturers to constantly move their production to other regions, turning them into textile industry nomads.
Despite these two relocation trends, HWAFUNE Textile which specializes in manufacturing functional fabrics has insisted on keeping production in Taiwan to provide reliable, high-quality products for esteemed customers. Instead of blindly pursing low costs and low prices through contract manufacturing and ending up in the red ocean, HWAFUNE Textile has strengthened the foothold of the Taiwanese textile industry in the global luxury market.
One of the hot topics in the functional apparel market in recent years is the European Union's ban on fabrics containing PTFE. Currently, membranes made of PU, TPU, and PTFE account for the majority of functional apparels. With superior moisture permeability and breathability, PTFE has been adopted more widely than the other two materials.
However, when heated to high temperatures during the manufacturing process, PTFE will generate PFOA which is classified as a possible human carcinogen. In addition, greenhouse gas is produced when fabrics containing this material are incinerated. Even if the fabrics are buried in landfills, PFOA will not decompose and will be washed into the ocean by rain. It then gets into the atmosphere via evaporation and is transported to everywhere by airflow or rain. PFOA has even been found in polar bears' livers.
Considering the potential impact of the EU's ban on the clothing market and consumers' fear of toxic substances, upmarket brands have been looking for alternative functional fabrics. Therefore, HWAFUNE has joined hands with Phoenix Innovative Materials to develop the functional fabric brand Porlite, which has rapidly won the heart of high-end functional apparel brands.
"In Light of Future Trends, HWAFUNE Develops Porlite Fabrics with Phoenix Innovative Materialsto take interest in PP membranes five years ago. Although HWAFUNE has the ability to mass produce fabrics featuring PTFE, PU, and TPU membranes, he believes PP membranes will become a trend in the functional apparel industry since the lifecycle of the material, from the production of the membrane and the manufacturing of the fabrics to the disposal of the clothing, is more in line with increased environmental awareness, I can guarantee that Porlite is capable of replacing existing functional fabrics and can fully address high-end brands' product development requirements"
Turning the ambitious vision into reality is not easy. In the past three years, these two companies worked closely on the manufacturing, testing, and modification of the membrane. Besides functionality, HWAFUNE also considered the needs of consumers during testing, such as waterproof, moisture permeability, and even the appearances of the fabrics after washing.
The reason that Chairman Chang is so committed is because he has put himself in consumers' shoes in the first place. He thinks environmental protection, safety, non-toxicity, and practicability should be combined perfectly. Product developers should not need to choose between them, nor should they force consumers to compromise on environmental protection, price, or quality.
Dr. Chang, who is responsible for technology development at Phoenix Innovative Materials, explains the three major advantages of Porlite which is produced through non-toxic manufacturing processes in Taiwan. Firstly, there are 10 billion pores arranged in an orderly manner on the membrane. As the pores are smaller than water molecules and bigger than air molecules, the fabric can resist water penetration, even under pressure, while maintaining breathability.
Moreover, since most outdoor exercises are relatively intense and will create a lot of sweat during the process, Porlite can also transport moisture from the clothing to the atmosphere by diffusion through the membrane, thus providing moisture permeability and breathability that no other functional apparel on market can achieve.
Porlite Captures Top Brands' Heart with Non-Toxic Manufacturing, Sustainability, Fastness to Washing, and Moisture Permeability
In line with the HWAFUNE's commitment to sustainability, the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) for Porlite can endure at least 30 laundering cycles and rain-resistant for period of time, thus providing a longer life span.
Manufacturing in Taiwan is one of the main reasons that Porlite has won favor with Europe-based tier-one sportswear brands. The high quality enables Porlite to stand out from other competitors and meet customers' needs for upscale and reliable products.
Both the PP membrane developed by Phoenix Innovative Materials and the Porlite fabric created by HWAFUNE are manufactured in Taiwan. Thanks to their insistence on domestic production, the companies have established a high-tech brand image for Taiwanese textile companies widely recognized by overseas esteemed customers. These are valuable experiences for both Phoenix Innovative Materials and HWAFUNE.
Instead of pursuing short-term profits through contract manufacturing services, Chairman Chang and Dr. Chang spent five years developing the Porlite fabric whose overwhelming advantages for environmental protection and functionality have spoken for itself. The goal is to establish bio-based manufacturing processes by using natural materials such as weeds as raw materials and to provide biodegradable products in 10 years.
Crown Laboratories, Inc. | July 13, 2022
Crown Laboratories ("Crown"), a leading, fully integrated global skincare company, announced today that it is adding 60,000 square feet to its manufacturing complex in Johnson City, TN. The facility is home to leading dermatological brands such as PanOxyl® acne wash, Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen, and Sarna® anti-itch lotion.
The additional 60,000 sq. ft. will bring the Lafe Cox Drive facility to approximately 250,000 square feet – enough to accommodate the warehouse space that is required to keep up with Crown's growing manufacturing and packaging needs. The facility manufactures and distributes products for the global market, including prescription, medical devices, OTC and cosmetic products. It has been producing record numbers of finished goods on a consistent month over month basis.
"We have been at maximum capacity for some time now, Our organization has grown significantly and as a result, our production demands have nearly doubled in the past couple of years. With that increased production comes additional componentry, cartons and materials. By expanding our warehouse and adding close to 5,000 pallet locations, we will be able to conduct our operations with more efficiency and with better financial controls."
-Jeff Bedard, President and CEO of Crown.
About Crown Laboratories, Inc.
Crown, a privately held, fully integrated global skincare company, is committed to developing and providing a diverse portfolio of aesthetic, premium and therapeutic skincare products that improve the quality of life for its consumers throughout their skincare journey. An innovative company focused on skin science for life, Crown's unyielding pursuit of delivering therapeutic excellence and enhanced patient outcomes is why it has become the leader in dermatology and aesthetics. Crown has been listed on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies List for eight years and has expanded its distribution to over 38 countries.
Akoustis Technologies | June 27, 2022
Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKTS) (“Akoustis” or the “Company”), an integrated device manufacturer (IDM) of patented bulk acoustic wave (BAW) high-band RF filters for mobile and other wireless applications, announced today that it has entered into a new multi-year, multi-million dollar contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to pursue new materials and device manufacturing methods. As a result of the expected advances, the program could extend the Company’s patented and proprietary XBAW® technology to 18 GHz, opening up significant new commercial and defense applications to Akoustis.
Traditional scaling of BAW resonators to X and Ku bands typically results in unacceptably low Q (quality) factors, degraded electromechanical coupling and much lower power capability driven by leaked energy from much smaller resonators. One approach to BAW frequency scaling is simple overtone mode operation which severely degrades electromechanical coupling. In this DARPA program, XBAW® technology utilizes a novel approach to circumvent trade-offs inherent in traditional BAW frequency scaling approaches. Akoustis plans to introduce, at the completion of the program, XBAW® filters and resonators that fully exploit the entire kt2 of the underlying piezoelectric material.
“A different frequency scaling approach is required for BAW resonators to operate at higher frequencies above 10GHz, such as X and Ku bands.In this DARPA-funded effort, we intend to introduce a new method of BAW overtone operation that can maintain high Q factor while mitigating the decrease in coupling. Combining our existing, patented XBAW® technology along with the successful mode overtone operation which we plan to develop under this program, we expect to advance the state-of the-art in BAW RF filter technology at lower frequencies for 5G and Wi-Fi—specifically in terms of power handling, Q factor and frequency operation relative to incumbent BAW technologies in the market today.”
-Jeff Shealy, founder and CEO of Akoustis
Akoustis is actively delivering volume production of its Wi-Fi 6 tandem filter solutions, shipping multiple 5G small cell XBAW® filter solutions, delivering initial designs of its new 5G mobile filter solutions to multiple customers and has entered the market with its new Wi-Fi 6E coexistence XBAW® filter solutions.
Given the rapidly growing sales funnel activity as well as ongoing interaction with customers regarding expected ramps in 5G mobile, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E in calendar 2022, the Company is increasing the annual production capacity at its New York fab to approximately 500 million filters per year.
About Akoustis Technologies, Inc-
Akoustis® is a high-tech BAW RF filter solutions company that is pioneering next-generation materials science and MEMS wafer manufacturing to address the market requirements for improved RF filters - targeting higher bandwidth, higher operating frequencies and higher output power compared to incumbent polycrystalline BAW technology deployed today. The Company utilizes its proprietary and patented XBAW® manufacturing process to produce bulk acoustic wave RF filters for mobile and other wireless markets, which facilitate signal acquisition and accelerate band performance between the antenna and digital back end. Superior performance is driven by the significant advances of poly-crystal, high-purity and single-crystal piezoelectric materials and the resonator-filter process technology which enables optimal trade-offs between critical power, frequency and bandwidth performance specifications.
Akoustis plans to service the fast growing multi-billion-dollar RF filter market using its integrated device manufacturer (IDM) business model. The Company owns and operates a 120,000 sq. ft. ISO-9001:2015 registered commercial wafer-manufacturing facility located in Canandaigua, NY, which includes a class 100 / class 1000 cleanroom facility - tooled for 150-mm diameter wafers - for the design, development, fabrication and packaging of RF filters, MEMS and other semiconductor devices. Akoustis Technologies, Inc. is headquartered in the Piedmont technology corridor near Charlotte, North Carolina.
Procter & Gamble | June 10, 2022
On Wednesday, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) (P&G) and Microsoft Corp. announced a new multiyear collaboration that will leverage the Microsoft Cloud to help create the future of digital manufacturing at P&G.
The two companies will co-innovate to accelerate and expand P&G's digital manufacturing platform and leverage the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to bring products to consumers faster, increase customer satisfaction and improve productivity to reduce costs.
Together with Microsoft, P&G intends to make manufacturing smarter by enabling scalable predictive quality, predictive maintenance, controlled release, touchless operations and manufacturing sustainability optimization — which has not been done at this scale in the manufacturing space to date, At P&G, data and technology are at the heart of our business strategy and are helping create superior consumer experiences. This first-of-its-kind co-innovation agreement will digitize and integrate data to increase quality, efficiency and sustainable use of resources to help deliver those superior experiences."
P&G CIO Vittorio Cretella.
With Microsoft Azure as the foundation, the new collaboration marks the first time that P&G can digitize and integrate data from more than 100 manufacturing sites around the world and enhance its AI, machine learning and edge computing services for real-time visibility. This will enable P&G employees to analyze production data and leverage artificial intelligence to immediately make decisions that drive improvement and exponential impact. Accessing this level of data, at scale, is rare within the consumer goods industry.
P&G selected Microsoft as its preferred cloud provider to build the future of digital manufacturing based on a four-year history of successfully working together on data and AI. The new collaborative effort will:
Allow for better utilization of data, AI capabilities and digital twins technology.
Optimize manufacturing environmental sustainability efforts.
Increase workforce efficiency and productivity.
We are excited to help P&G accelerate its digital manufacturing platform using Microsoft Azure, AI and IIoT to accommodate volatility in the consumer products industry with innovative, agile solutions that can easily scale based on market conditions, Our partnership will further P&G's growth and business transformation through digital technology that seamlessly connects people, assets, workflow and business processes that promote resiliency."
Judson Althoff, Microsoft's chief commercial officer.
Increasing sustainability and predicting equipment failure
To optimize manufacturing sustainability, P&G will use Microsoft's machine learning and data storage platforms to improve energy utilization across its paper machines in Family Care. With the efficiency and speed of cloud computing, P&G teams can analyze large volumes of holistic data sets and pinpoint energy efficiency and machine maintenance opportunities across the manufacturing process. The Azure platform will allow P&G to easily integrate event summary data — such as production runs, downtime, changeovers and more — along with historical data.
Co-innovation with a new Digital Enablement Office and incubator
To accelerate technology integration and support pilot programs, Microsoft and P&G have co-created a Digital Enablement Office (DEO) staffed by experts from both organizations. They will jointly deploy the Azure platform, and the DEO also intends to serve as an incubator to create high-priority business scenarios in the areas of product manufacturing and packaging processes that can be implemented across P&G.
About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and information about P&G and its brands.