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Yuma plant first step in company's carpet-making process
Undoubtedly a number of readers are asking a question right now: What is that funny little symbol accompanying this “Made in Yuma” story?
Well, it is what is called a QR (“Quick Response”) code, and the Yuma Sun will be using them in the newspaper to allow our readers who have “smart” cell phones to access content directly on their phones. For example, the one in the Made In Yuma story links to a video that will play on your cell phone, if you have the application that allows QR codes to be read by it.
Readers of the Yuma Sun will be seeing QR codes appearing in selected stories in the newspaper. Our codes will link to videos, photo slide shows, databases and more, with just a simple click of your phone.
A smart phone with a camera is required. You’ll also need some free or inexpensive software to interpret codes captured by your phone’s camera.
The type of phone you have will dictate how you get the QR code reader application (“app”). You can find them in the App Store for iPhone, Market for Android phones, App World for Blackberry handsets and Marketplace for Windows phones. Popular readers are Scan Life, Neoreader, i-Nigma, or Codescan.
Once you have the reader installed, all you need to do is start the app, then point your cell phone camera at the code and snap a picture. The reader decodes it and starts playing the video or other content. Give it a try - it’s fun!
If you have any questions, you can e-mail the Yuma Sun’s multimedia specialist Janet Chasse at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her afternoons Monday through Friday at 539-6845.
The yarn in the carpet you walk on every day at your office or in the living room and bedrooms of your home may have actually been made at a plant in Yuma.
Shaw Industries, located at 2500 W. 1st St., makes the yarn that is eventually used to create carpets. According to company officials, Shaw is the only major carpet company to have a plant west of the Mississippi River.
“It is a simple process. We receive the fibers, twist it, heat it, and that is it,” said Glenda Escalante, planning and scheduling manager. “Our finished product is a twisted heat-set yarn ready to be made into carpets.”
Escalante said turning the fiber into yarn is a three-step process which is done completely at the Yuma plant. Fiber is the basic material that a carpet is made up of. Over 90 percent of all of the carpet made today is made up of synthetic nylon fiber.
The first step in the process, Escalante explained, is loading the spools of fiber on to what are called cabling machines, which twist two spools of fibers around each other in a single operation, without the individual strands themselves being twisted.
Depending on the type of yarn that is needed, Escalante said, the process can take anywhere between 4 to 20 hours to convert the fibers.
“It really depends on the type of yarn,” Escalante said. “The thicker the quicker and the thinner the longer it takes.”
Plant Manager Clayton Hasty said while the plant uses only two types of fibers, those fibers can be made into 60 different types of yarns.
“The combination of those fibers is endless,” Hasty said. “You can do almost anything with them.”
Once the fiber has been twisted, it is then run through what are known as Suessen machines, which heat the yarn and lock in the twist.
The Suessen machine also has a winder on it that winds the finished yarn back onto spools, which are then stored in the plant's warehouse until they can be shipped.
Since the synthetic nylon fibers are precolored, they can also be mixed together to make varying shades of yarn.
Hasty explained that while the Yuma Shaw plant mostly focuses on residential carpet yarn, it does make commercial carpet yarn as well. He said the process is similar.
The process is basically the same and involves the same cabling and Suessen machines, but adds another step in the process before winding, called an autoclave machine. The autoclave machine, Hasty said, is just another way to heat set the yarn.
The carpet itself is not made at the Yuma plant, Escalante said. The yarn is shipped to a plant in the Los Angeles area, where it is sewn into the primary backing. It is then sent to a second plant where it is dyed and the secondary backing is added, completing the carpet.
The Yuma Shaw plant was established in 1980 and currently employs 320 people. Hasty said the plant is open 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, with employees working in three different shifts.
Hasty said the Yuma plant produces approximately 900,000 pounds of carpet yarn a week, which is roughly about 180,000 pounds a day.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854.
Ever wonder what's made in Yuma?
The Yuma Sun staff took a look at several different companies in the area in a series called Made in Yuma.
Today, we're kicking the series off with Shaw Industries.
Upcoming stories include:
• Johnson Controls - Monday
• Agriculture - Tuesday
• Alside - Wednesday
• Liquid Eyewear - Thursday
• Gowan - Friday
• Movies - Saturday