Innovative Filament Twill TechnologyTM Revolutionises Firefighter Garments
Question: You launched PBI MaxTM in mid-2012 at the FDIC Show in the USA. How has the reception been to a new PBI product?
Answer: The success has exceeded everyone’s expectations. After just 24 months, we have seen about 70 percent of our PBI sales shift from the out-dated rip-stop technology used in PBI Matrix®, to our exclusive Filament Twill TechnologyTM featured in PBI MaxTM. We have seen more major metro city conversions over the past 24 months than ever. In North America, Baltimore, San Francisco, San Diego, Montreal, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tucson, Kansas City, Wichita, Portland, Seattle, Mobile, Palm Beach, Honolulu, Broward County and many others have all made the switch.
Question: Why the quick success?
Answer: Textile companies have focused solely on protection for years. Firefighters needed other improvements. Safety Components listened to those needs and developed a lighter weight fabric with maximum comfort and mobility, better tear resistance for lower repair costs and better garment durability – all while improving thermal protection for the firefighter. All you have to do is wear it to appreciate its values.
Question: That sounds pretty revolutionary. How does it work?
Answer: Well, first, we do not do traditional. We do original. After years of research and trial work, we decided the standard, all spun and somewhat stiff rip-stop weave outer shell is dead. We believe in combining filament yarns with re-oriented spun yarns and capturing the best values of each fibre. We structure these yarns in such a way to maximise fabric flexibility and durability and we never sacrifice thermal protection. It is an all-win equation for the firefighter.
Question: Is PBI MaxTM the only fabric you make that incorporates the Filament Twill TechnologyTM?
Answer: We just introduced Armor APTM. It is a meta-aramid/para-aramid blend that utilises the Filament Twill TechnologyTM. It is a 220-gram fabric with incredible flexibility and durability and very good thermal protection. It is a value priced product. We are already having a huge response for this fabric in North America.
Question: How about the potential for Europe and Asia for this technology?
Answer: The potential and the demand is there. We launched PBI MaxTM in Europe in mid-2013. It takes a little more time in international markets for new product success. However, we are in the fire service market for the long term – and this means Europe, Australasia, the Middle East . . . not just the Americas.
Question: In your development process, what led you to Filament Twill TechnologyTM for PBI MaxTM and Armor APTM?
Answer: It has been a journey. We have a passion for raising the bar and we learn from many trial developments, some successful some unsuccessful. We started with our patented water repellent technology and PBI Gold® Plus in 1998, introducing the use of producer colours in 1999 with FusionTM, developing a high lubricity and excellent moisture management thermal liner with GlideTM in 1999, and pioneering the use of filament aramid in PBI Matrix® and Armor 7.0TM in the early 2000s. The lessons learned along the way led us to PBI MaxTM and Armor APTM.
For more information, go to www.safetycomponents.com