Since its founding in 1979, Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. has become the industry’s leading expert in the development and production of high performance textiles for extreme temperatures.

According to president and CEO, Kathie Leonard, AMI’s textile solutions have been utilized around the world, selling through distributors and also to manufacturers for hundreds of extreme-temperature needs.

Designed for high-heat conditions, these textiles protect people, processes and equipment in the industrial productions of metals, petroleum, chemicals, glass, and paper, in institutions and government facilities, and the digital data storage industry; anywhere extreme heat or flames could be a risk.

“Basically what we do is develop, manufacture and market textile solutions,” explained Leonard. “We provide the most advanced, safest and high-quality flexible barriers against extreme temperature challenges to a worldwide market.”

Leonard began the business with a partner 35 years ago, and what began with a small shop on the second floor in Mechanic Falls’ town library has grown to over 50 employees and two facilities totaling close to 100,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space in Mechanic Falls and Auburn.

“We started out as a supplier of heat-resistant, asbestos-replacement textiles for heavy industry back when OSHA banned asbestos from the workplace,” she said. “Initially we bought fabric in ‘mill rolls,’ which were manufactured to our specifications for fiber content, weight and thickness. We would then convert the larger rolls of fabric into smaller, narrower lengths and widths to meet our customers’ needs for specialty insulation applications. Our customers included refineries, petro-chemical plants, auto makers and other transportation companies.”

In 2000, Leonard’s partner retired, making her sole owner and CEO of the business, which has continued to be the ‘go to’ extreme textile provider globally.

Since AMI’s inception, she has developed effective growth strategies to help her small business grow to what it is today.

“We’ve been surviving and growing by taking good care of our customers with safe, high-quality products” she said. “But also by developing new products as the markets’ needs change.”

“With continuous investment in coating research and heat protection enhancements we have dramatically expanded our line of safety fabrics,” she added. “And we’re always looking at ways to combine our yarns and fibers with new technologies to meet unique customer requirements.”

AMI’s research and expertise in textiles and specialty coatings has culminated in several new product introductions including its own line of EverGreen Cut n Wrap modular insulation, Ever Green HS for indoor steam and hot water distribution systems, ET for elevated temperature environments, and Ever Green Chill-In for chilled water systems.

AMI’s hot work product line includes AMI-TUF TR translucent heat and fire barrier for data center protection, hot and cold aisle containment, and hot work containment enclosures; a line of extreme barrier composites for heat containment; and an extended line of extreme temperature tapes and tubing for the pyrotechnics industry.

Bolstered by positive market reaction to their latest product introductions, and a sales forecast indicating steady demand, along with outgrowing their current space, AMI expanded their Kitty Hawk facility in 2013, nearly doubling their manufacturing space.

“The expansion will increase manufacturing capacity, efficiency and quality with new, state-of-the-art equipment and use of lean manufacturing strategies. Our cutting-edge manufacturing technologies will enable us to make an even better product line,” said Leonard.

Committed to manufacturing domestically, Leonard wanted to provide customers with assurances that AMI textiles were produced in the U.S. In 2014 she created a “Country of Origin” certification for the company’s products.

“We wanted to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace,” she stated. “This certifies that 97 percent of our finished products are “Made in the USA” and not just warehoused or assembled, but actually made in the United States from U.S.-made components.

She added, “It is further assurance for our customers, that we always meet the highest quality standards. And we know from our customer surveys that this is important to them. ”

Where and what does Leonard hope for the future of AMI?

“To continue research in order to provide customers with the best possible specialty textiles, in performance, design and functionality. I hope to continue being a state-of-the-art manufacturer located here in the state of Maine,” Leonard said.

“This state has a strong tradition of quality production and craftsmanship plus a sophisticated telecommunications infrastructure that enables us to serve our customers worldwide with efficiency and competitive pricing.”

Contact information:

Auburn Manufacturing Inc.

34 Walker Road

P.O. Box 220

Mechanic Falls, Maine 04256 USA

Toll Free: 1-800-264-6689

Phone: 207-345-8271

Fax: 207-345-3380

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