ABC Industries Inc., one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of industrial ventilation and fabric products, is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2016. What began with a single product has transformed into a robust line of industrial ventilation products and high-quality industrial textile fabrics that are recognized around the world in many diverse industries.
In 1926, Dan B. Mikesell Sr. founded American Brattice Cloth (ABC) in a rented garage that he shared with the local highway department. Mikesell’s only product was jute brattice cloth, a specialty fabric comprised of burlap soaked in a water solution of calcium chloride. The liquid treatment made the burlap flame resistant, which was required for use in mines. As technology evolved, the construction of brattice cloth transformed to synthetic fibers and PVC films. Although the fabrics are more advanced, brattice remains one of the key components in ABC’s mine ventilation product line.
As the mining industry continued to evolve, ABC, based in Winona Lake, Indiana, made several milestone advancements to better serve its customers adding ventilation ducting to its product line. The positive pressure, layflat design was named MineVent. Later, MineDuct, a wire-reinforced ducting option, was added for negative pressure applications.
In 1974, ABC added a second manufacturing facility in Grand Junction, Colorado, to better address the needs of mining customers in the western United States. In addition to ABC’s existing line of underground mine ventilation products, the Grand Junction facility also produces RigiDuct filament-wound fiberglass ducting. The fiberglass “hard-line” ducting is largely used in coal mines throughout the United States and hard-rock mines found in the western United States.
The 1980s saw ABC venture into new markets that capitalized on its manufacturing capabilities and vertical integration. First, ABC formed the Industrial Textile Fabrics (ITF) division to produce laminated textile fabrics as rolled goods which, today, serve the recreational vehicle, returnable packaging, and tent/structure markets, among others. Next, ABC’s ventilation ducting was adapted for portable heating, cooling, dehumidification, blowing and drying applications. The Industrial Ventilation Ducting (IVD) division serves the construction, aviation, rental, military, and HVAC industries with a variety of ducting solutions. Both industrial initiatives have proven to have tremendous growth opportunities and aided in ABC’s diversification from strictly a mine ventilation manufacturer to an industrial ventilation and textile solutions provider.
Steve Fleagle, CEO of ABC Industries, cited the employees as a key component to the company’s longevity. “While technology and markets have changed, there is one characteristic that remains constant. For 90 years, the company has been blessed with hard-working, dedicated, and innovative people. This attribute is ABC’s foundation for a bright and successful future.”
Today, ABC continues to develop industrial ventilation and fabric solutions utilizing the principals of personalized customer service and high-quality products set forth by its founder, Dan Mikesell. With 90 years of experience, ABC Industries looks to continually improve the customer experience for many years to come.