A Sense of Urgency (Part 2)

In case you need reminding — we write often about speed.  Speed to market, fail fast, Agile development.

We are continually amazed how some organizations seem to want to drag out the whole process.  Delays getting samples, delays testing. Lots of meetings and conversations.

The old phrase – time is money – could not be truer today.  Time means the opportunity cost of the resources employed in a project.  Time means technology bypassing your plan, market or technology.  Time means a competitor beating you.  Time is probably your most valuable resource, and when you run out of it — you are finished.


The Decline of our Industrial Base

Thirty-five years ago, when Micrex became an independent company, there were ten tool and die makers nearby. Now there is one. You can argue that the skills are obsolete, and the future belongs to technologies like AI, but the reality is that maintaining these skills and our industrial base is critical to our nation. Custom dies and tooling precede mass production and automation.

At Micrex we are continuing to invest in machine tools so that when someone has a good idea, we can try it immediately.  Speed is important and we are committed to getting our customers to market quickly.  You can’t do that without tooling.

Simplicity vs, Complexity

“For every complex problem, there is a solution that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – H. L. Mencken

The operation of a Micrex®/Microcreper™ is complex. I wish it were not that way. Success only came when we embraced the difficulty and committed to being technologists rather than machinery manufactures.

The way Micrex deals with the complexity is through our extensive trial program. During trials we have customers who quickly form their own theories on how the technology works. Good minds do that, but unfortunately the desire to immediately understand something blinds one to the complexity.

I like to give the example of musical instruments. To me the piano looks hopelessly complex. Many keys and combinations of keys. The trumpet has only three keys and usually leads the band. As a child I chose to play the trumpet. A big mistake for me and I am sure little joy for my parents. The trumpet requires weeks of practice before managing the most basic tune. Had I done some research and developed a better understanding of the issues I would have chosen the piano and been making music from day one rather than a lousy horn player.

This is in complete conflict to Occam’s razor where the simplest theory is given priority.

Rethinking Textile Replacements

The disposable paper dress, in 1966 a revelation and new development, has proven to be a failure. The nonwoven substrates available at that time made unappealing, uncomfortable products.

Since then, the nonwovens industry has developed, and the time is right for new, improved products to replace textiles, going beyond fashion and the paper dress, such as hospital bed sheets, tablecloths and window treatments.

This is where Micrex technology comes in:

Paper dress


You can use Micrex’s technology to transform nonwovens from 2D into 3D materials. You can also add properties such as softness and stretch, more closely matching the desired qualities of textiles than ever before:

Add softness: get rid of harshness in your sheet material.

Turn 2D into 3D: add three dimensional effects to your nonwovens. At Micrex, we have been adding these 3D effects to several grades of nonwovens for years.

Add extensibility (comfort stretch): at the same time as adding a decorative effect – providing you with a huge advantage over other technologies. The result: a textile replacement with desirable textile properties.


Best Practices for Roll Goods Trials


The product development process starts with a trial, and at Micrex, every new product we develop also started this way. We’d like to share what we’ve learned about the trial process to help ensure that your next trial a success. (Updated May 2, 2022)

Roll Goods Trials – Best Practices