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Marine fabrication: Working with rigid enclosures

February 9th, 2016 / By: / Ask the Experts, Feature, Resources

Canvas Designers CEO Mike Erickson, MFC, gives IFAI Expo attendees training and tips on crafting a quality enclosure for customers.

“Working with Rigid Enclosures,” presented Oct. 7th at IFAI Expo 2015 in Anaheim, gave attendees an opportunity to learn some tips from the owner of Canvas Designers Inc., Riviera Beach, Fla., the largest custom marine canvas shop in the world, with more than 60 employees. Mike Erickson, MFC, now owns the EZ2CY® brand, manufacturing “EZ2CY Rigid Enclosures by Canvas Designers,” and discussed with participants the challenges and advantages of manufacturing rigid enclosures.

Erickson stressed five keys to success:

  1. Technology: stay abreast of the latest trends and materials.
  2. Set high standards, for all employees, for all jobs, which means intense process training and monitoring.
  3. Publicize your brand (EZ2CY is a well-known name in the industry).
  4. Choose the best location for your business. He notes that “We’re in the heart of sport fishing land.”
  5. Emphasize processes: “It’s a production process for custom products—a machine and a person.”

During his talk, Erickson focused on the need for high-quality components as well as the best craftsmanship, including fabrics, hardware, tracks, tools and adhesives. Canvas Designers mostly use Stamoid fabric, he says, but will use what the customer wants—as long as the fabric offers a five-year warranty. The company uses a CNC cutting table and Rhino CAD software for smooth cutting (no notches). All components are continually evaluated to maintain quality standards and customer satisfaction.

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