Military Mobilization

Military mobilization

Project will strengthen apparel industry, aid military

UW-Stout's department of apparel, textiles and design is the recipient of a Defense Logistics Agency contract to assist in developing a plan to strengthen U.S. apparel manufacturing as well as serve the United States military. The contract was awarded on the basis of a proposal written by Donna Albrecht and Jacquelene Robeck, professors in the department.

"A strong U.S. apparel industry is important for military mobilization as well as for providing a faster response to military ongoing special clothing needs," an Army spokesperson said, adding that "the goal is having the right product in the right place at the right time-at a competitive value."

To achieve this goal, the Department of Defense selected 24 agencies in the country as Apparel Research Network (ARN) partners, one of which is UW-Stout.

The net contract is $50,000 for the first year and $50,000 for the next two consecutive years. The purpose of the initial three-year contract, according to Albrecht, is to develop a "roadmap" of projects for the next seven years that will strengthen the U.S. apparel manufacturing industry.

"The objective is to reduce the number of dress uniform orders treated as `special measurement,'" Albrecht said. "This will be possible by using existing CAD (computer aided design) technology to make available, by special order, sizes beyond the current size tariff as well as commonly needed alterations which are impossible to accomplish after the garment is made."

Albrecht said that computer technology makes it possible for extensions of the size tariff and variations of the standard pattern to be resident on computer for access whenever needed. This saves the cost of repeating the same pattern alterations.

"This speeds the process of producing the majority of out-of-tariff (unusual size) uniforms which do not require individually sized patterns," Albrecht said.

The project will extend electronic grade rule tables of the U.S. Army dress uniform components to the limit of larger and smaller sizes determined necessary by historical data, according to Albrecht.

"Computer integration is the key to strengthening the apparel industry," Albrecht said. "Currently, CAD systems are the most favorably received and well developed."

Outlook Fall '95