Elroy Pierce has over 42 years of experience in apparel manufacturing. He worked twelve years with Oxford Industries where his primary responsibilities included maintaining automated sewing equipment. He worked for 26 plus years at Clemson Apparel Research (CAR), where he held a variety of positions, including Engineering Associate, Program Coordinator, and Research Associate. Through CAR’s association with the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP), Elroy worked with commercial companies, military services, and the DLA on many projects. These projects provided best practice process improvements in manufacturing, engineering, supervision, garment costing, plant scheduling, plant layouts, process flow, and machine selection for sewing companies. He has a long history of working with apparel, and textile companies to identify and eliminate the causes of sewing problems with textile products. He has worked with apparel equipment manufactures to solve sewing needs. He has worked with apparel equipment suppliers to develop sewing solutions. As founder of Apparel Prototyping and Design Solutions (APaDS) in 2014, Elroy is in a support role at APaDS and helps with the day to day operations and services that APaDS provides for the textile and apparel industries. These services include pattern making, pattern grading, tag board patterns, marker marking, marker plotting, prototyping, samples, garment costing, engineering, sourcing, and apparel consulting.
In 2018 APaDS began producing a line of memory/keepsake items under The Fabrics of Life, the items include bears, pillows, ornaments, necklaces, shawls and do it yourself kits for the bears. Elroy oversees the ecommerce and CRM associated with items selling under The Fabrics of Life.
Education/Training: Basic Electronics, Industrial Solid State, & Solid State Fundamentals - Swainsboro Area Vocational-Technical School (1981), General Sewing Data Certification School (1992). Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute—Academic Jonah (1993).
Sonny Sweezy has over 54 years of engineering experience in the sewn products industry. He interacts with management, plant staff and company associates. His experience includes establishing plant layouts, product costing, incentive systems, operator and supervisory training, methods improvement, cost justification, modular manufacturing, value stream mapping, and special projects. He is a firm believer in the empowerment of people and has a long and successful history of transforming production line performance from standard to best and advanced practices through teamwork.
He began working right out of high school with Skyland Textile Co\Buster Brown Apparel. He started setting up new sewing equipment to increase productivity. He attended Time Study school at N.C. State and he was the only person in the company to set piece rates until 1969. Then, he began working on special projects in the area of permanent press and soon became Assistant Plant Manager. In 1970, he returned to engineering as the Sewing Division Engineering Manager. The division consisted of 5 plants and Sonny was responsible for all engineering functions. In 1977, he became the Corporate Training Director, responsible for training of machine operators and supervisors. He worked with Don Stohlman in standard data systems and KSA in the area of training. From 1981 to 1982, he worked with Bertrand Franks and Assoc. in developing a plant loading and line balancing system to reduce process time and shorten turn times.
While working with Asorba, he developed a product costing system and established a costing department along with an engineering team. He worked with a product development group out of New York and France. He worked in areas of machine justification, operator training, piece rate system, and filled in as assistant manager for brief periods.
During his tenure at Gerber Childrenswear, he was certified to teach GSD after attending workshops taught by personnel from Methods Workshop of Atlanta. He taught four GSD classes within the company with everyone becoming certified. He developed modular sewing units in the bedding plant. And he experimented with some stand up sewing where it applied. He was the onsite engineer for setting up central finishing in the distribution center located in Charlotte, N.C. Furthermore, he was involved from planning stage through training of employees. Sonny spent time off shore working in the sleepwear/underwear plants to improve turn time. He was responsible for evaluating all piece rates within the company.
While at Clemson Apparel Research, as the primary consultant, he worked with small apparel companies in areas in which they felt there was a need. These areas included packaging, quality programs, evaluation of piece rate structure, flexible manufacturing, self-directed work teams, and modular manufacturing.
Sonny is senior consulting engineer at APaDS. His extensive knowledge allows APaDS to offer many industrial engineering solutions to the textile and apparel industries.
Education/Training: Time and Motion Study- N.C. State (1958), M.T.M. (Blue Card) -Serge A. Birn & Co. (1962), M.A.T.E.- Don Stohlman & Assoc. (1970), Training and Development - K.S.A. (1977), Quality Assurance - University of Tennessee (1979), Production Planning- Bertrand Franks (1981), General Sewing Data - Methods Workshop (1988).