With a slogan like “Industrial Innovations,” Dan T. Moore Company’s objective is to seek out the newest developments in any and all industries. The rapid expansion in the realm of nonwovens immediately caught our attention, and led to the establishment of the subject of our first Company Spotlight entry: Fiberworx is housed amongst its fellow subsidiary companies at the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center. It began as yet another twinkle in Dan Moore’s eye when he acquired a few of the machines necessary to start manufacturing nonwovens. Nonwovens are broadly defined as sheet or web structures bonded together by entangling fibers of various materials. Originally, DTMCo’s need for such materials came from affiliate company, Soundwich. Nonwovens are incorporated in several of Soundwich’s major products, including AcoustaTherm and ThermaPatch, both of which harness the fibers’ thermal and acoustic properties to enhance vehicle consumer experience. When the market for nonwovens skyrocketed, so did the potential for a new DTMCo portfolio company. Now, Fiberworx has all the machinery and engineering capabilities to contribute substantially to the ever-growing nonwovens industry.
Fiberworx utilizes recycled and virgin materials to create clean and lightweight fibers used in numerous commercial applications. The intrinsic properties of these materials render them ideal solutions for a wide array of operations, including acoustic, thermal, and structural. The versatile nature of these materials open the door to a multitude of markets. Nonwovens may be hidden, but with a little searching you can find them almost anywhere. Peek under the hood of your car, or behind the upholstery of its seats, nonwoven fibers are most likely there. Behind the walls of buildings and homes, even atop roofs, they are used as insulators. Beneath you when you sit or sleep, they are stuffed in your mattress and chair cushions. Nonwovens are present and thriving in the automotive, construction, filtration, medical, and industrial markets.
The majority of these markets take advantage of the soft, airy quality of nonwoven fibers, which renders them acoustically and thermally valuable. However, the Fiberworx Research and Development Team has extensive interest and experience in the structural value of nonwovens. Due to their malleable nature, these fibers can be processed through forming techniques that make the possibilities for their use almost limitless. With our thermoforming, die design, and stamping capabilities, we can produce nonwovens of nearly any shape and rigidity.
Check out our new website Fiberwx.com for more information!
On Monday March 14th, the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center was lively and astir with activity, as usual. However, instead of machine humming and keyboard typing, glass clinking and chitchatting could be heard. DTMCo. and affiliate company Rooftop Green opened CiiC’s doors to welcome several architects and their guests for a night of networking. The principle reason for such an event was to showcase our new modular green roof tray system that will launch soon in the spring.
ROOFTOP GREEN’s All inclusive modular life
The event began with a small reception and presentation, during which Dan introduced Rooftop Green and the new product. RTG was founded in 2015 as one of the most recently established DTMCo portfolio companies. It fits in well amongst its fellow affiliates, finding and fulfilling an unmet need within a certain market. In this case, that market is in the green roof industry, and the need lies in affordability. Rooftop Green’s primary objective is to make affordable, accessible green roof systems that anyone can use.
“For the first time, you can actually afford, in a normal building, to have a green roof.”
—Dan T. Moore III
Rooftop Green President Patrick Hoffman continued the presentation, detailing product specs and benefits. Armed with an innovative design and a sister-company supplier, RTG manufactures modules based in a 100% recycled polymer tray. This seemingly simple design change has revolutionary potential in the green roof industry.
Rooftop Green’s all-inclusive modular life does not require any of the pre-installation elements that have become industry standard for extensive and intensive green roof systems. Its polymer tray design has absorptive and permeable qualities that eliminates the need for any water management elements. In fact, the tray holds the perfect amount of water, fostering seed germination and healthy plant life.
The Fiberworx material is porous, soft, and lightweight. In order to make green roofing accessible and affordable, the system must be easily installed and managed. Rooftop Green’s trays do just that. They are light enough to be moved and shifted, so our clients can make the green roof they envision. Whether they prefer to hire a roofer, or do it themselves, installation is easy.
All of these characteristics of the Fiberworx tray lead to possibly the most important advantage–its low cost! Rooftop Green clients do not and will not have to invest in external constructions, protective layers, and installation fees to have a green roof. They can make their choice between the standard sedum mix, the wildflower aesthetic, and or specialized herb trays, and easily install their modules themselves, if they wish. This allows Rooftop Green the opportunity to make green roofing a possibility for nearly anyone.
The trays and facility tour
After the presentation, our guests were invited to join the Rooftop Green and Dan T. Moore Company teams for dinner in the actual facility where our materials are produced. Several Rooftop Green modules were exhibited alongside finished rolls of synthetic Fiberworx materials. Conversation flooded the enormous space, with topics ranging from green infrastructure to the renovation and rehabilitation of industrial buildings like the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center. We topped off the night with a tour of several affiliate companies located at CiiC, including NatGasCar, Ecowise, and the newest addition to the portfolio, Polymersion.
For more information on Rooftop Green and our all-inclusive modular life, please visit our website.
The story of Dan T. Moore Company begins, of course, with the man himself. Dan T. Moore III, born and raised a Clevelander, planted his business and entrepreneurial roots in his hometown. From this solid groundwork, growth has not only been inevitable, but intentionally sought after. Seven different locations currently wear the Dan T. Moore Company stamp with pride. Throughout the upcoming months, we will explore the establishment and development of these locations in this blog series, The World Tour of Dan T. Moore Company.
The first stop on our excursion is CiiC, the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center.
Happenings here at CiiC are constantly lively and bustling, with its 10 different onsite companies doing a multitude of things, and the facility’s past is really no different.
17000 St. Clair Avenue began, what would be its great journey, in the aircraft industry, when Glenn L. Martin brought his company to Cleveland, Ohio in 1917. Martin Aircraft Companies constructed the originally 61,000 square foot plant and an adjoining flight test field, supplying aircraft to the army during WWI. The facility was then passed to Great Lakes Aircraft Company until the stock market crash ended aviation at the site.
Plant production made a slight detour in 1945, when Cleveland Graphite Bronze purchased the property to manufacture bearings for the automotive industry. It returned to the aircraft business, however, when WWII increased the necessity for aircraft bearings. With business booming, CGB built a large new plant, and made an addition at 17000 St. Clair. This intense development lead to an exhausted workforce, employee strikes, and eventually a plant seizure by the army.
After a complicated series of company name changes and property owners, the complex remained mostly vacant from 1987 until it landed in Dan’s hands, where its buzzing activity has again reignited.
The building did not become CiiC, pronounced “kick” to its plethora of employees, until Dan T. Moore decided to purchase it. Dan immediately saw the job potential in the 758,000 square feet of manufacturing, office, and warehouse space. In the words of CFO, Nancy Keene, “This was the ultimate recycling project—and space for all future ventures that were still just twinkles in Dan’s eyes.” His true hope was to bring manufacturing jobs back to the Cleveland area. So began the investment and renovation of the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center.
“This was the ultimate recycling project—and space for all the future ventures that were still just twinkles in Dan’s eyes.”
-Nancy Keene, CFO
THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP
CiiC could not have developed into the successful 1,000, 000 square feet of industrial space on the east side of Cleveland that it is today without its Director of Facilities, Joe Laumer. The real story lies in the just-so-happened circumstances that lead to Dan and Joe’s meeting.
If you have ever heard of Dan T. Moore III, you most likely know that he is an avid motorcycle enthusiast. When he caught word of a tour group hosting a Silk Road Trip from Istanbul, Turkey to Xian, China, he jumped on his bike and the opportunity. Somewhere roughly 2,500 miles away in Seattle, Washington, Joe Laumer did the same. The two spent a total of 52 days together in the same group of motorcyclists. Surrounded by people who didn’t natively speak their language, they grew quite close. When the trip came to an end, Joe planned a short excursion around his then current city of residence, Seattle, and British Colombia. And when that trip came to an end, Dan asked, “What’s next?”
Joe’s answer was the Continental Divide. He commenced planning a trip from Antelope Wells on the Mexican border to C anada. During this adventure, the real estate market crashed, and Joe’s home situation became a bit perilous. The irony is, he was originally from Cleveland. He moved back to Ohio, and one day found himself sitting at Dan Moore’s kitchen table. Dan was discussing his acquisition of the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center, saying he needed someone new to run the facility. He said to Joe, “That’d be a good job for you!”
THE DIRECTOR OF MAYHEM
Joe started as a consultant, but quickly became General Manager, then Director of Facilities. Now he doubles as the president of affiliate company NatGasCar as well. The sign outside his office titles him “Director of Mayhem.” When asked his favorite thing about working as such, Joe stated, “The absolute variety.” With 10 companies functioning behind CiiC’s doors, almost anything can happen on a daily basis. Due to the affiliate nature of these companies, Joe becomes intimately involved in their processes. Each and every one is connected somehow, and somehow Joe facilitates their connection.
“Boredom is the least of my problems.”
He even connects the sections of the CiiC complex together, giving them creative place names. The Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center doesn’t just have office space; it has the Sandbox. It doesn’t just have a gym; it has the Sweatshop. Our maintenance crewmen are members of the Fixology Department. Joe is even behind the naming of the Fab Lab.
Joe gave Dan the creative nickname “The Professor,” while on their first Silk Road adventure together. “Dan,” he said, “was always curious.” He carried around a little Economist book with facts about every country they visited. He was genuinely interested in what every person they spoke to during the adventure had to say.
One of Joe’s favorite memories with Dan happened on this trip as well. The tour group was leaving the country of Georgia and crossing the border into Azerbaijan. It was only the second border crossing of the trip, and the tour company had sent handlers, so all of the members of the group could cross together, except—Dan wasn’t there.
The tour guide received a call from The Professor, who managed to find himself at another crossing about 50 miles away. At the time, Garmin had a slogan, “Get a Garmin, or get lost.” Joe decided Dan’s new slogan was “Get a Garmin, and get lost anyway.” You can find this story in “The Book of Moore-isms,” a collection of quotes said by Dan and stories related to him. Joe had the first volume printed, and presented a copy to him for his 75th birthday. Not only is this little book indicative of Dan and Joe’s friendship, but it is indicative of the innovation and exciting activity always happening at the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center.