New Airfloat Ownership Celebrates Five-year Anniversary, Opens New 'Innovation Center'


Aug. 10, 2010-Airfloat, a Decatur, Ill.-based designer and maker of innovative material-handling
solutions, celebrates in August an important milestone: five years of successful operation under new ownership/management. To mark the event, the company is opening a new 3,000-sq.-ft. Innovation
Center in its Decatur headquarters.

Airfloat's signature product is the air bearing, an inflatable urethane disc that replaces wheels on conventional skids, carts and turntables by floating heavy objects on a cushion of compressed air. Airfloat has been making air bearing equipment in Decatur for global distribution since 1967.

New owner and president Jason Stoecker acquired Airfloat in 2005, rescuing the company from potential bankruptcy. Under Mr. Stoecker's stewardship, the company has enjoyed gains in sales and profitability, despite the challenging heavy-manufacturing environment. "We experienced a crisis of sorts right out of the gate when the big Detroit auto makers -- historically some of Airfloat's biggest customers -- slashed their orders by 90% in the midst of the recession," Stoecker recalls. "We battled back by increasing operating efficiency, diversifying our customer base and expanding our marketing efforts. We've emerged a leaner, smarter company and look forward to the next 40 years in business."

Airfloat also reinvested in its business by creating its new Innovation Center for design and engineering. The center houses 10 engineers, each equipped with dual-computer-monitor workstations
loaded with the latest computer-aided drawing software, including SolidWorks. The engineers work in futuristic-looking stations provided by office furniture maker Herman Miller. "We wanted to create an environment that exemplifies our love of quality engineering and innovation while fostering an atmosphere of enhanced teamwork and professionalism," enthuses Mr. Stoecker. "We're confident we achieved that goal."

Visitors to Airfloat can judge for themselves during an upcoming open house, scheduled for September 9. For more information, contact Gary Mollohan at gmollohan@airfloat.com.

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