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SwingFrame Mfg.
Awards & Recognitions
 




Over the years, SwingFrame Mfg. has received awards and recognition from leading trade publications such as Display Design Ideas, Sign of the Times, Design Journal Magazine and Graphic Design USA.

These awards are reflections of our unique product design, innovation, and uncompromising commitment to quality here at SwingFrame Mfg. It’s always nice to know that our product and services are not only being accepted into a broad range of industries, but receiving accolades as well.

ADEX Award








Graphic Design USA








SIGNS OF THE TIMES










DDI Fixture Leaders
 

ADEX SILVER AWARDS WINNER
SwingFrame MFG. builds standard / custom frames and displays for printed materials including; posters, graphics, signage, art, documents, menus, and complete publications, SwingFrame Shadowboxes can be built to hold an array of items; products, merchandise and objects. Both printed and dimensional can be combined into one display. Interior lights can be installed.

Custom sizes up to 4 feet x 8 feet and depths up to 7” are available.

Designers can choose from a numerous selection of metal and wood profiles in hundreds of colors and finishes to find the right display case display for their interior design applications. SwingFrame MFG. has gained a reputation for its quick turn-around time for standard and custom size graphic displays. We can build one unit or 1000 units and provide a prototype before building volume orders. Small volume orders can often be shipped within a day or two.

Other products include Economical Top/Side Loaders, Four corner Swing-Snaps, Lightboxes, Floorstand Signholders, Swingstands, Bulletin Boards, Outdoor Cases, Domes, and Interior Swing Cases. SwingFrame MFG. provides, designers, architects, and buyers a wide-range of display solutions for their interior design projects.



GRAPHIC DESIGN USA TOP 100 FIXTURE COMPANIES
Here is our 42nd anniversary presentation of 100 companies that care about providing topflight products and services, adding value and finding solutions, communicating with and standing behind the creative community. We include overviews, new developments and contact information. THE MESSAGE: CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH GREAT SUPPLIERS ARE MORE VITAL THAN EVER.

SwingFrame case designs, manufactures and distributes instant access frames and displays. Recognizing the growing need for quick changing displays, the company has gained a reputation for fast turnaround time on standard and custom products. SwingFrames, with their patented swing-open feature, allow the rapid change of numerous posters, graphics, objects and merchandise. The system provides applications for corporate, commercial, institutional, retail and residential industries. SwingFrames come in more than 30 standard sizes for metal and wood, with customizable options, cork, and fabric backing boards, lighting additions, locking systems and more. Related offerings include Shadowboxes, Light Boxes, Top/Side Loaders, Swing Snaps and Sign Holders.


SIGNS OF THE TIMES TOP FIFTY PRODUCTS
Continuing the tradition, the review again presents the gadgets and gizmos featured in our previous year’s new product section that generated the most response…..

# 2 Poster display cases
SwingFrame MFG. expands its line of instant-access display cases to include a large-format, 3-foot by 4-foot poster size SwingFrame product, the SwingFrame’s system’s swing-open and -close feature, allows for easy placement, removal and change of mounted and unmounted graphics ¾" even while the frame is fixed to the wall. SwingFrames come standard in anodized black or satin silver molding. They can be customized with numerous metal profiles, colors, mats and interior frame depths ¾ from 1/8" to 1 ½".

# 42 Dome Display
SwingFrame MFG. has expanded its line of SwingFrames to include acrylic, swing-open, Dome displays that feature a concave display face. The frames come in standard sizes of 22" x 32", 16" x 20" and 18" x 24". The center depth of the standard dome is 9", but customized domes are available. SwingFrames outer frames have anodized black or satin silver moulding and can be customized with numerous metal profiles, colors and mats. Appropriate applications include p-o-p, visual merchandising and exhibits.


DDI FIXTURE LEADERS
The U.S. retail fixture industry as a whole has been on a slippery slope for the past couple of years. A turbulent economy continues to keep many companies guessing. Amidst acquisitions, bankruptcies and closures in the retail arena, a new player in the retail fixture industry started gaining ground— China. Among prevalent waves of concern are declining profit margins, which have forced retailers to demand more from their fixture suppliers—including a stronger arm in project management and constant pressure to lower already bottomed-out prices. Further, raw materials continue to increase in price, which has forced fixture companies to absorb more costs in order to spare their clients. Although the road has been rocky in the first years of the 21st century, fixture manufacturers have had to become more efficient and innovative to stay afloat.

“We believe the greatest challenge facing fixture manufacturers is remaining relevant,” says Jeff Kastner, vice president of sales, Artitalia Group, Montreal. “For too long, many fixture manufacturers have relied on a handful of core customers for the bulk of their sales. Far East imports, auction bids and Internet technology have opened up the fixture markets to many new players. Retailers are being challenged by their financial departments to cut costs without sacrificing their brands. The opportunities are there for manufacturers willing to find innovative ways to save retailers money, whether through design, services or import programs.”

Going forward, fixture companies will have to seek out opportunities and evolve their operations to adjust to the changing economic climate. “The truth is that these are challenging times. But, tough times can teach you invaluable lessons,” advises Dave Mueller, president of Leggett & Platt Store Fixtures Group, Niles, Ill. “You learn to operate more efficiently and economically, to adopt new business practices, and to be more adept at searching for and finding new opportunities.”

As a result of retailers having tighter profit margins, fixture companies have taken on more responsibility from their clients. “The relationship is one of true partnering. We are more an extension of the retailers’ operations,“ says Mindy Gehris, president of sales & marketing, Fleetwood Fixtures, Reading, Pa. “We are not just a manufacturer; we are a problem solving/solutions company as well.”

The National Association of Store Fixture Manufacturers (NASFM) has come to recognize that its members are bearing the brunt of tighter profit margins. “At the present, pressure on profit margins and rising materials costs are serious concerns for store fixture manufacturers,” says Klein Merriman, executive director of NASFM. “What began with shortages and increased costs for stainless steel, sheet metal, steel wire and steel tubing, has since spread to a wide variety of materials.”

Although many U.S. manufacturers have imported materials and finished goods for years, retail fixture manufacturers were hesitant in the business of international outsourcing and production, due to the possible compromise of quality and delivery time. However, as a result of shrinking margins and the pressure to lower production costs, many American fixture manufacturers are being forced to outsource and/or produce abroad—mainly in China.

Leggett & Platt Store Fixtures Group has more than 18 years of experience in both exporting from and manufacturing in China. “We see continuing opportunities for growth in this area. As margins continue to be challenged, we are producing more fixture programs that blend imported components with domestic production,” says Mueller. “We are exploring different regions of China for further cost savings opportunities in the future. Another import opportunity, as well as a risk for a manufacturer, is to be testing other emerging countries. We are currently exploring sourcing opportunities in South Africa and India.”
Artitalia Group’s Kastner agrees that fixture companies cannot neglect opportunities abroad: “Our future lies in offering retailers a blend of domestic and import fabrication without sacrificing quality and service.” Because of China’s growing importance in manufacturing capabilities and in innovative technology, NASFM hosted a trade mission in June, when a number of U.S. fixture manufacturers toured both wood and metal manufacturing plants in the Guangzhou region of southern China and Shanghai.

Although many fixture companies have touted the benefits of international importation and production, the rise in steel prices earlier this year stunted the expected cost savings from producing abroad, especially in China. Since American companies are gusto over outsourcing manufacturing to China, an overwhelming demand for steel sent prices soaring for stainless steel, sheet metal, steel wire and steel tubing. Some companies reported more than a 100 percent increase during the first quarter of 2004.

“To date, we have had some discussions/inquiries regarding alternatives to steel. In many cases though, based upon the product and its use—gondola, pallet racking, moveable shelving, etc.—an alternative material is not feasible,” Mueller explains. “Additionally, global sourcing is not providing relief, we are experiencing raw material cost increases both domestically as well as in our offshore operations. Recently the steel market has leveled out, but we haven’t seen any decline and anticipate there will still be some additional increases. “

But aside from the many challenges in the retail fixture industry, there are also opportunities. “Design, innovation and quality will drive this industry as it always has,” says Kastner. “Far too much emphasis has been put on import threats and online auction angst. That retailers are demanding better prices, service and quality should come as no surprise, as we demand the same of our vendors. Change has become a constant, and will reward those that embrace it.” SwingFrame Mfg. Charles Abrams

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