AATCC recently recognized John Crocker and Rick Stanford as the 2021 recipients of the Henry E. Millson Award for Invention. The Millson Award recognizes inventions that are outstanding contributions to textile technology. Crocker and Stanford developed a standardized washing machine for testing textiles to multiple AATCC standards. Prior to this invention, domestic washers were used, but they changed every few years. Testing labs had washing machines with different operating parameters trying to run the same standard tests. Crocker’s and Stanford’s standardized washing machine also allows custom programming and can run a continuous wash cycle, saving water and detergent for special retailer tests that call for more washings.
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The standardized washing machine is made with industrial grade components, so it can meet the operating requirements of a lab that runs tests all day, every day. This eliminates the additional waste of replacing home washers on such a regular basis. Finally, the standardized washer allows AATCC standards committees to maintain consistent operating parameters; this means no more worry over the market confusion caused by the numerous models of domestic washers.
The Millson Award was presented at AATCC’s Textile Discovery Summit in Charlotte, NC, USA.
Crocker joined AATCC in 2010. He has spent over 25 years in the textile quality control industry, with experience in manufacturing, testing, technical sales, and standards development. As SDL Atlas Business Development Manager, Crocker is responsible for working with customer relationships, standards development, laboratory installations, promotion of testing requirements, and installation and training for new customers. Prior to his promotion to business development manager, Crocker was responsible for managing the agents and business in the US and Canada, as well as aiding with promotions around the world, a position he held since joining SDL Atlas in 2004.
Crocker is an active member of several standards development organizations, including ASTM, where he chaired D13 Textiles from 2018-2022; AATCC, where he serves on the Board of Directors as President Elect for 2021-2023 and on a number of research committees; and ISO, where he acts as Vice Chair and Technical Expert for the US TAG to TC 38. Prior to joining SDL Atlas, Crocker worked as the Lab Manager/Quality Assurance Manager / ISO Management representative for the Glen Raven Knit Fabrics Group. He has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University.
Stanford has been a member of AATCC since 2011. He has 30 years of experience in the textile industry and has worked extensively with brands, retailers, and factories to improve fabric performance and sustainable processes. He earned a BS in Industrial Management from Georgia Institute of Technology and went to work directly with Milliken & Co. After gaining experience working at Milliken as a weaving superintendent, Stanford moved to Symtec, and became product manager of Spinning and Weaving Technology. He then joined Elbit Vision Systems as an Americas sales manager of Vision Technology Fabric Inspection. It was this work in the textile industry that Stanford credits with focusing his career. His next job with Uster Technologies Ltd., a Swiss textile instrument company that supplied vision technology for automated fabric inspection, involved guiding the vision technology team to align its product to customer requirements. Stanford was able to organize all aspects of the product line from R&D through sales, marketing, manufacturing, contracts, and shipping to meet customer requirements, turning profit losses to gains within 15 months. Upon his return to the US, Stanford created Stanford Technologies Inc., where he developed an innovative instrument for the measurement and control of highly critical quality control parameter in the textile industry. He formed collaborations with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to private label Stanford Technology into their OEM machinery and handled every aspect of the business from sales to contracts to installations, integrating more than 30 systems worldwide in two years. After this, he joined SDL Atlas as Vice President of the Americas and Europe. It was during this time that he worked with Crocker to develop the new laboratory instrument for AATCC wash fastness and stability standards. Today, Stanford is vice president, Global Business Development Leader at Baldwin Technology Inc., a global machinery manufacturing company that is launching a new, more sustainable finishing technology to the global textile supply chain.
Henry E. Millson was a noted inventor and head of dyes research for American Cyanamid. Millson, the 1958 recipient of AATCC’s Olney Medal for outstanding achievement in textile chemistry, endowed the Award for Invention in 1979 with the stipulation that he never be considered a candidate. After agreeing to that condition, the Association promptly named the award in his honor.