How does a company follow up its best year ever? By topping it the next year!

That’s exactly what Draper accomplished in 2018, topping our previous best year in 2017.

Here are a few highlights from an eventful and fruitful year:

Large louvers and debating rotating.
Two large projects that demonstrate the possibilities of custom solar control solutions are the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario, and the Wilshire Grand building in Los Angeles, California. Each was completed this year and started in different ways.

For the Canadian Parliament project, Draper was asked to provide a system of louvers that could be rotated slowly throughout the day, keeping sunlight out of a temporary debating chamber. Solar control consultant Richard Wilson roughed out a sketch for how it could work. You can still see a resemblance in the final installation.

Architects of the Wilshire Grand building included large-scale louvers in the original design of a three-story hotel “sky lobby” and the first-floor lobby. Draper’s job was to make that vision come to life. Because the architect wanted extruded aluminum and not formed aluminum louvers, system weight increased so dramatically that Draper had to design a new drive mechanism. In addition, different drive mechanisms had to be developed for different parts of the building.

While much different projects, both provided excellent examples of Draper’s long-term project management capabilities.

The 100-mph shade.
When a shade system is being used outdoors, it’s important that it be as resistant as possible to wind and weather. Because the FlexShade ZIP is used in some especially windy areas of the world, we wanted to see how much wind the product could withstand. We conducted the tests at Florida International University’s (FIU) Wall of Wind (WOW), an open jet wind tunnel with an excellent reputation.

Based on a compilation of all test results, we are confident in the FlexShade ZIP’s ability to withstand wind speeds of up to 100 mph when in the down position.

You can get the full test results by clicking here to download a free white paper.

Customizing audiovisual solutions.
We officially introduced our custom audiovisual solutions at InfoComm in June and we have already developed several key partnerships. We have worked closely with NEC, Barco, Leyard® & Planar, and others to develop custom LED and LCD mounting and framing solutions. Our mounting solution for the Leyard® TVF Series video wall and the SmartTrim™ framing system for Barco UniSee® have also been developed into standard products.

The Draper experience.
Back in February, a television camera crew visited our Spiceland facility to record a segment for Fox Business Channel’s “Office Spaces: Inside the Blueprint.” Jeff Miller, Draper’s solar control product manager, led viewers on a tour of our shade manufacturing plant for an inside look at how we make shades. Alabama-based shade fabric weaver Phifer co-sponsored the video to highlight our partnership and commitment to manufacturing our products in the United States. Many of our shade competitors have moved production outside the country and are promoting imported shade fabrics at the expense of domestic weavers like Phifer. The value of a close partnership between American manufacturers is a key takeaway from the video, which you can see here.

What are your favorite Draper highlights from 2018? Share them in the comments section!