Worthen's R&D Process

Pulling Back the Curtain on Worthen’s R&D Process

Ian Churcher, R&D Laboratory Manager for the Foam Fabricating division of Worthen Industries, outlines recent shifts in the demands placed on mattress adhesives.
By Brenna - November 21, 2020
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When it comes to research and development, a chemist’s work is never done.

And Ian Churcher, R&D Laboratory Manager for the foam fabricating division of Worthen Industries with 27 years at the company under his belt, isn’t expecting to stop innovating any time soon.

“It’s never complete. I guess you might think, well, we’ll hit on the perfect formula, and we’ll all retire, but that’s never going to happen. I’m convinced of that,” he said. “There’s always something you can improve upon and, also, things you don’t count upon.”

One surprise is how many mattresses are manufactured, both as a whole but also in terms of the market shifting to so many more being purchased online and shipped in a small box where they’re unpacked upon arrival. That meant an adaptation for the techs in the foam fabricating division.

“What that means is the mattress is made, the pieces of foam are laminated with our adhesive, and then [it is] put in a box and can be shipped out the same day to the customer,” Churcher said. “That creates some challenges. The adhesive has to perform faster. We cannot have residual moisture. It has to dry faster. And it means putting less adhesive on. I think the adhesive is something that perhaps people don’t think about, and I believe that’s a good thing.”

Out of sight, out of mind is the desired result from a mattress adhesive, with customers hopefully getting a good night’s sleep rather than worrying about what’s holding (or not holding) their mattress together.

They can rest assured that Churcher and his team are still at work, innovating and making the finest foam fabrication and mattress adhesive products possible.

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