By  on September 5, 2012

ORWIGSBURG, Pa. — Nestled along the rolling hills of eastern Pennsylvania lies an oddity — at once a vestige of a bygone era and a beacon pioneering the potential of a new age in American manufacturing.

It’s a family-owned, fully integrated, state-of-the-art knitwear factory called Fessler USA. Owned and operated by the Meck family, the 155,000-square-foot facility serves as company headquarters, manufacturing plant, warehouse distribution site and hub for shipping goods to satellite sewing factories in the area.

The factory houses a computerized design and patternmaking department run by Gerber systems, cutting rooms for its array of knit tops and medical and health-care goods made and packaged on site, and a bar-coded inventory control system that integrates functions from shipping and receiving to sales and manufacturing. The system also accounts for every yard on every spool of yarn that goes onto the diversified selection of Vanguard/Monarch knitting machines.

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