Meet the craftspeople
Senior Engineer - Mike Moore
Longarm quilting changed forever in December 1999 when APQS introduced the Millennium, with the first perfected automatic stitch regulator. It produced stitches of uniform length, regardless of changes in the speed or direction of the hand-controlled quilting head.
Developed by Mike Moore, an electrical engineer who specializes in robotics and process control, it is a testament to his passion for technological innovation.
The idea for a stitch regulated longarm came to Mike Moore one evening years ago. "What if you incorporated electronics," he wondered, "to evenly control the distribution of stitches, regardless of quilting speed?" That question triggered mountains of research that eventually revolutionized how longarms operate, making them much more accepted and effective.
Because the APQS stitch regulator uses our own version of "fuzzy logic", there is no lag time when freehand quilting. Its sensors and encoders detect extremely minute changes along the 'Y' and 'X' axis. Digital signals are then transmitted to the circuit boards. Using a range of values instead of the limiting "yes-no" decisions of digital systems, our fuzzy logic adjusts the stitch speed instantly. The quilter gets far greater control and perfect stitches every time.
"Fuzzy logic is an elegant solution," said Mike, "combining the best of both the digital and analog worlds. Our solution provides even, consistent stitches in the longarm environment of highly variable and unpredictable conditions. It "smoothes the edges,” circumventing the typical problems associated with the digital stitch-regulators found in the marketplace today that rely on the much less desirable yes-no Boolean logic. And the electronics have far greater immunity from electrical surges and interference."
The fuzzy logic stitch regulator technology is just one of the many breakthroughs to come out of Mike’s lab at the APQS factory in Carroll, Iowa. Moore, a self-professed fanatic for technology and innovation, is so creative and so astonishingly prolific that it's hard to imagine what fun and exciting things he is cooking up for the future. Whatever it is, it is bound to have a major impact in the longarm industry over the decades to come.
Craftsman - Denny Paup
Denny Paup and his employees share a special bond. They've crafted APQS longarm quilting machines for the past 30 years. That takes a lasting commitment to the finest materials, attention to detail and the patience to finish every part without compromise.
"Most other machines have their frames formed from castings," said Denny. "We handcraft APQS frames from welded aircraft-grade aluminum."The APQS machine tips the scales at between 37 to 52 pounds.
That gives quilters greater hand control of the quilting head. It's much less tiring for those who spend many hours finishing quilts every week. Production technology is another big difference. APQS parts are CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machined.
"Computers do the work, so we can reduce labor costs. That enables more to be spent on quality materials," said Denny. CNC also makes parts with far greater precision, with tolerances of only one-ten thousandths of an inch. The finish on APQS machines is another plus.
"We spend a lot of time preparing them for painting and we use acrylic enamel. You can see the difference." The craftsmen who work with Denny are handpicked, taking pride in working for the best.