Leicester, NC – For a company to survive 50 years in business is no mean feat. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 36 percent make it to 10 years and about 21 percent are still around for their 20th anniversary. These numbers are even lower for small, family-owned businesses like Dynamic Systems, Inc. (DSI).
To beat the odds takes a combination of vision, skill and innovation. This year, DSI, maker of advanced, specialty cushion materials, is celebrating having reached this significant mile-marker. Incorporated in 1967, DSI made a place for itself in a niche market manufacturing high-tech, viscoelastic, polyurethane cushion materials under the brand names SunMate®, Pudgee®, and Liquid SunMate® Foam-in-Place Seating (FIPS).
While primarily used in CRT and wheelchair seating and mobility products to promote user health and well-being, these foams have high energy absorption/dissipation and soft pressure properties that make them ideal for any application where impact protection, vibration reduction, long-term seating comfort and support are necessary for optimum performance.
Over the decades, uses of the material have included:
- Interior padding for U.S. Olympic Bobsled and Skeleton Team sleds
- Pilot seating for the OH-D58 Kiowah military helicopter
- Low-temperature impact material for Formula One race car headrests
- Balance-testing floor surfaces used in clinical studies of inner ear disease
The original version of the foam was developed by Charles A. Yost under a NASA contract to design crash-resistant airline seating. Following the end of the project, Yost founded DSI to continue R&D for commercial applications of the material. Improvements in temperature-sensitivity, durability, and fire-safety were incorporated into the next generation foams that DSI continues to manufacture today.
Yost and DSI were inducted into the NASA-U.S. Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame for the development of seating technology in 1998. In 2015, Yost was inducted posthumously into Polyurethane Foam Association’s Flexible Polyurethane Foam Hall of Fame.
“Being a small company allows us to carefully monitor the quality and consistency of our products, and work closely with our customers to ensure satisfaction,” says marketing director, Susan Yost. “It also gives us more flexibility to adjust to changing markets as needed.”
DSI employs 18-20 people and averages $2.6 million in annual sales. It ships world-wide from its 29,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Leicester, NC. Yost’s son and daughter retain ownership and continue to work in the business as its CEO and Marketing Director, respectively.
For more information, visit www.sunmatecushions.com.