A sampling of assorted advertising and promotional materials used by A. Rifkin & Co. from the 1940's through 1950.
 

A variety of bag styles and colorful identification, including embroidery and silk-screen imprinting through the 1960's.

Keeping up with the latest developments and technology has always been a very important goal of the company. A tour of the A. Rifkin Co. facility today would show how successful they have been in meeting that goal.

Approximately 15 Rifkin employees work in the office area where accounting operations have been computerized since 1974. The comprehensive computer system set up in 1984 contains full details of customer orders. These records can be accessed quickly by customer service personnel and all other departments at 50 terminals throughout the organization. Earlier customer records, going back to 1935 are archived.

Customer service personnel use these records to answer phone inquiries and research order history. Orders are entered and checked to be sure that details of the order are complete and accurate. Order information travels next to the production control office which releases the order to various departments of the factory as scheduled to produce the style ordered.

Since 96% of Rifkin's production is made to order, most orders start in the Cutting Department. Personnel in the Cutting Room requisition fabric from the extensive warehouse supply in the quantities necessary to fill orders. As the materials are received, the patterns for the styles required are also retrieved. Most orders are laid out by the automatic spreading machines which accept a roll of fabric and follow preset instructions to prepare the goods for cutting.

Because Rifkin makes many styles, uses a wide variety of materials, and accepts very small as well as very large orders, a variety of cutting techniques must be employed. These range from single units cut by shears, to fabric running through high speed automatic units, computerized to prepare bundle sized units in preset quantities. Many orders of popular sizes are die cut by huge hydraulic presses which act like giant cookie cutters on stacks of material.

If the bag is to be silk screen imprinted, and that imprint has been done by the company before, computer records are retrieved to send to the Print Department. If the order requires a new imprint, the information from the customer is sent to Rifkin's Art Department.

The Art Department staff makes use of computerized drawing programs to prepare the type and/or design for use by the Print Department. Some customers request imprints which include only their name and address; others call for pictures of buildings, logos and special typestyles.

When the Print Department receives the finished artwork, they prepare a silk-screen stencil, print the bags received from cutting, and send the order to the department where it will be sewn.

Embroidery is an alternative method of applying names and addresses to Rifkin bags. It is the recommended method for identification of Rifkin Safety Sacs because of its greater durability. The Rifkin Embroidery Department uses computer-directed sewing machines which embroider 12 bags at time. A different type of machine is used to embroider Sac identification numbers. This machine applies a different number to each bag, according to the customer's request, making each bag unique. The Embroidery Department can also provide attractive embroidered logos.

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