Janesville History

Understanding our past and learning from the challenges we’ve faced, makes us better aware of how to move forward… successfully and strategically.

1874 – The Janesville Cotton Manufacturing Company was established in 1874 in Janesville, Wisconsin. The production of fabric occurred in a three story building with 125 mill hands and 200 looms and was the only factory of its kind in the western U.S.

1928 – A group of investors from Cincinnati, Ohio purchased the company and changed its name to Janesville Cotton Mills Company. New fiber lines were installed to produce batting for automobiles and furniture.

1953 – A facility was opened in Norwalk, Ohio to manufacture jute padding for carpet underlay, a product used extensively by the automotive industry.

1965 – In the mid 1960’s, Janesville worked closely with the National Cotton Batting Institute to develop a resin bonded cotton. A production line was constructed in Norwalk to manufacture resin bonded cotton which was used abundantly in automobile floors, roofs, doors and seats.

1970 – In the early 1970’s the company began manufacturing molded polyurethane foam seating when the automotive industry began to transition from conventional cotton seating to the use of urethane foam. With the addition of urethane foam to its existing fiber product lines, the company recognized the need for a new identity, thus adopting the new name, Janesville Products.

1985 – A new manufacturing facility was built in Norwalk, Ohio to produce rolls of felt for the automotive industry.

1986 – Jason, Inc. ,was formed by Vince Martin and Mark Train, former Vice Presidents within the AMCA organization. Janesville Products was then acquired by Jason Inc. and to this day continues to operate as a unit of Jason Inc.

1988 – A facility was acquired in Old Fort, North Carolina to service automotive customers in the southern region.

1989 – An expansion was added to the Norwalk, Ohio plant to install molding presses to produce 3-dimensional parts for supply to automotive customers.

1989 – Janesville Products and the Martinez brothers (Jorge and Alfonso) formed a JV in Hermosillo, Mexico to support the Masland Hermosillo operation. In 1994, a fire totally destroyed the plant site. The JV was dormant until 2003, when the operations were re-started in Uruapan, Mexico on the campus of Marves, a Martinez brother company.

1994 – A third manufacturing plant was built in Norwalk, Ohio to accommodate the companies’ rapid expansion into molded carpet underlayment for Masland Industries (later to be Lear Corp.) and Collins & Aikman. An expansion of this building occurred in 1996 to add more molding equipment.

1996 – Jason Inc. acquired Suroflex in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Germany and integrated it into Janesville Products. Suroflex was formerly Deutsche Ovatex and was founded in 1989.

1999 – Jason Inc. acquired the Colne operation of the Lear Interior Systems group and renamed it Janesville Products, Ltd. This business, located in the United Kingdom, was originally founded in 1942 as Pressed Felts, Ltd and had been previously owned by John Cotton, Automotive Industries and Lear prior to the Jason acquisition. The business was immediately integrated into Janesville Products.

2000 – Janesville Products realized a need for additional manufacturing capacity and built a new factory in Newcomerstown, Ohio.

2001 – Janesville Products merged with Sackner Products (also a unit of Jason Inc.) to form the Janesville-Sackner Group.

2005 – As a result of implementing kaizen and lean manufacturing processes, Janesville-Sackner Group closed one manufacturing facility and two warehouse locations in Norwalk, Ohio.

2006 – Janesville created an umbrella brand, Janesville Acoustics which unified all its’ previous brands – Suroflex, Janesville Products Ltd, Janesville-Sackner Group and Janesville de Mexico.

2007 – Janesville Acoustics makes its foray into molded carpet systems by launching the re-designed GM full size van floor. This vehicle had both carpeted and vinyl floors which required a very flexible manufacturing work cell.

2009 – Janesville Acoustics launched its first trunk system in Norwalk, Ohio to be used on the Nissan Altima and Maxima vehicles. The system was based on the TSA technology which incorporates the A surface and acoustical treatment in a single step.

2009 – In late 2009, the manufacturing facility located in Colne, United Kingdom was closed. Janesville Acoustics recognized the need for additional manufacturing capacity in the southern U.S. region. In December 2009, a facility located in Columbus, Mississippi was purchased and began operating as a Janesville Acoustics plant.

2011 – Janesville Acoustics opened a facility in Celaya, Mexico, further expanding our manufacturing capacity in that region.

2012 – Janesville Acoustics opened a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, Michigan and further expanding our logistics footprint.

2013– Janesville Acoustics named finalist for 2013 Chrysler Supplier of the Year for Technical Cost Reduction

2014– Janesville Acoustics launched its first Aerotex TM Underbody Panel in Columbus, MS on the Chrysler LX program. Aerotex is a lightweight, acoustical, temperature resistant, structural fiber alternative to plastic.

2014– Janesville Acoustics, Old Fort facility earned GM Supplier Quality Excellence Award. The honor recognizes the Old Fort plant for near-perfect quality during the one-year period from March 2013 to March 2014.

2014– Janesville Acoustics, Old Fort facility has surpassed more the 1 million work hours without a lost-time injury. This represents a new record among the organization’s seven worldwide manufacturing facilities.

2014– Janesville Acoustics opened a new manufacturing facility in Warrensburg, MO. The new 155,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility will initially produce trunk liners, specialized carpets and dash liners along with general acoustical insulation for a GM vehicle.

2015– Janesville Acoustics opened a new manufacturing facility in Richmond, IN. This 60,000 sq. ft facility will be utilized primarily for the production of fiber-based underbody systems.

2015 – Janesville Acoustics launched its Duratex TM Wheel Liner in Richmond, IN. Duratex is a lightweight, acoustical, structural fiber alternative to plastic.

2017 – Janesville Acoustics manufacturing facility located in Bavaria, Germany was sold.

2019 – Janesville Acoustics acquired by Motus Integrated Techologies, based in Holland, Michigan.