When U.S. Olympic athletes and para-athletes triumphantly enter the games' opening ceremonies next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea, they will bring a little patch of Butler with them.
Butler Technologies Inc. on West Wayne Street participated in the design and manufacture of flexible, printed heaters that are incorporated into the American flag on the innovative parkas' back interior panel.
The heaters have three settings and can keep the athletes warm for up to 11 hours in the chilly South Korean winter.
The Ralph Lauren company is outfitting all U.S. athletes and para-athletes from head to toe in American-made garb for the ceremonies, and Lauren intentionally included wearable technology in the clothing using “America's most innovative companies,” according to an article in Ralph Lauren Magazine.
“Butler Technologies partnered with technology giant DuPont ... for the flexible heater portion of the project,” according to a press release from BTI. “Engineering teams from both companies worked closely to create a flexible, robust, attractive printed heater that would blend seamlessly into the inside of the parka.”
Other American companies were used by Lauren to power and connect the heaters.
Nadine Tripodi, president and owner of BTI, said she and her staff were thrilled to work on the project and cannot wait for the Opening Ceremonies on Feb. 8.
“Every time we see an athlete on the podium wearing these parkas, we're going to be wondering whether they have the heater turned on,” Tripodi said on Tuesday.
While she could give no specific details on the technology, she did say that the heaters are in the coats and awaiting the opening ceremonies.
Tripodi said BTI landed the prestigious job because the company has collaborated with DuPont for many years.
A full story will appear in Wednesday's Butler Eagle.