We understand you have started the line in Medical textile ie, Making PPE kits, Fabrics, and many more. In the account of TEXTILE VALUE CHAIN Special issue on COVID 19 and Medical Textiles Emergence in India, we are taking special and exclusive interviews who have started these lines recently seeing a great opportunity in this field. Being Opportunist, you have seen great opportunity in this field, Please state your answers for the below questions:
- Company Brief, Product Manufacturing, location, USP
Melange Polymers P(Ltd), located at Palladam, Tirupur (DT), TamilNadu was incorporated in May 2012. It is involved in the manufacturing of quality spunbond nonwoven fabrics catering to both domestic and international markets.
Melange Polymers P(Ltd), made a niche for itself in the list of top producers in India. The company is located in Palladam Hi-Tech Weaving Park, a textile park promoted under SITP (Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks), promoted by the Ministry of Textiles, Govt of India. The company is also listed in Trade India’s list of verified manufacturers of nonwoven fabric offering supreme quality.
The unit has a built-up area of more than 20000 Sq ft with the latest art of technology imported machines to produce 300+ metric tons per month with a dedicated workforce of more than 200 numbers.
The unit manufactures a wide range of products for Packaging, Medical, Hygiene, and Agro sectors.
Greenby Bags, a part of Melange Polymers Private Limited emerged in the year 2016 to manufacture nonwoven bags of various types and many other medical and hygiene products. With the advent and spread of the pandemic disease COVID 19 world over, we started to manufacture PPE Kits.
PPE Kit is an integral part of the medical community including doctors, nurses & other paramedical staff, who deal with the infected ones to prevent themselves from infection.
The production capacity on a monthly basis for the various products manufactured is mentioned below.
- Surgical Mask machine with a capacity to produce 6 lakhs pieces of 3 PLY masks, Tie/Loop
- Shoe cover machine production capacity is 5.2 lakhs/month
- Surgical cap machine of capacity 2.6 lakhs/month
- Leader Bag machine with a fabrication capacity of 5 Lakh pieces/month
- Extrusion lamination machine of width 1.2 meters producing 78 metric tons/month
Tia Hygiene Products
Tia Hygiene Products, a sister concern of Melange Polymers Private Limited blossomed in the year Dec 2019 with the objective of manufacturing sanitary napkins and to cater to health and hygiene sectors under the NEEDS Scheme, promoted by the Government of Tamilnadu.
With the sudden pandemic COVID 19 alarming across the world, the management decided to venture into the manufacturing of N95 masks. The unit has installed imported machines to produce quality KN 95 masks, with and without respirator valves. The unit has a capacity to produce 2.5 lakh pcs of quality masks in a month.
- Are you already in this product manufacturing or started after lockdown?
All other hygiene and medical products were being produced since the company’s inception in the year 2016.
However, with the advent and spread of pandemic disease COVID 19 world over, we started to manufacture PPE Kits after the lockdown.
- What is the inspiration for starting a new line in spite of lockdown?
Due to the outbreak of COVID 19, there was a lockdown in the entire country in all sectors. Everyone is talking about a slowdown in the economy due to a drop in the business, thus reducing cash flow. We believed there were new innovative ideas and business opportunities emerging from such a crisis. At this juncture, we also wanted to revive our business, which is in a bind right now, and also wanted to contribute to social cohesion in the country.
- How you have managed operations, HR, marketing within a short period of time?
Operations will definitely play a pivotal role in today’s manufacturing sector. With the limited manpower available as recommended by the Government after the spread of the pandemic, we were able to successfully run the show. With the demand for these products from the Local State Government and other nearby State Governments, we were able to sell our products easily and our main focus was only to scale up the production ensuring quality products were being manufactured. Further, human resources helped us to face the challenge of combining people and resources to produce high-quality goods on time and at a reasonable cost.
- Do you feel the same opportunity will be there after COVID 19 also? you will continue the operations and marketing of the same?
Yes, Definitely opportunity will be there even after Covid 19. The awareness has increased among the people about the use of masks worldwide. This pandemic has created fear among the people and hence accordingly to us, the medical and hygiene sector shall thrive in the years to come.
- How do you ensure to retain your customers after the lockdown?
Knowing what impact the crisis has had on our customer’s business, and show them additional value in the following ways
- As the saying goes “Hygiene is two-thirds of Health”, we will need to keep reminding business on how important this will now fall part of the Health and Safety Standards in the country and worldwide.
- We will start talking to Companies on a regular interval taking their input and thereby coming up with more innovation or up-gradation of existing product lines.
- CSR is a good program or medium through which we can have companies contribute towards the social well being by adopting villages or their own employees’ families.
- As part of the customer education program, we can educate their employees on a periodical basis on the benefits of maintaining hygiene.
- Though hospitals have been one of our customers, they will be more careful with their patients as well and hence masks might become the norm for any patient to enter.
- State about Vendors’ and buyer’s requirements for products. Any specific technical expertise requirement?
Ans: We have been frequently receiving enquires for the purchase of the PPE Kits/ KN 95 masks/ Surgical masks (Three-layered) along with SITRA Test Reports. Other than SITRA, even DRDE certified products are of huge demand in the market. Some corporate and private hospitals insist on ISO, CE, GMP & FDA certifications.
- How many quality checks are done before these products are sent out to the market?
The most common type of inspection done internally is by the Shift Manager. The concerned Manager takes the sample randomly and draws a conclusion about the whole batch. Even the key persons in the management also cross-check the internal inspections and records are being maintained. Usually, the products pass 2 to 3 quality checks before being shipped.
- How do you make sure to maximize the production of these essentials keeping in mind the quality is up to government standards? Did Government Support you in this new initiative?
Understanding the serious threats of COVID 19 pandemic for the frontline workers, the Government had stipulated some guidelines for these products. We had equipped ourselves to match with these standards and also updated us frequently from the recent advancements in all these products. Obviously, the Government has supported by giving exemptions on import duty for mask machines, ventilators, and all other accessories required for these products.
- Currently, what are your markets Domestic or Exports?
Currently, we cater only to domestic markets as exports are banned as of now by the
Government of India.
- What steps have your company taken to make sure productivity is least impacted?
In fact, even during the lockdown, our productivity was not affected. We had obtained prior permission from the Local District Administration, as we were into the manufacturing of essential commodities and our production continued without any interruptions. Also with our dedicated workforce understanding the emergency situation pulled up their socks and supported us to the maximum in achieving the maximum production.
- As the factories might have the maximum manpower right now to meet the nationwide requirements of the textile products, what steps has your company taken to make sure your factory workers are safe from this pandemic?
As suggested by the Government, thermal scanning was done for the employees at frequent intervals and a separate register was being maintained during the entire lockdown period. The disinfection of the entire premises was done twice a day. Employees as well as the visitors were given hand sanitizers before entering the premises. Provisions were given inside the factory at various places for frequent hand wash. Also, Siddha and Ayurvedic syrups were provided to the employees to increase their immunity to fight against the deadly pandemic Covid-19. The employees were not allowed to mingle with the common public and their safety was our company’s main motto.
COVID, SARS and many such deadly viruses have taught how dangerous can a virus that can only be seen through a microscope can cause such disasters to the whole globe. So, it is a lesson that self-hygiene in the form of hand sanitizers and masks can only save us from these before a vaccine can be found. Better to be safe than feel sorry later is the only mantra.