Technological advancement is need of the hour. The technology developers are constantly driving to produce & invent machineries that save time & make process simpler. Every now & then a new technology is introduced that brings massive change in production quantity, quality and operating time or eases the process. All these advantages come with a price, it demands additional capital investment. Today for completing a single process there are multiple technologies available that do the same work in multiple ways. So when it comes to selection of a technology for textile machineries people just don’t jump to the latest version like in the case of smart phones. A detailedcomparison of price to the need of advancement is carried out along with analysis of advantages that the technology will offer.
Global Textile machinery market is witnessing tremendous growth buoyed by growing demand of textile & apparel market. It is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 14.02%till 2018.The major countries manufacturing textile machinery are Germany,Italy, Switzerland, France and now China. The textile technologies are available in two version low cost (semi auto) mostly manufactured in China and high cost (auto) in developed countries.
The Indian textile Machinery industry is nearly sixty years old and has more than1000 machinery and component manufacturing units. Nearly 300 units produce complete machinery and the remaining produces various textile machinery components. We all know that India is the global leader in textiles only second after China. We are having best quality of cotton and producing finest quality of yarns, fabrics & garments. But unlike China we do not have in house manufacturing of textile machineries. Most of the machineries are being imported. India in 2016-17 imported machineries worth Rs. 14,990.83 Cr. We are importing a lot of textile machinery as there are only a handful of quality machinery manufacturers in India. In spinning sector there is only one Indian manufacturerthat provides all machines for spinning having international standards. There is hardly any Indian machinery manufacturermanufacturing machines for weaving, knitting that provides high level of quality standard and performance to compete with the European manufacturers. There is hardly any manufacturer making circular knitting and flat knitting machinery. As far as processing is concerned recently there are a few manufacturers coming up but they are still establishing their setups and yet to touch to the global standards.
The global demand of textile machinery is rising due to growing demand of textile industry. Today, Textile machinery sourcing is majorly done from European or Japanese countries, which are relatively costly. India is strategically located from most of major textile & apparel producing countries and India has good potential to explore global opportunities & tap global market. India has to first focus on exports to the neighboring countries which are emerging as significant textile producers.
If we look at the Indian textile industry, we will find that even today there are a lot of textile mills still operating on older outdated versions that increase their overloads and thus ultimately leads to the shutdown of such plants. On the other hand in majority of textile units we will come across a mixed version of technologies with part of machineries having the latest & best version & few running on outdated versions. There area few Mills that have completely upgraded themselves with the technological flow. Looking at their success & profit ratio’s textile entrepreneursin India are now exploring various options for technology advances. Today with the rising awareness of robotics & automation the textile industry is switching to “Auto” mode or at the least a “Semi-Auto” mode that has reduced the dependency on workforce.
With Technological advancements gone are the days when hours & hours were spent to manually count & feed the number of products produced. Automation has brought new ease to this industry by increasing the efficiency & quality of products. The invention of auto error detecting technology helps inminimizingthe errors by discontinuing the process at the very instant when a defect is detectedso that it can be rectified&azero defect product can be delivered. Automation has madethe process much simpler & has drasticallybrought down the wastage levels. As reported by technavio research agency global automation market in the textile industry by hardware & software was valued at US$ 1,553.7 Mn. in 2016 & is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 7% till 2021. In Asia the automation market in textile industry is growing with a CAGR of 6.33%.
Automated Machineries have completely changed the scenario of spinning mills. Automation has taken place in various processesright fromcotton picking and ginning which were 100% manually operated earlier to winding & rewinding. At blow room, sequence of different machines are arranged in series & connected by transport ductsfor opening, cleaning and blending to help improve the performance. Invention of machines like ring spinning, open end spinning air-jet spinning, rotor spinning, Vortex spinning, ring can spinning etc. has increased the efficiency & reduced the operating cost of spinning units by manifolds. The improvements in Ring spinning machines have taken place with inventions of drive systems, drafting systems and use of robotics. Invention of High Volume Instrument (HVI) has made possible to carry out the cotton fiber test in seconds which earlier needed a couple of hours. Automated cotton mixing helps maintain uniformity in the yarn. Introduction of auto yarn fault detection tool has improvised the production & provided uniform yarn quality. Yarn knots are now been replaced with the joints using splicing techniques like air splicing, wet splicing, hot air splicing and moist air splicing thus minimizing the defects in the produced fabric.
Weaving machines have also undergone tremendous modifications in last three decades ultimately resulting in improved quality and production. From handloom to powerlooms & now automatic shuttle andthereafter shuttleless looms have taken this industry to a new level. Shuttleless machines have not only increased productivity, efficiency but have also made possible the production of fault free fabrics. In case of Rapier looms recently various developments have taken place in filling insertion, shedding mechanism, let-off mechanism, take-up mechanism, selvedge, quick style change to name a few.
In Dyeing process there are multiple stages likeDesizing, Scouring, Bleaching, Printing and Finishing. Automation has helped the dyeing process by providing the precise control on various factors which are critical for maintaining the quality like pressure, temperature, time of treatment, water level etc. Also robots are being used to pick the yarn bobbins and transport them with the help of the self-propelled bobbin carriers to the dyeing and drying machines. Unloading is also automated with the help of robotics. Automation in dyeing helps in reduced water consumption and lesser cost for treatment and water. It also helps in controlling the consumption of colour chemicals and hence increaseseffective utilization of man and machine ultimately improving production per shift. It also automates the colour matching in the dyeing process which increases the uniformity of end product & reduces a great amount of wastage.
The Garmenting industry has evolved with the introduction of automation, today technologies like reconfigurable robotic handling devices, cutting table with automatic unloading, intelligent transportation system, manufacturability prediction, Virtual Tryon, 3D garment design etc. are being used worldwide. Cut fabric parts are now being collected and delivered to the next stage by automated transport system. Automation has gifted the fashion industry a precious gem to print, make & embroider any type of designs on garments at the same time.
On one hand the technology advancement is at its peak but on the other hand all these advances demand huge capital investments. Such high capital investments will automatically be reflected on the price of end product. But as we all know, the entire textile value chain is constantly under price pressure from the brands. As compared to all other industries, the textile industry is having least profitability thereby questioning the need of additional capital investments.
Branded garments even after several years remain undamaged. They are left out in closets not because they look old but because the fashion is old. The fashion is changing very fast and so ideally, we must be in position to change or buy garments with changing fashion. But the high price paid to the brands has compelled consumers to lower their shopping cycle. This over engineering of clothes must be analyzed properly. There is need to observe and study these technology developments rather than simply adopting them, we must focus on the absolute needs. We need to tone down the over technical specifications and adopt to appropriate technologies that gives lower operating cost rather than an over engineered garment.
As we are global leaders in Textiles next to China, we must also develop textile machinery manufacturing hub that will not only suffice our own country’s need but also source machinery to international market increasing our exports. There is a tremendous growth for machinery market worldwide and so it is time for India to capture and en-cash on this opportunity.
Let us developIndia… as a Textile Machinery Hub!!!
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